As mentioned in the previous article, PTFW is implementing new strategies to grow our organization…
Breasts! I want to have two full breasts again. I know it won’t be in time for Christmas, but it’s fun to think about. Imagine Santa sneaking down the chimney, his belly like a bowl full of jelly and his bag filled with jiggly, perky, perfectly round, and full breasts! (Did Mrs. Claus even notice that he left home with a bag full of boobs?)
I had no idea what to expect when I had my mastectomy at the beginning of November. The time between my regular mammogram and the mastectomy is a bit of a superfast blur…and yet time seemed to move so slowly while I waited for my surgery date, feeling like a ticking time bomb and just wanting to get it over with, while at the same time, wanting to delay so that I could gather more information and make sure I was making all the right decisions.
I kept thinking that once the surgery was over and I got a good look at what was done to me, what was taken from me, it would hit me. I’ll be a mess then, I thought. I’ll cry and curse and sit home in a puddle of self-pity.
I’m still waiting for the pity party.
What happened instead was that I started writing. I created a blog where I could write my little heart out – all the weird and funny things I was noticing and learning, all the crappy bad, and frightening things I was feeling, all the sappy happy grateful things I was experiencing. It’s been great. Turns out, people – even my family – love my curse-like-a-sailor, tell-it-like-it-is raw writing. And to think, I’ve spent nearly 50 years on this planet trying to be “a nice girl”.
Although I’m having a great time with the blog and hoping that it helps other women who are – or have – dealt with breast cancer, I’m also somewhat obsessed with my left breast…or what used to be my left breast. I don’t know what to call it now. It’s still a breast, but it’s completely compressed. So maybe “com-breast”? It’s like a pillow that’s been put into a space bag and had the air sucked out of it. Some parts have sensation and some don’t. Some spots are sore and some feel perfectly fine. It’s not pretty to look at. The nipple is completely purple and there’s a large scar running the full side of my breast to my underarm with surgical tape still stuck to it. Not attractive at all. But it’s where I am right now. This is just what it is right now.
And this is the part that I wasn’t expecting. The acceptance. I don’t feel sorry for myself. I’m really happy to be post-surgery and moving forward. I’m glad to be working with a plastic surgeon, who will begin inflating my poor little space bag soon. And although I won’t be getting new breasts for Christmas (I’m sure Mrs. Claus will be relieved to hear that!), they might just be in time for my 50th birthday next April.
If you enjoyed this article, please join me in laughing, crying, and cursing in the face of cancer on my blog: The Breast Gets Better. And feel free to reach out with comments on the site or more directly at [email protected] because connection is how we get through these things. There is power in numbers and comfort in company.