TWO DAYS UNTIL THE FINAL SURGERY
Fingers crossed, hands in prayer position, this Thursday it is almost six months already and I have my (hopefully) final surgery. Reconstruction consists of two parts. One part, the first part, is about the inserting of the tissue expanders so when you wake up from the mastectomy you get to look down and see breasts. Of all the surprises during this experience, this was the best part of the whole thing (besides not having cancer). It made the entire anxiety ridden wild ride a lot more fun for sure; I got to play boob dress up this past six months. Not everyone who has a double mastectomy has the tissue expanders put in out of the gate it turns out. Some women have the actual silicone put in right away. I think it has something to do with the fact that I had radiation at my first round and the skin needed to repair or something like that. I have stopped trying to learn every single detail because I trust my doctor so much and at this point I just want to get on with my surgery hence get on with my life and get used to the next phase of my upper body.
This summer when I speak of playing dress up, what I mean by this is that I had to get fills for the tissue expanders on an almost monthly basis and I had some input as to the size I wanted. This was actually pretty fun, the notion of playing Barbie adding more saline to see what a bigger badder ass tata would appear like. It turns out that 500 cc is actually too big as I quickly learned that over filled boobs struggle with my clothing size and there are some dresses I haven’t been able to wear because my boobs are too big. Not to mention my six foot partner and his very large hands barely fit over them. (Luxury problems indeed)
All of this as a matter of fact is what I would consider luxury problems at this point in my young life. I don’t have cancer, I don’t have my real breasts, my ovaries or my fallopian tubes either, but three surgeries later and I don’t have cancer so this whole shindig has been a welcome alternative and I am grateful. When I say I have my final surgery this Thursday, what happens next is that the Doctor does a small insertion on the scar I already have and pops out the hard baseball like tissue expanders and replaces them with a smaller 450 cc silicone implant. These are squishier and more realistic then the Barbie looking and feeling ones that presently reside in my upper body. When I say hopefully final surgery, it seems that many women have to go back in for some tweaking, maybe the size isn’t right or maybe the new silicone doesn’t settle properly and the mismatch isn’t right or God knows what else can go south. I am sure there are stories after stories of implants gone bad. I made the fatal mistake of reading a Medium story about some explosion that happened to a young mother on a plane. Holy hell. Like bad baby delivery experiences, I am so glad that when I was pregnant, social media didn’t exist with all of the horror stories out there for my inquisitive eyes to see. But the stories of breast reconstruction gone bad are everywhere if you make the fatal mistake of asking the question. I didn’t make that mistake and I won’t. I don’t have cancer and this is the only part of this party I am concerned about. I don’t really care anymore if my boobs are even (they are right now) or if my cleavage is natural looking (it is not right now) or my nipples match (they don’t). Dr. Hottie cares and this is his job, it is his art project and I have surrendered to his capable and artistic hands. At this point after “surviving” this bizarre experience, I am all too happy to move on with the final stage of this whole miraculous procedure just so I can have the female shape I think I still want.
Watching handicapped women and men protesting at a hearing yesterday at the Capital, a woman with no arms and no legs in a wheelchair who made it to Washington DC to protest the healthcare repeal and replace vote- I will not complain. These are boobs for Christ’s sake. I have health insurance that pays for this entire surgery. This is not life or death and it is cosmetic at the end of the day.
Dr. Hottie will take fat from another part of my body and use it as a sculpting tool to fill in gaps etc to make these boobs look more like they are the real deal. I can’t wait for this to be over. It is all so silly compared to all of the mayhem going on in our wild and wacky world at this point.
What I can’t believe is that is has been six months. A half of a year already. I start again with the six month check ups to try to get to the desired five year mark that all cancer patients want to get to. That five year mark somehow signifies that you are cancer free for real. I don’t know about that. I think that this circumstance continues to remind me to live in the glorious present. The alternative to living in the present is to obsess about something completely out of my control, the future. I have learned and am still learning that this is where I need to live or else I have the ability become obsessed with worry and fear. This is surely not helpful for healing. My lifelong personal work is living in the present; I know this for sure. I am the happiest when I reside here. This is the lesson from this last round and from the many women I have had the privilege of meeting who have had much more serious life issues coming at them then I have. In these times of our lives and maybe it is just my age now coupled with cancer and genetic testing outcome, I don’t mean to say cliché, but the present is where it is at, it’s all we got so again onward to this moment.