Today is going pretty well. I'm tired still, but the pain is improving. I'm feeling a little less frustrated at the moment.
One nice thing that is happening. I find more and more people are able to laugh along with me. Even my surgeon laughed. She called yesterday just to check in (talk about awesome). When I answered the phone, she said, "hi nicole, it's doctor warden, how are you?" I responded, "oh hi doctor. I'm fine. How are you doing?" She chuckled. I guess she wasn't expecting me to be a normal conversationalist. Seemed like a perfectly normal thing to say. I guess she was expecting me to focus more on the following: how am I recovering? How are my incisions? How is my pain level? Oh. Oops.
I guess this is a bigger deal than I am letting it be. I haven't been too upset yet about the physical changes. In fact, I find the smaller boobs somewhat amusing and refreshing. Maybe it's weird but it's as though the old ones were weighing me down, not only physically, but more importantly emotionally.
They are gone. The cancer houses are gone. Adios! Don't let the door hit you on the way out.
Here's the practical part of my blog for future mastectomy sisters (or anyone else who just wants to know the details):
-put a gauze pad under the edge of your surgical bra to prevent it from digging into your skin. SO much more comfy! I wish we figured that out days ago.
-wear zip up shirts with pockets at the waist. Your arms get stupid tired and having the pockets helps tremendously. Oh and get shirts a bigger size than you want to wear. It's not about vanity. It's about having room to house those annoying drains and still be reasonably comfortable.
-pillows are my best friend. They prop up my arms, my back, whatever.
-be lazy. It's like Helen told me yesterday. This may be the only time I get to be the queen. I need to let people wait on me. Rest is important for healing. Sitting still and resting is my biggest challenge, but my body won't let me do too much. It's the boss of me.
-read the book called "there's no place like hope" it's phenomenal.
-don't let defeat be an option. While I was being biopsied, even before they confirmed my diagnosis, my first thought was "we just need to fix this, whatever it takes." That has been my approach ever since. It doesn't mean I haven't felt scared or sad or frustrated. It just means that I don't let that stop me. I keep going forward. I made it through a bilateral mastectomy. No small chore. One thing checked off my list. Now, I have to heal well so that I am ready for chemo.
-Don't ever think you can't do it, you can.
-stop and look around. You realize how loved you are. It's that love that turns into fuel for the fight. Sometimes it's easier to fight for someone else's sake than your own. Having a 2 year old has helped. I don't have to get better for me. I have to do it for him.