Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Nine Months

A lot can happen in nine months.

A lot DOES happen in nine months.

Babies are conceived and born in that time. A beautiful thing I have been lucky enough to experience 3 times- the loves of my life.

A school year begins and ends in about that amount of time.

Three seasons of the year pass by- all beautiful in their own right.

It has been nine months since my left nipple started to bleed and my life was changed forever. So much has happened in that time.

Wow, "My life has changed forever" is a very big statement. I would like that not to be true, but it is. As much as I try to push the word "CANCER" down it creeps back into my life. I am cancer-free. Why does it keep creeping back into my daily life?

Once you go on this journey, you can't hide from it- it will always be there. You will think about it every day. From looking at your appointment book, whether it is planning the next appointment or simply seeing all the ones that passed, to looking down at your scarred body- it will always be there to remind you.

I was recently on vacation in beautiful Myrtle Beach, SC. The "before me" would have wandered out to the beach and plopped down on the chair, reading my book all day in the sun. Sunburn would have been inevitable, as would the pain that followed. It was part of visiting the beach. The "after me" made sure I had an umbrella to block the sun, SPF 50 sunblock that I slathered on every exposed area of skin (and those scars, which were not exposed but just in case) religiously and there was NO sunburn. I hid in the shady area beneath the umbrella unless I was in the water. I already had one kind of cancer- I don't want another! Silly? Maybe, but why take chances?

Don't get me wrong, I had a great, relaxing time on the beach- but I was much more careful than I would have been "before".

So, where am I today in my journey you may ask? Or not- I will tell you anyway ;-)

My hair has grown back in nicely and SO curly. I am keeping it short. The general consensus is that I look best with short hair, so I will keep it. Much more gray than before, but that was easily remedied (thanks to my awesome stylist, Courtney!) Kinda makes me wonder how terrible I looked with the long hair, but whatever. grin.

My nails are almost completely back to normal. The exception is my toenails- a bit slower to grow out, but nothing horrible.


My breasts.... hmmm.... well, they are still a work in progress.

The right side isn't bad, but needs a bit of tweaking to remove some redundant skin. This kind of gives it a boxy look on the lower half.

The left side is a bigger issue. It has the same boxy problem as the right, but also is flat- like I am leaning against something but I am not. This is the result of scar tissue in the capsule that holds the implant. The fix for this is to cut out the old capsule, which is essentially all scar tissue and allow it to create a new pocket for the implant. Basically, redo it.

The hope is that the two of them will wind up looking essentially the same once we are done. My scars will become even longer than the 6+" that they are each now, which obviously isn't ideal, but it needs to be done for a better result.

My goal is to be able to look down, or in the mirror and feel like I am looking at natural breasts. That is not what I see right now. My doctor agrees.

I should point out that this is in no way a statement on my doctor's abilities. I was a very tough case having gone from such a large size before to a much smaller size now. The first surgeon had to do very large horizontal incisions which has made this a rough road for all of us. The plastic surgeon is wonderful and is letting me drive this, when I am happy, we are done.

The next step in my journey is scheduled for October 7th.