The Nerve Reawakening

You might think nerves waking up are a good thing, but you would be wrong. My mastectomy scars and my chest in general, were largely pain free, however now the left side feels like muscles pulling very tight like rubber bands and it has created a big stress knot on the back of my shoulder and trapezius. I talked to my surgeon’s nurse and this is some of the nerves “waking up.” Apparently there are exercises to help. I liked it better when they were “sleeping.” Because then I didn’t have discomfort that reminded me of things like, breasts no longer there and cancer that may or may not return (because cancer is an asshole). Even driving is a reminder because the seatbelt doesn’t stay in the middle of my chest like it used to, now it seems to ride up the side of my neck. Sometimes when I’m getting dressed I think how much better I’d look with a prosthetic bra. I think I’ve mentioned it before that I always thought I would want one until I could get reconstruction, and I was given a bunch of brochures, but I just can’t do it. First, it wouldn’t be very comfortable. Second, I would feel ridiculous because everyone KNOWS. If I showed up to work with boobs tomorrow I would feel like an idiot. It’s hard enough sometimes to walk around knowing people KNOW. And I act all blasé about it but in truth sometimes it’s hard to know people might be looking at you and thinking about the fact your boobs are gone. I know if I’m talking to someone missing a leg I can’t help thinking about how he’s missing his leg. Or the person with the lazy eye, you can’t help trying not to stare at it and end up looking rude for not making eye contact.

Last week I saw my oncologist who said my blood work looks good-I always forget to ask him what bad blood work would be and what it would mean. For some reason I become a half wit at the doctor’s office. Same thing at the plastic surgeon, I had questions but they all fled my brain when I was there, like, I don’t know maybe “how many procedures will there be?” And “how long will they take, and which ones will require a hospital stay?” Or “how long is the recovery time?” “What are the risks?” I’m writing them down now so when I’m struck dumb next time I can whip out my list. Maybe I should just memorize by chanting it over and over like I’m Arya Stark chanting her death list.

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