My greatest wish lately is to wake up one morning and go through one day without a cancer thought. Right now I can’t imagine such a day. I would have to be so busy and distracted and probably ADD or under some kind of vampire mind control for that to happen. Because I see the mastectomy scars every day. I feel them. I see my oncologist every three months, so it’s always there. It is a constant struggle to not allow the fear and anxiety to take over my life.
Every night I pray to God that my cancer does not return and I know that it might. I try and rationalize my fear, and tell myself none of us knows what the future holds, perfectly healthy people can die suddenly in car crashes. I can get hit by a bus crossing the street. It’s way easier said than done though. The thought of not being here for my daughter as she grows into a woman, gets married and has babies terrifies me. It’s my biggest fear. I watched as Joey Feek faced exactly that, eventually losing her battle with cancer and leaving behind a sweet little 2 year old daughter. I pay tribute to her and others like her for inspiring me to try and live life as an active participant instead of a frightened cancer victim, to face life head on and give the grim reaper the stink eye and the middle finger.
Yes I’d like a pair of Ds please. Or Cs or even Bs. Because Monday I was back to see The Boob Whisperer and I was pretty sure he was not going to say what he said, which was that the inflammation from radiation is healed. I am totally cleared for take off. My skin still has a definite tan demarcation on my left chest and back so I assumed it was still inflamed. Last month when I saw him he was feeling the left side, then the right and going back and forth, and then he said “almost,” so I was cautiously optimistic. Sunday night I was talking to my husband about it and I said I was thinking about stuffing an ice pack in my shirt before my appointment. You know, kind of like the opposite of the thermometer trick of sticking it in hot water when you needed a fever to stay home from school. He said this is probably not the right situation for that kind of trick, and he was pretty sure that’s not how it works anyway.
So, I am happy to report my surgery is April 6 and he will be doing a Lattisimus Dorsi Flap with tissue expanders. As I’ve mentioned before, it will be a process, probably over several weeks, even months. It’s not like a boob job where you stroll out with a sweet new rack the same day. The expanders (which stretch the skin) will be incrementally filled with saline then finally switched out for silicone implants. Here is a good blurb that explains the lat flap procedure because I suck at explaining it.
Once the final implants are in, and everything is healed, then I can deal with the nipple situation (I may be the first person to coin the phrase “nipple situation”). As I posted back in December, I’m not having nipple reconstruction surgery but instead, getting 3D nipple tattoos. I know what you’re thinking but I swear they look awesome and real.
I also want to mention that yesterday I hit 1,000 views on this blog, with almost 250 visitors. I don’t know 250 people. I probably don’t even know 50 people, so thanks to all who have supported me through this ordeal and visit my blog and give me such positive feedback, I appreciate it.
I’m kind of getting tired of wearing baggy shirts you guys. I lost a fair amount of weight throughout my treatment so I would like to maybe wear something besides peasant blouses except I actually kind of love peasant blouses. Finding shit to wear every morning is challenging. My wardrobe since my bilateral mastectomy has pretty much consisted of loose fitting tops with a tank or cami underneath (because if I lean over people will get an eyeful of something that is NOT cleavage). Dresses are almost impossible and look super dumpy. I put on a more fitted (not tight mind you) shirt the other day and it was a freakshow. The left (cancer side) looks pretty much flat, like a guy. The right side however, looks like a moob, which if you don’t know, is a man-boob. No offense to guys out there with moobs. Way more tissue and lymph nodes were removed from the cancer side so the skin is pulled very tight but on the not-cancer side, there’s droopy, floppy skin.
People are curious about my scars and I’ve shown them to a few of my friends. I might show them here some day. They’re not pretty. They mostly look like Frankenstein’s forehead but worse. And the left side pulls and hurts now that the nerves are all “awake.” This all creates a big knot of tension in my shoulder. So things should get really interesting when I have my surgery, which will hopefully be in the next 2-3 months because apparently I was “almost there” at my visit to The Boob Whisperer last month. I am seeing him again on Monday and he had better not rain on my boob parade.
Okay maybe it’s not exactly “glorious” but considering my hair situation last Fall it’s pretty damn nice. I can finally say I have a real hairdo, and that’s not to say I didn’t rock The Caesar, but I no longer feel like strangers might be giving me the side eyes. My post-chemo hair is way curlier than my before chemo hair too. Apparently “chemo curl” is a thing. Most chemo patients get this soft curly baby fine hair. I’ve googled to try and see if I might keep the curls but the internet as usual has no definitive answers. As most of you know I was lamenting the fact that my hairdresser wouldn’t color my new growth of battle-ax gray hair until last month because she feared it would be all fucked up after chemo, and even then she said we should do a conservative brown. But, I trust her judgment and better to be safe than sorry with orange hair. Well today I threw caution to the wind and she made it kind of red. I’ve gone to her for about 16 years and she always does an awesome job so she’s not allowed to move or retire.
If I’m keeping it real, I was actually okay with being bald. I really didn’t give two shits. When it fell out and Tomas shaved my head I was all “BFD you can have my hair, asshole cancer.” Same thing with the boobs. “Good riddance.” But when treatment concluded I was like “okay I’ve pretty much lost everything that makes me a woman. Eff me.” I want my hair and I want my boobs. In theory I know it’s what’s inside that counts and hair and breasts aren’t the sum total of my femininity but I’m telling you, in reality, IT’S HARD. So with my new hair, I can feel just a little bit more like a normal girl again.