Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy with Reconstruction Healing - Week 5 after Surgery

5 days ago I went to see my physician who truly had very little to say about the pain and encouraged me to continue to massage and no heavy lifting but fly-free and push things slowly! 

So I figured I'm on my own here and determined that like a baby I will have to start anew! I quit all daytime pain meds and am using Tylenol at night as needed (sparingly) and am trying to find a way to phase out sleeping sitting upright.

I went back to a place I've loved since I was a child.  I went back to ballet. The long lean posture, and arms for stretching... the beauty of form and peace it brings to my mind. It does for me what yoga does for my friends.

Day 3 of driving a little more every day... I'm sleeping sitting up less often and just on my sides. 

I am at week 5 post-surgery... I hope things continue to get better. I Google things, in the car while parked, when the pain gets overwhelming and I still have a half day ahead of me and the stories online of the women who still feel these things in them and still feel the tightness years later and have formed internal scar tissue they can't break up - well I am working on that not being me and finding a way to help more women in the favorite of my charities I work with.

This surgery is a lot like having a dog so far, or a BMW, or hair extensions... it requires constant attention in the beginning and then lots of tweaking.  The feeling of it being there never leaves one's consciousness. It's very distracting.

I can't wait to post that this feels better but I am only at week five... the 6 week no lifting embargo is almost over. The 3 months go-back-to-the-gym-and-bench-press is yet to begin. The 6 month refining surgery is not soon. The 1 year mark of the light pink possible nipple tattoo I probably won't get isn't here. The 4% hydroquinone to bleach down scars hasn't begun. 

It's all too soon but I'm done blogging I think for now dear reader and I thank you for reading it.

I hope I helped some women who will go through this know what to expect. :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

BILATERAL PROPHYLACTIC MASTECTOMY: It's week 4. I can't drive. I can't heal. I can't stop feeling like a burden on my family. I can't accomplish anything.

angelina jolie prophylactic mastectomy
Is this going to be my "after" in a few months? OK 
I've always felt we had a lot in common anyway. :)

It's week 4 after surgery. I can't drive. I can't heal. I can't stop feeling like a burden on my family (and they've been really kind and amazing). I can't accomplish anything. I am extremely frustrated. 

A few days ago I healed to the point where I felt like I had good pain control w just Arthritis Tylenol (the extra strong 1400 stuff) and so I tried to drive to pick up the children from school.  Huge mistake!  

BMW steering wheels are HEAVY... and when I was a gym going "athlete", oh just 4 weeks ago, this was a welcome little extra calorie burn in my day. So, since my little adventure a few days ago, it's been all about the extra swelling and extra pain killers I don't like taking or even talking about. Ugh. I feel like such a loser. They don't tell you that pre-op. Can you imagine the brochure? "It is normal to feel like a loser for 4-6 weeks after surgery... and that's OK. You're doing the best you can!" They should have Jerry Seinfeld write it. THAT I could understand. 

SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO beyond frustrated. So I Googled "prophylactic mastectomy blog" and these honest, awesome women w their amazing blogs popped up with details. 

Here are some of my details: I have 2 vertical scars that are getting easier to look at. The Lifecell (ie; cadaver - ew but thank you people for donating your bodies to science) paper towel feeling stuff holding up the silicon under the muscle still looks lumpy (normal ... or maybe I have a small seroma under one. idk) I am not getting the nipple reconstruction... are you kidding me? To not have to worry about nipples poking through shirts sounds like a plus not a minus. I may get a light pink 3D areola tattoo in a year to just feel a bit more normal and distract more from the scar once it has faded and the tiny thing (skin folds) that may have to be fixed gets fixed... but I'm not a tattoo person so this is unlikely. We will see how it all looks under a shirt. 

I don't regret it at all.  To have some control over the circumstances life has given me seems like a smart thing.

OK, some of these awesome blogger women wrote about how they feel regarding their surgery in relation to their husband. I honestly still feel like a victim (or a patient or a better word than that) when he is around and I have to look at the scars... I didn't prepare for what it would feel like to LOOK different. It's a small part of the overall equation and I'm sure we will both get used to it.  

I get told I'm beautiful a lot by women and men and I don't know if that's just part of the female experience or if it's true in my case (and I don't dress in tight clothes or obvious decolletage) but one of the things that attracted me to my husband when I first met him was he didn't focus on how pretty he thought I was. He really focused on my words and was so appropriate and smart and since I know I'm the kind of person who turns into who they hang out with I knew it would work... because I am always trying to be more appropriate and smarter. There's just too much artsy stuff in my head that I try to push aside.

I just can't believe how slowly this healing is going. It's MAJOR surgery. 

Anyone have any ideas on which cars have a nice, light, loose steering wheel? 
Maybe I can rent a car and that would stop me needing to rely on people so much.  Thank you! 

Gotta' go find some organic magic to make for the kids... they're due home and they super-rock so they deserve some body good healthy fuel. :)  
(That last sentence (no, actually this entire A.D.D. sounding blog entry) happened 1. because I haven't been able to get my pain under a 4-6 (on a scale of 1-10) today and 2. after light housework when the pain overcame me and did a Cher smack in the face "Snap out of it!" to me, I watched Parks and Rec and Rob Lowe's character hit me the hardest - I live too close to LA for it not to. Soooo...)