About Me...

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In a nut shell : I'm a wife, a full time working mom, a teacher, a Star Wars geek, comic book nerd, Disney enthusiast, hockey Mom, a decade long breast cancer survivor, and oh let's not forget such a happy, sassy, southern mess!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Surgery Tomorrow

Christina Is FINALLY Saying Good-bye to Her Lop Sided Boobs!

The day has finally arrived! This Friday, September 21, 2007 at 11:30 AM I will go under the knife hopefully for close to the last time. I will be in the OR for 3 1/2 hours which will put me back out around 3 PM and then I will go to the Recovery Room for about 2 hours.

I have a new plastic surgeon, and he is on the ball. By the Grace of Heaven our insurance is working with us, and even though the cost is a bit more than we really have right now and I have had to put payment down already, it is manageable in the long run.

So here I go, into surgery 7. Wow! That just amazes me really. To think I have gone under that many times in 20 months and that I will finally be asclose to whole as I will ever be is breath taking. I don't really know what to think about it all actually. One part of me is thinking to myself, "no biggie, it's just another surgery" and then the other part of me is screaming out loud, "another surgery, are you crazy? Are you out of your mind?" I guess I could forgo the whole thing and truly I have thought about it. But I really trust this doctor and quite honestly it is past time. I need to do this so I can start putting this beast behind me. This surgery is pretty much the next to last thing on my "Kick Breast Cancer in the Forth Point of Contact Check List."

Hopefully, I will be up and on my feet fully by Sunday so that Johnny and the kids don't have to suffer through Mom being off her feet again for too long.Life has been a bit of a roller coaster ride the last few weeks with my dad's cancer diagnosis so I want to do my best to be up and on my feet ready to take care of my family before the weekend is over if I can. My parents, my boys and Johnny have just seen plenty enough of upside downs and downward spirals that I do not need to put them through anymore. I also really need to be back up and on my feet so I can help my dad through his surgery and be there for my Mom too. Life generally gets a bit touch and go around here before a surgery, but typically we get everything back in place and in working order before we actually take the plunge. It would almost seem as if this surgery is happening all too fast, but then after waiting 20 months to finish what we started it seems way too long in coming too. This will be good for us in the long run, though I think we are all just plain sick and tired of doctors and hospitals. It will mark an end to at least part of the journey and though I hate going under the knife again it is really time to get on with the business of at least "resembling" normal. (All right now, no heckling from the peanut gallery, lol! I know I have never been considered quite "normal," but we can all pretend, can't we? LOL)

I don't think that it is easy for any women to live without a breast. But I do know this, once you have looked yourself in the mirror morning after morning without one, you do adjust to seeing your body reshaped without a breast physically attached to your body. Still as "used" to being without my left breast as I have become, I need closure. At this point in my life I need to either have them both removed or to have this mess cleaned up and put back together again. I am tied of this "in-between" stuff. This last year and 8 months and has been a real eye opening experience for me on many levels. My vanity has taken several hits, to say the least. In all honesty, I do believe that what chemo takes away from you (hair, eyebrows, taste buds, youth, sanity, etc.) it generally restores to you given the right amount of time and patience. The reality is that chemo did not take my breast away, the cancer did.

My own personal experience with this demon is that the problem with loosing a breast is that you can't just rub some miracle-grow on over it and just sprout a new one back. I really, really wish it was that easy! But it just doesn't work that way.Then there is the other side of that coin, the side is that you just can't have another one reattached over night either. The art of having a breast reconstructed is a process, a long, painful, grueling, character building and yes, tiresome process. It really is painful and there is o other way to put it. Honestly there are just times you wish you could unscrew the blasted "thing" off and forget about it! As for most, I think we learn to overcome it mostly by just keeping to remind ourselves that getting to anyplace worth while is always worth the trouble of getting there in the first place.

Over the last almost 2 years my experience has been that most people don't realize (though most mean no harm) that restoring a breast isn't just a quick in, out and pouf you are good as new process! With breast enhancement, there is already a breast there to work with. It just isn't a simple matter of placing an implant under already natural existing breast tissue once there is none left. No, when you have to have one rebuilt most if any of what was left behind after the mastectomy has to be has to be stretched and is really thin. So after you get that out of the way, have let the expander has do its job, an implant is finally put in. You would think at this point that a breast would be there. Well, not exactly. At least it hasn't worked that way for me. It is still just a lump, or as one doctor called it, a wing,( I am thinking I should have tried flying lessons, lol) with an eight-nine inch now purplish scar across your chest. What is a reconstructed breast? Well, to be honest, it is an internal prosthesis.

So when we are done Friday I will have a "breast." It will look for all necessary purposes real and that is precisely the point. I have gotten used to having no feeling in the area though I can say I have finally been able not just to feel an itch under my skin, but actually somewhat scratch at it, lol. Sad really that that is a major hurdle for me to be excited about jumping over right now. It will be strange to have a breast again, but a good strange I think, far better than living the rest of my life as Cyclopes. So, I am going into this surgery with a grateful heart. I have had 20 months to get ready for this. Just as it was an adjustment when I first lost my breast this too will be another adjustment. I am ready to look and feel whole again physically and yet I feel if I had to live without it that I have been able to make peace internally with my life. So I am ready to stop being under reconstruction and actually be completely reconstructed!

I will end this with a great quote that I have carried in my heart through this whole process'; Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

Still a survivor, still a fighter, still aware, still facing the beast and always a uniboober in my heart...

AKA 'Christina, Soon to Be, Breast-Less No More' (Well, maybe.)

5 comments:

  1. I wish you all the best Christina.  I hope and pray that the operation is successful and that you have very little discomfort or pain on recovery.  
    Onwards and upwards you 'internal' Uniboober!  The end to all your reconstruction is near.  At long last says you...yes?

    God Bless you and may he keep you safe and well.


    Jeanie xxx

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  2. Christina, I am so happy for you. I know you are relieved that this day has finally come. Keeping you in my prayers and will say a special prayer tomorrow while you are in surgery.
    Love
    Debbie

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  3. Wishing you the best tomorrow ...keeping you
    in my thoughts and prayers and hope all goes well!!

    Hugs,
    Terri

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  4. You are in all of my thoughts and prayers as you head into this surgery that will hoepfully completely close the book on the last 20 months.  

    You are going to have to change the name of your journal though, because you will no longer be UNIBOOB!!!!!  (lol)  Sorry, just trying to make you laugh!!!

    ((hugs)) and prayers today and always,
    Jeanne

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  5. Just stopping by to say hello.  Hope all went well on the surgery.  
    And hope you are feeling ok.
    Sonya

    ReplyDelete

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