I’ve been wanting to write for a while. I miss writing. I have missed this space and sharing my experiences but on the flipside, I have to also have experiences if I want something to write about. Some day I won’t be going into surgery every other month and I’ll need to find some other part of life to share. But that day isn’t today.
A lot has happened in the months since I last updated this. I think I can condense it into bullet pointish format, but I’ll probably forget something:
- I started a new job!
- I started working on my SCUBA certification!
- I finally had my Exchange Surgery and got real implants!
- I turned 28!
- I went to Montreal!
- I had a revision surgery!
- I was awake!
- I booked a vacation!
- To a fuck it list destination!
I’m not even sure that’s everything, but it’s a damn good start. So let’s play catch up.
My exchange surgery and my 28th birthday just so happened coincide. I think a lot of people would think it’s a sucky thing to have surgery on your day of celebration but I was really into it. It’s no real secret that it was a long time coming: over a year of complications and setbacks. I think my birthday was actually a rather appropriate day for this procedure because for me it was a rebirth, a new beginning. So, I got the squishies and, even better, the card that goes along with them. It was really exciting. Like turning 21 (I must be too old to get carded at bars now, because it doesn’t really happen, but the next time it does, I’m whipping that sucker out).
I know I’ve written a lot about the BRCA Sisterhood and how amazing they are, and it’s not a lie. When I got home from surgery, I immediately took a nap only to wake up to a box of mini cupcakes one of the ladies I love. I’m pretty sure I ate an entire tray of them in an anesthesia-induced haze and, honestly? No regrets.
After that, 2016 came quickly. I have to admit that I held my breath going into January 1st. I think I was still a little scarred from the infection of doom that set in on that day the year before but the day itself came and went with little fanfare and I’m more than okay with that. I’m not a really a resolution person so I don’t look at the new year that way, but I did make a commitment to myself for this year: don’t say no.
I know the majority of my surgeries are over: minor tweaks left, maybe a switch to a different implant but the big, long, tedious times are over I think. It’s a relief because I feel like I have my time back and with that comes the ability to do things. So when invitations are offered, I do my best to say a big, emphatic yes. Happy hours, speakers, tours, races, bike rides, anything. And that’s led to a lot of fun things so far this year, a lot of incredible adventures, and a whole lot of happiness. It’s resulted in things like the following:
A late January weekend in Montreal that was absolutely was amazing. It was a surprise getaway for Kate, my favorite Francophile, for her 35th birthday and as exciting as it was to go and be there but it was even more exciting to be a part of a group that would do that for each other. I’m convinced that there are things we experience that could only happen to us as a group, like hearing details of Joren Van Der Sloot’s murder confession over dinner and then being invited back to see the restaurant’s pizza kitchen (thank you, but no). We laughed all weekend, so hard at times that my body actually ached, took too many selfies, and ate a lot of carbs but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I’m exceedingly grateful every day to have these women in my life.
Then there were Buffalo adventures like a ghost hunt in Statler City followed by Downtown Views & Big Ditch Brews.
There was also an awake revision surgery in there. I guess I always assumed awake surgical procedures were reserved for Grey’s Anatomy and not something that actually happened in reputable hospitals with renowned doctors.
Guess who was wrong?
Let me just say: 0/10, do not recommend. For a variety of reasons which I’ll share with you here:
- Having to hear your surgeon grow frustrated with the nurse who can’t find the right tool kit
- Being poked several times with lidocaine, but ultimately not enough times
- Hearing yourself get cut open
- Awkwardly laying on your side for so long your extremities go numb
- Awkwardly laying on your side in complete silence for a really really long time
- Awkwardly trying to wake said extremities up and not touch your surgeon’s junk (critical)
- Having to hear your surgeon grow frustrated with the nurse who can’t find the right suture gauge
- Being yanked around while you get stitched up
- Trying to be still while the ends of the incision, which are not completely numb, get stitched together
- Having to hear your surgeon grow frustrated with the nurse who can’t find the right glue
On the upside, my right foob looks great (as great as a reconstructed boob can look, I guess) and now I have an even more badass scar (pictures under the jump). On the downside, we’ll do it again on the left side (but this time I’m requesting my favorite nurse).
But that’s not happening until I get back from a dream trip to Iceland. That one gets to come off the fuck it list.
I’ve missed you. I promise not to disappear for so long next time.