So, where have I disappeared for a month? Honestly, it hasn’t felt like a disappearing act. Mostly, it has felt like happiness.
When September 2015 rolls around I will be able to say that the previous 12 months have been a hell of a ride, but I’m not quite there yet and 9 months just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. However, in the interim, I am doing the things that make me happy. Actually happy, not the American Dream-type happy that too many of us (myself included) subscribe to. After high school, we worry about college. After college, we worry about a job. Then we worry about the next best thing, climbing the professional ladder, getting married, having kids. These are the things that are, theoretically, supposed to make us happy but probably weigh us down more than anything else.
Having the right expander back in is definitely the happiest I’d been since January. Even empty, it provided a little bit of shape that hadn’t been there before and that just seemed like the light at a very long, very dark tunnel. And I have grasped for that light with both hands.
Which really does not explain my long (too long) absence.
I have been happily living life, and I’ve been doing so by trying my best to be present in every moment. Even if life isn’t calm, I have felt calmer. I have spent much needed time with friends, taking mini-roadtrips, running, reforming our old trivia team.
But let’s start back with the beginning of June:
My drains fell out. Neither of them were stitched in, and while one wasn’t putting anything out, the other was. My worst fear was that this would result in an infection. My second worst fear was that my surgeon would make me go back into the OR to replace it. Neither of these things happened (knock on wood). Realistically, I knew Dr. L wouldn’t care because get his feathers ruffled because that isn’t his style. He just shrugged and moved on. Everything looked good. I can’t say that everything feels good, though. The pain is constant and unrelenting, and thought to be chronic now but that’s something for another day.
So, pain aside, one month after surgery, it continues to heal beautifully and I am back to a weekly fill schedule. It’s the fullest my right expander has been since November 20th. I remember this date because it’s my birthday and that was the day one of the surgeons decided the skin was stretched too thin and we would need to remove some of the saline in the right expander.
I’ve had 3 fills of 60cc, 80cc and 100cc for a grand total of 240 cubic centimeters of saline in 3 weeks (picture after the jump). There’s only a 40cc difference between the right and the left. My excitement and joy about this is almost limitless except I try not to get my hopes too high because things go wrong.
And the medical things are all fine and good, but then there’s the real life stuff.
Like the simplicity of dinner and movie with the best people I know
Like, one of my best friends and I deciding to behave like teenagers in the most ridiculous way possible: we roadtripped to Pittsburgh to see Taylor Swift’s 1989 World Tour. I’m not going to say it’s the best money I’ve ever spent, but I loved every minute of getting away from Buffalo to spend a weekend wearing bright red lipstick, taking selfies, and talking about everything from work to families to friends to ex-friends to surgeries. We sang along to every song on the 1989 album the whole ride down to PGH (and back to Buffalo), we slept until 10AM, and indulged in tiny donuts and day drinking.
Like the feeling of achievement that came with running across the finish line at the Chase Corporate Challenge.
Like the happiness of being in one of my favorite spots in New York (Skaneatles) with people I love.
Like the excitement of looking forward to spending a warm, Southern California weekend with strong, empowering women.
It’s been a long road and I haven’t reached the end. Frankly, I’m not even sure where the end is or if I’m close to it, but that’s okay because there’s a lot of life to live between here and there.