A mastectomy is more than just a physical change, it is mental and emotional. As confident as I’ve been with my decision to have a bilateral mastectomy, it would be a lie to say that I have never second guessed myself. The first time I saw myself in the mirror, bruised and swollen, I felt that bubble of regret beginning to form in my gut. When I felt like my discomfort was out of control, I let myself wish (for just a second) that I could go back to September 7th, the day before surgery.
I wonder if this really was the right thing to do, there was always the chance that I wouldn’t get cancer. I worry about what I’ll look like in the end, not so much cup-size but scarring. I worry that some day I hope to have kids and what if they get this gene and have to make some kind decision that will alter their lives. I worry that I won’t find a partner who looks at my scars and realizes that in going through this I am stronger than ever before, more determined, more focused, more driven. I worry about the potential complications that could still come.
This is not easy, I’m frustrated every day by the fact that I can’t reach into a cupboard by myself and I haven’t been able to drive. It’s humbling to require help to shower and I am dreaming of the day I can soak in a hot bath if I want to. I think I’ve mentioned before that I hate drains (3rd post-op visit today and I still have 2 of the suckers).The physical healing process takes time. The verdict is still out on the emotional side, but I keep busy and that helps me feel normal.
But, in exciting news, I did have my 3rd post-op visit today. My surgeon didn’t make an appearance but that’s fine because I love his nurse practitioner. I offered myself up to voluntary needle aspirations if she’d pull my drains again, but I got shut down. What I did get was some saline. 60ccs on the left and right for a grand total of 100ccs on the left and 60ccs on the right. Below the jump are a couple of pictures, but please be warned they are graphic.