Yesterday was my anniversary. One year has passed since I had my bilateral mastectomy and what a year it has been.
I knew that this whole experience wouldn’t be effortless, but I also didn’t think I’d still be waiting for reconstruction. I figured that I’d have my mastectomy, my fills, and my implant exchange all done within 6 or 7 months. Wham, bam, thank you ma’am. And obviously, I was seriously overestimating everything about this process.
One year later, I think I am mentally and emotionally stronger than I was. I think that I have learned patience and perseverance. I think I have learned to embrace challenges and accept complications. Maybe none of that is actually true, but for the time being, it’s how I think of it.
My breasts are gone and what’s been built in their place will never, ever be the same and they will probably not ever be perfect. They are scarred, they are puckered and rippled. The muscles, now close to the skin, jump when I move and seize up when I’m cold. But they are mine, they are the remnants and the recreation of what was and I love what they represent: confidence, bravery, freedom.
This has not been an easy year. I have seven drain scars on my right side, three dark reminders of my PICC line, and the memories of the discouraging stay at Roswell. However, on the flip side, I have the BRCA sisterhood, I have my health, and I still have a smile on my face.
This has been a hell of a year, but come September 8th, 2016 I am confident that those sad reminders will have continued to fade and those silver linings will still shine brightly.
P.S. Comparison picture below – shortly after surgery in 2014 and today. Huge progress. 🙂