Saturday, August 6, 2011

One Month!

Bair Paws - warming system for hospital gowns
I have been boobless for one month now.  A month ago at this very time, I was laying in the pre-op room waiting waiting waiting.  I was playing with the little heater they hook up under your hospital gown to keep you warm.  I was taking silly pictures of myself and my husband and I were laughing and making jokes.  I was okay. I had made my decision and I knew it was the right one.  I remember it like it was yesterday.

I remember the agonizing decision I had to make before and I remember standing in the shower the night before the surgery (the last real shower I've taken by the way) and holding my breasts and sobbing.  I stood there and cried uncontrollably for 20 minutes before my husband came to get me and hold me in his arms.  Me soaking wet, him still in clothes.  He gently guided me to bed where I laid and cried quietly until I fell asleep.  I woke up early the next morning ready for surgery with a resolve that this is what had to be done.  I was finished with my mourning and now was time to move on.

And, I'm okay.  It's been a month.  It hasn't been an easy recovery - but the renal surgery I had earlier this year was much more painful and difficult.  I've had my ups and downs to be sure - and if you've been reading this blog, you've been here for all of them.

But here I am, one month later, and I'm not crying.  I'm not mourning my breasts - I did that before the surgery.  I'm actually okay without them.  Much more okay than I thought I'd be.  I never imagined that I'd walk around happily without breasts.  I go out with friends, I take my kids places - I don't miss those old saggy boobs!  I love not wearing a bra and fooling with it all day.  I love answering the door and not worrying about whether I have a bra on or not!  Take that all your bra-wearers!  HA!

Most of all, this hasn't changed ME.  My friends still love me and tease me.  My family still thinks I'm beautiful.  The world doesn't even seem to notice.  I can't wear anything I want yet - some shirts make it more obvious than others and I'm not comfortable with that yet.  Other shirts I can't yet get over my head.

Because the most pain I'm having now is from losing the lymph nodes under my arms.  I can't lift my arms up still (which is normal) so I can't get most pullover shirts on.  Or, I can maybe get them on - but then I can't get them off - which happened the other night when my husband had to rescue me from a shirt I tried on and then couldn't get off.  He was able to extract me which is good because I had visions of him having to cut me out of it.

I've been through a lot this last month.  Losing my breasts, phantom nipple pain (weird!), the sensation that I'm still wearing a bra!, the pain of recovery, those damn drains!, finding out that I have the most aggressive Grade of cancer, finding out that I have a 50% chance of recurrence (without chemo and cancer drugs), finding out that I'll have to have chemo, cutting my hair short, preparing to lose my hair...

A lot.

But, here I am.  Late morning, sitting in my messy home, writing.  Everyone else still asleep.  And, I'm okay.  Sure, I've lost some boobs and I'm going to have a long few months ahead of me but, the things that are really important in life....none of those things have changed.

And isn't THAT what it's really all about?

Boob Count: 112


  1. Wow....just wow. As much as I want to say "I told you so (that it'd be ok).....I suppose it was a journey for you to take and discover. I suppose on some level, I didn't really know it'd be ok....but I had hoped....and I'm glad it is ok and that you are healing. I've said it before....but I'll say it again. You inspire me and I love u! ~Viki

  2. Laura, I can't help liking that little heater. I'm thinking a portable one would be great for anyone for a variety of occasions. Just think of the many possibilities??? A portable air conditioner would be great too, especially for hot flashes. Yes, sweetheart, you have been through A LOT with more to go. However, with everything you've gone through I hope you've learned that you can get through ANYTHING now! You're absolutely right. You still have you and the people in life that are most important to you. I'm thinking if I had a choice of losing my boobs or my sense of humor, I would have to choose my boobs. My sense of humor gets me through more than my boobs. You're growing more each day on your journey and I'd like to say I'm VERY proud of you in the way you're choosing your path.

    Love you,

  3. You're my hero! Thank you for sharing Laura! Love you!