Sunday, February 28, 2010

All that...for this????!!

Its been 4 days since the big surgery. I feel pretty good, only a bit sore on the right side and really sore on the left, but good overall. I was able to take the bandage off yesterday.

Not good.

Not good at all.

I dont know exactly what I was expecting, but what I saw wasnt even close. Its horrible. I know im sounding way over dramatic, but I just figured it would look somewhat close to normal. The right side had been overstretched and now the skin is saggy. He had to put in smaller implants because of the left sides refusal to stretch, but I had no idea how much smaller. I dont mean to sound ungrateful, they are only boobs afterall, but all that pain to be right back where I started. I think I am a big A or small B-somewhere in that area. With the expanders in, I was at least a small C. Im not sure why they are so small, I havent yet been to the Dr, but I sure plan on speaking my mind. I went through over 3 months of pure hell and pain like I have never known and I assumed I would be a nice size. I am still lopsided and I dont match. He said that he had to cut down fartther to make more room so the implant wouldnt expand under my arm. It kind of looks like a ramp of some sort. I guess it all came down to waiting to do the reconstruction until after radiation. That radiation ruined my skin and made it into leather and there is no give whatsoever.
I am grateful to still be alive and even if I knew I would look like this at the end, I still would have had the mastectomy, but I guess I had false hope. I guessed that I would have nice, perky girls as a result of all this crap I had gone through. Not so.

When I first saw how they looked, I cant even tell you how I felt. I started bawling and I couldnt stop for hours. I got myself dressed and jumped back in bed and pulled the covers over my head. Bill came in a while later to check on me and found me crying. I wouldnt show him at first, I was so embarressed. It took a few minutes before I would show him, but he told me they looked fine and we knew that the left side would look different. He calmed me down a bit, but it took most of the day for me to calm down and stop crying. I had never cried, really, from the mastectomy. I knew that it was only temporary and that soon, I would look like a woman again. Even with the expanders in, I knew that it was only temporary. Now, this is permanent. This is how they will look forever. This is the final product. I just couldnt handle it. I still am in shock and this will take a while to get used to. Im not sure if I will ever feel comfortable in a swim suit and I will have to get a bra that will make me look even. I wasnt expecting this.

I am supposed to meet with the Doctors office in the next couple days, so hopefully he can help me, but im sure if there was something he could do, then he would have done it.

But on the bright side, my chest feels a hundred times lighter and I can breathe again. I plan on being up and around in the next few days and back to normal things. I will feel sorry for myself for a while, but it will pass, it always does.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Its Official!!

A week from today, the girls will be here!!!

I cant wait!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Is it true?!

I just got home from the surgeon and received my LAST, yes thats right, LAST injection. This is the last time I have to stretch my skin to its limit, to be in so much pain that it puts me on my knees, bawling, to spend so much time sitting in my stupid recliner heating my back. I am officially done with the expanding process of my reconstruction!!! I cant even tell you how excited I am-cant you tell!!
As soon as they get all the insurance paper work done, and get all the final approvals, then they will call me and get get me scheduled. Im like, can we get this done tomorrow?!
I need to wait at least a week to let this last round do its stretching, so im thinking in the next couple of weeks. I just want it done before spring break so im able to be up and around while my kids are out of school.
I will be doing the silicone gel implants. Its a pretty quick surgery, about 1 1/2 hours if all goes good. Its in an out and the best thing is there are NO DRAINS REQUIRED!!! If anyone has had any sort of drain, then they can tell you what a huge relief that is. Those darn buggers are the most bothersome of the surgery. Im hoping that I will be down a few days and then sore for a few more then back to normal. Just thinking about having normal boobs again makes me so happy. Not to say that fake boobs are normal, but they arent hard rocks that smash every person I come in contact with. My kids and especially my husband will be soooo happy to have something somewhat soft again.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Be strong and Carry on

When I first started this blog, I really wanted to share the details of the day to day with cancer. I wanted to remember what it was like and how I felt and how hard it was for me. I guess I wanted to remember what I had overcome and what I had learned from this trial. For the most part, I have been very honest and have shared details-even the not so good ones. I promised to share the good, the bad and the ugly. Thats why im writing this today. Its time I share whats really going on during this time in my life. I will say in advance that im sorry if I offend anyone. Thats not my intent, I just want to be honest with myself and I want to be real with all of you.

It has officially been a year since I found out that my life would be changed forever. I was happy and we were just about to start a new chapter of our lives in owning our own business. We had plans and it was exciting. I hated Utah and everything about it, but I was truly excited. How quickly everything changed. We ripped up the papers, wrapped up loose ends, packed our house and were gone in a matter of days. We didnt even have time to think or feel. Once here, we dealt with what we had to and that occupied our time. Those first months are a blur. I really didnt feel much-or allow myself to. I knew that I had no other option but to be strong and deal with this head on. My husband was having hard times enough for the both of us, and I knew my only path was to be strong and carry on. Chemo and surgery and radiation took up so much of my time that I was always occupied-my mind was always occupied. Now, I have had a lot of time to think and to feel and it has all caught up with me. All the emotion and stress and worries. To say the least, im a mess.
There is a lot that comes with having cancer, it affects EVERY aspect of your life. For me, at the begining, it was such a positive experience. People from all over the place were coming out of the woodwork to say they loved me and were praying for me. I had constant reminders of love and service. I had never seen anything like it. I received cards and gifts and treats and calls and texts. It was such an example that I will never forget. I will never forget what it felt like to be on the receiving end of such service. It was really hard for me to accept this. Call it a pride thing, but I usually like to be on the other end. This was new for me and it was hard to get used to and it was hard to show my gratitude without feeling stupid. I know thats wierd, but I felt like a burden after a few weeks. I felt like it was getting old real fast and I just wanted it to stop. I just tried to get through it without trying to feel much. I took it one chemo treatment at a time and before I knew it, I was done and on to the next step. I really expected to feel a loss of some sort after my mastectomy, but I didnt. I felt fine. It was actually a relief to have them gone. Radiation came next. It was long and boring, but easy. I couldnt wait for that to be done so I could start the reconstruction process. During radiation, my skin started to get red and irritated. I wasnt allowed to wear any sort of bra of prothstesis because it would irritate the skin. My skin was so sensitive that if there was any friction, it could literally rip the skin. I had to be less than flat chested for the next couple of months. To be honest, it didnt really bother me first. I was really good at ignoring my feelings and putting them off, but everywhere I went I was reminded. People would always ask how I was and how I was feeling and what was next. It was constant. I soon started to feel selfconscious of how I looked. I had no hair, no boobs and I had gained alot of weight. All of a sudden, I started to see myself and all those feelings I had been storing away broke free. What the crap had happened to me. I started to not want to go out or to talk to anyone. I felt hidious. Seriously. I even convinced myself that my husband was totally repulsed by me and thats not good for any marriage. My poor husband-its amazing that he's still here =) I started to feel like I was the pity girl. Its all any one would talk about, it seemed no body knew what to say so they just would ask about cancer. I didnt want to be the charity case.

I thought once I started the reconstruction process, alot of this would go away. I really was never the vain type. I never cared so much about clothes or being stylish, but all of a sudden I was painfully aware that I was far from it. I started to withdraw from everything. I didnt want to do anything. I lost interest in things that I used to love. I guess all signs point to depression. Im too strong to be depressed. I have had boughts before, after I had kids, but I always got through it. I would get through this one. And so I did. I realized that I choose to be happy and thats what I needed to do. Once again, be strong and carry on,

Now it was time to start reconstruction. I couldnt wait. I finally had boobs. It was awesome. The first part of this process was pretty easy. It hurt a little, but i was tough. Just right before Christmas, I recieved an injection that was unlike any other pain I have ever felt. I was bawling my eyes out and nothing I did was relieving my pain. To make matters worse, I couldnt get a hold of my Dr to get pain pills. My next appointment wasnt until after new years. Pure hell is all I can say. Since then, ive had to live off of pain pills and muscle relaxers. Ive never been one to take pills. Ive always refused them after babies and when I get a headache, I would rather suffer through it than take anything. Im dumb, I know, but I just had never felt comfortable taking them. I hate pain pills, I hate the way they make me feel. I hate everything about them-except that they are wonderful in relieving my pain. Everyday, I go through the same fight. I put off taking them until im in so much pain that I cant function. Why?? I have no idea. I guess I just think that I can deal with it without help, like everything else.
Being in constant pain does something to a person. It has changed me. Not for the good. Im cranky, mean, withdrawn, tired, no energy. Im back to not wanting to socialize, or go out, or do anything. I have a hard time doing the things im supposed to do as a mom, wife. Im in more pain than I admit to anyone and its hard. All I want to do is climb in bed and pull the covers over my head. But I cant. I have responsibilities and I have to take care of them. The thing about being sick for so long, is that you have used up the "i need help" card. I feel that I have taken advantage of everyone and all the resources. I dont want to be a burden anymore, to anyone. I just want to feel good and be able to do things on my own. Im not in my own house, I dont have my own things, im not in my normal routines, my kids arent the same. Im so wiped out from pills that I cant even get up in the mornings to get my kids off to school. My husband has taken on that responsibility and he does a great job, but thats what a mom does. And I cant get out of bed. Im completly numb inside and out. Chemo did something to my brain-its like it wiped it clean. I feel dumb as a rock. I dont have the energy to be with my kids or do things with them because I dont feel like I can-I cant teach them because I dont know how or what to teach them. Its all a vicious cycle.

So after a year, what have I learned? That its not as easy as I thought at first. That I didnt have to try and be superwoman. That it is what it is and I should have dealt with it head on instead of trying to be what I thought everyone wanted me to be. Its hard dealing with an illness that could potentially kill you. There is always the thought that this could come back and be way more agressive and I would have to do this all over again. All I know right now is that things can only be a bad as you allow them to be. I know that if I focus on this hard time and feel sorry for myself, then im allowing it to win. My cancer may be gone, but its affects are still lingering and will be for quite a while. What do I do now? The only thing I can do...Be strong and Carry on!!

I dont mean to sound so depressing-sorry about that, but I cant even tell you how good I feel now that I have written this all down. I know I am going through this for a reason and when I read this again sometime down the road, I hope to know why and I hope to be able to have learned something great from all this. I know there is a plan and that is why I am able to move on. We all have hard times and this too shall pass.

On boob news, I should only have about 2 fills left to even them out. My radiated side isnt being too cooperative and its just not stretching like we would like it too. Im hoping for the permanent implants to be in by the end of the month. Cross your fingers!!!