Somehow I thought this moment would be exhilarating – like getting off of a roller-coaster and looking at your partner and saying “whew! wild ride!”… but, sadly, I’m still on the kiddie rides, whining “go faster, go faster!”
This is not the celebratory day that I wanted it to be, but I have managed a few accomplishments in this less-than-pleasant year:
- I’m coping with the pain without narcotics, and I’m not discussing the pain anymore (with anyone except my doctors, my mother and J – if he really wants to know) – mostly, I’m just excusing myself and breathing through it.
- I’ve learned a HELL of a lot about boobs. Like, a lot. Way more than I ever thought I would have.
- I’ve managed to remain attached to the most wonderful man in the world. If I haven’t chased him away yet, I think he’s in it for the long haul.
- I’ve tried: injections, narcotics, topical painkillers, pain patches, special diets, herbs, essential oils, chiropracty (is that a word?), physical therapy, every exercise I’ve ever found in any mastectomy reconstruction book, meditation, screaming, stomping, yelling … and none of it has worked.
Here is what I wrote on Facebook – the very first time I acknowledged (openly) my surgery, my experience and spoke honestly about it with people who may not have known:
The responses were surprised, supportive, caring and thoughtful. It was a very heavy day, but I managed to find some bright spots (and let’s face it – turning your life into a fairy tale is what everyone does when things suck, right?). Here is what my Facebook friends said:
No matter how bad things seem, someone always has it worse.
I need that tattooed backwards on my forehead, I think, although I am beginning to get to a place where I can stop, take a breath and remind myself to be grateful for the life that I have.