While it is true that I have learned I am so a strong person during my treatment for breast cancer. . .I am saddened that I’ve lost the boobs (hereinafter referring to my new ones as foobies)! I still have my weak moments…like all the time. I’m not sleeping well because my brain won’t turn off and when I think it is shutting down, a volcanic hot flash hits. Intimate moments with my love will forever be changed. (and yes, I’m sure I’ll blog about it so let’s not pretend it doesn’t exist between two people. God ordained it after all.)
I’ve always loved my breasts, and they’re essential to my sense of myself. They’re an important part of my sexuality, and I’d breastfed each of my daughters with them. My big fear was that I’d be diminished by a mastectomy, that I’d never again feel whole, or truly confident or comfortable with myself.
After losing the boobs, the most harrowing part was the loss of sensitivity—something faced even by all who have reconstruction. It’s a kind of sexual evisceration, a source of tremendous pleasure tossed out like spoiled milk. The public, and even doctors, often forget about this. They feel nothing. Nothing at all. Until it is below 40 degrees. Then the muscles have no insulation, they contract, and crush the implants into my breast bones.
Another reality was that there was pain and soreness in the beginning, which continues if I reach for something the wrong way or roll on the implant at the wrong angle, tiredness and the period of recovery seem to continue forever (God only knows how long this will last)…surgery 3 was more painful than surgery 2, but no where near the pain of the mastectomy…all this while trying to stay motivated, positive and upbeat (not always an easy feat). Stupid crappy cancer! At least my cancer was found early and the SN (sentinel node) biopsy came back negative, I am considered cancer-free (NED) and no other treatment necessary. Praise God!
Of course, I would have rather kept my breast, but it is, what it is, and it’s really a small sacrifice to pay for longer life and good health.
Right now, I am trying to finishing the laundry that I started on Friday, along with moving pictures around on my walls, washing dishes and preparing for payroll tomorrow at work, cook dinner and just try to take a minute or two for just me (this usually happens after the g-baby goes to sleep).
I need to work on clearing my mind of the mental and emotional anguish I still have after almost three years later. There are so many thoughts constantly buzzing around in my head. There are a variety of emotions that seem to come and go in a flurry, almost before I can even get a handle on them. This has been a life altering event and has changed my perspective on just about everything. Stupid crappy cancer has a face now because it happened to me!
God knew I would get crappy cancer. Psalms 139:16 says, “Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in your book where all is written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them.” God mapped out a precise plan for my entire life before I breathed my first breath, so He stands ready to guide me through this. It’s part of His plan for my life.
Life gives us lemons. Lots of lemons! It’s called life. We all have crappy things that happen to us, but we have to get back up and keep going. We have to live. I have a life to live! I’m not special or unique. I’m not the first person to have crappy cancer and I know I won’t be the last. I also understand that this world is not my permanent home, and I’ve been trying to stay positive and upbeat.
I’m going to make lemonade out of this. I feel like God has given me an opportunity here…It’s important how I deal with it. I plan on using my voice to help myself and others understand what I am going through.
I’ve been coming up with a list of the positives to have no “real boobs” on my chest and here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
I’ll never have to wear a bra again, unless I choose to wear one (the foobies stick out like a 19 year olds chest).
I won’t “nip” in cold weather ever again! And not getting fipples which are permanently erect.
I’ll be able to sleep on my side more comfortably (eventually after healing) but was told no sleeping on my stomach comfortably
I don’t have to worry about too much showing when I bend over because there are no nipples for anyone to see
They won’t bounce a lot when I run
I won’t have to fear of anyone seeing anything but scars if they fall out of my swimsuit when playing in the water
They won’t “go south” as I age
I know myself, and I know that I will have feelings of ugliness, being unfeminine and I don’t want to look in the mirror and be reminded of the crappy cancer that took my “girls” without seeing something beautiful.