Me, Post-Op Bilateral Prophylactic Mastectomy

A simple question

It is once again October and the Pink is flying.  Breast cancer awareness visually pushed into the forefront for all.  Put aside the millions being made by the CEO’s running the charities or those behind the merchandising of all of the apparel and take it for what it should be, a moment to step back and recognize that awareness, testing and early detection really does save lives.  So instead of a long-winded post rehashing my own story or one looking at so many strong women who have fought or are currently fighting this awful disease, I ask a simple question, when is the last time you had your mammogram?

If you would like to buy a pretty pink sweatshirt, pen, baseball bat or energy drink with the special label go right ahead but I ask you to go one step further.  If you yourself are due to see your doctor and have your scans get off your butt and make the call and schedule your appointment.  Today and all month-long as you interact with those women closest to you, remind them to do the same.

CLICK HERE FOR A LINK TO THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EARLY BREAST CANCER DETECTION

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Post-Op Bilateral Prophylactic Mastectomy

The 4 weeks post BPM

So after a weekend of taking it easy, this morning the girls and I headed out for a nice walk for me and bike ride for them.  It is already pretty warm out but it really is a nice way to start the day when for the rest of it you are basically trapped.  We came in, grabbed some nice cold water and I am sitting quietly.  My abdomen does not really cause much discomfort anymore.  The only problem there is the pure weakness which I realize will take time to rebuild.

The issue is with the boobs.  I am still not allowed to wear a bra.  I honestly don’t know if wearing one would even help…I would probably just complain about have to wear it all of the time.  The odd shape and uneven size is a factor..I still feel like I am growing boobs under my arms especially on the left side.  That one is still at least a full size if not larger than the other one.  The right one though for some reason tends to ache more.  Go figure.  I still have some oxy’s left but don’t want to take them unless pain is really bad.  On the other hand, Tylenol/Motrin are not always enough to deal with the pain/ache.  I see the doctor tomorrow.  I want to ask if there is something else he can give me that is not as strong as the oxy but has more kick than the Motrin.  Funny I feel strange asking for more pain meds but I guess that shows that I am not some pill head…if I were guess I would not care about asking.

So the bike shorts I had been wearing have all gotten too loose..which is pretty cool to be honest.  I bought an actual abdominal wrap to keep as tight as possible.  My girls are great because the both grab an end and help me get it on even and tight.  They really have been wonderful helpers!

It is strange to think about, 4 weeks ago today I was still in surgery with my bilateral prophylactic mastectomy.  I would emerge in terrible pain I remember complaining about my shoulder the most. From what I understand, I was on the table for a bit over 12 hours with my arms straight over my head…in my own head I figure I was kind of supermanish.  Drains seeming like they were everywhere.  Monitors that would not stop beeping…oxygyn continually because I seemed to forget to breath from time to time with all the pain meds.  The joys of being surrounded by nurses 1-2 times a day for my “shift and raise” that was always a good time.

To be where I am now just 4 weeks later is an amazing testament to modern medicine.

I have my fingers crossed for my appointment tomorrow.  I so hope that we get the date scheduled for the final phase of this process.  Please please!!!!!

Post-Op Bilateral Prophylactic Mastectomy

The “pointy part”

Frank had to go out-of-town for business for a few days so it is my first time all alone for a few days.  Still can not drive so he went shopping last night to make sure we would have everything we would need.  Because of my overdoing it a bit yesterday I really had nothing left in me today.  The weather of course went back into the ugly humid 90’s and I just could not sit out by the pool in that heat so the girls were forced to play inside today.  Don’t get me wrong..they are really very good but the voices…those wonderful little voices NEVER stop.  Thankfully, a few minutes ago the knock came at the door.  There is a rag-tag little group that gets together several nights during the week right down the street to play baseball/tag whatever.  They are a mix of boys and girls age range 5-9 and a couple of the dad’s stay out to keep and eye/pitch or referee..whatever is needed.   Finally my first moment of quiet today. And a few hours of exercise and social activity for them!  Win win!

So I am still not allowed to wear a bra.  I have tried to keep the girls from seeing me topless.  Being as they are both girls I honestly have never hidden from them in the past.  I do not want them to be ashamed of their bodies. I have thought it best since things look so different that I did not want to scare them. But even with a sleeveless shirt it is pretty clear that as my 5-year-old puts it “they are not boobie shaped”.  Tonight as we were sitting here out of the blue she says to me that she can see the “hole” in my boob.  She wanted to know where the “pointy part went”.  She really is one smart cookie.  I told her the truth, for the most part.  The pointy part was part of what could have made me sick and that in a few weeks I would get a new one.  She found this to be fascinating.  Thought it was just amazing that they could just give me new ones.  I ‘ll tell you this…these are not conversations I ever thought I would be having with a 5-year-old. They asked to see…I told them my concerns and they told me that they were stronger than I gave them credit for.  Can you believe that?  So I showed them and asked what they were thinking.  They said that although it was strange it did not scare them.  They did say that they were happy that the doctor was going to replace “the pointy part”.

Wow…On top of the numerous things I have learned through this process one huge thing is that my babies are not babies anymore.  They are wonderful, smart caring little souls.  I am so proud of them both and I love them with all of my heart!