The odds were coming through, and although they were a challenge, they played out well.
God, I HOPE there is a silver lining in here somewhere. SOMETHING. Years back, I know I will look back at this and know I made a wise choice, and probably find humor here.
Not. right. now.
I'm not looking for your 'there, there, it'll be better' comments. I'm crying, I'm mad, I'm sad, and I'm venting. That simple.
I went in for surgery this morning to remove the tissue that died. Remember the 3-5% that you will experience a blood clot in a DIEP reconstruction, and if you do, then 50% chance it won't regain blood supply? Yeah. That one. They were then going to put in an expander and gradually blow it up so that in 4-6 months I could go back and get a different kind of reconstruction for the right breast. Either way, I would go home with somewhat similar sized breasts, and we would clean up to rest later.
Not so! When I work up a couple of hours ago, they tell me that the doctor felt there was too big of a chance for infection (I guess the dead tissue was pretty bad off), so he didn't put the expander in. We'll have to do that a few months later, after everything has healed up, then in 4-6 months from there, we'll be able to do a reconstruction.
For most of the next year, I'm going to have one breast. The other is flat as a pancake. Actually, it's more like a fallen souffle because at one point it is actually concave.
By the time I got back to my room, I was crying for the first time during this hospital stay. I couldn't stop. I finally got settled down and then later started again when I went to the bathroom and saw my chest.
PLEASE let me go home by Saturday and for everything else to run smoothly! I do not want to be 'special'. I don't want to be 'strong'. I just want to be normal.
Here is your mission, should you choose to accept it!
I don't know the first thing about having only one breast. I didn't research that part because I was having full reconstruction at the time of the mastectomy. I don't know what to do here! There are several things I want or need to know. Maybe you can help:
- Post-mastectomy camisole (XL) These are supposedly soft little camis that have gentle cups, some you can even stuff to even things out, and they removables pockets where you can put your surgery drains instead of just pinning them inside your shirt.
- How do you get a bra that works for this? There are so many things out there, and I don't know what works and what doesn't. How do you get fitted? How quickly can you get/wear one?
- What other things am I going to need to know?
Damn glad I don't base my feeling like a woman on physical appearances. Otherwise, this would probably have devastated me.
It is just made hard with these complications, because I know that when it comes down to it - I CHOSE THIS. Take away the doctors recommending it, the family history, the genetic mutation, the insurance paying for it, not having to worry about breast or ovarian cancer for the rest of my life, etc. This is NOT something I had to do. I also feel like I can't say that to several people, Scott included. Scott wants to fix things. He wants things to be better for me. He has been really supportive during this whole thing. I just keep in the back of my mind that when he first heard it as an option, he dismissed it by saying it was too drastic, and a 'higher risk' for breast cancer didn't mean you WOULD get it and even then you would be watchful and probaby catch it earlier. He supported me, even though this wouldn't have been his choice. Yet I don't want to vent in front of him about this, because I'm so afraid he'll feel no sympathy because it was something I brought on myself. See, if I had listened to HIM.... He would probably NEVER do or say any of things, even if he did actually think them. I just have the fear that it would be there.
So, that is my state of mind now. Then you add in the fact that I am ABSOLUTELY FUCKING ALONE UP HERE, and you'll probably be hearing a lot from me today. Scott's going to be up here 'sometime this afternoon'. We called him at home after the surgery to say how things went, I called him when I got back to my room. He said he was going to feed the kids and make his way up here later. Jacquie is sick, so she won't come out. I think Angela and Colleen might come out tonight for a while. I have beautiful flowers up drying from GS, so I can always think of them. A couple of people from AMAMOM came by to visit earlier in the week because Amy and I were both here. I didn't really know them, they just stopped in to say hi and see how I was doing. Pretty much, other than my husband dropping in an being bored for 30-45 minutes at a time every couple of days, I have had no visitors. I really haven't gotten many calls either. I keep hearing rationalization - I wanted to give you a few days to recover from surgery first, I wanted to try to come down later in the week when there is less traffic, I don't feel well. Guess what? If you are going to come visit, that's GREAT! If you don't know or aren't, don't say you are and then make excuses. It doesn't make things better. Don't wait until I feel better, or wait until I get home to contact me. Yes, I need you then, but I need you now, too. Don't make empty offers. Don't say 'Let me know if there is anything I can do to help with the kids!'. Instead, if you are really wanting to do something, PLAN something then ask if it is ok. I would like to take the kids to the park for a couple of hours on Thursday or Friday, would that work for you guys? I was at the grocery store, so I thought I would pick up some soft drinks or snacks or whatever for you. Things like that.
YAY! Angela just called and said she's coming by in an hour or so. My first visit from a friend! And it's only day 8.
My 5-7 day hospital stay has turned into a really freaking long one. I've been here 8 days already. Might get to go home in 2. I just need OUT of this place, and I need a plan. I'm not handling this very well.