Oh I thought my next post was going to be such a positive “YAY! I am nearly there!” one … and I AM nearly there. On the weekend I did my first “proper” walk, around Cremorne Point (my favorite and surely one of the most beautiful urban walks in the world), which took me 90 minutes, rather than the usual hour. But I did it and I loved it so hooray for that. I’ve also stopped taking any prescription pills since about 10 days ago and am only taking a few over-the-counter pain medications a couple of times a day now. I’ve finally dropped the afternoon nap too, in an effort to help me sleep better at night. That seems to be working well. Two months today since my surgery and yes, I have made so much progress since then.
That’s all the good stuff!
This morning the nurse came for my twice weekly dressings change, and the positive news there is that the last remaining bandage (on my right breast) has been removed, because there’s no open wound any more. Now I’m able to shower properly (without ‘Glad Wrap’ around my torso to protect the dressings – that was tedious!) so that’s a win too. But – yes, there is a but – with my scar phobia, I’ve not been looking at my wounds when the dressings have been changed. I’d prefer to wait until everything is healed up as much as possible before I have to take a look. So today I’ve discovered that my right nipple has died and is gone. Yes, gone …..there’s just a black round mark left where it was. The areola (surround) is still there, and I’m assured that the black will fall away and there will be pink skin underneath. (Sorry if that’s too ‘up close and personal’ for some but I suppose since I’ve committed to writing the blog, I think there’s no point in only sharing the good parts of the story. At least I am sparing you seeing it in a photo!)
But F***! (sorry, but there’s no other word for it!) Have had a good old cry on it. So sad, losing yet another special, feminine, much loved part of my life on top of Martha, pink zebra, Lou, my original sensitive bosoms, and now, almost literally, the cherry on the cake, my nipple too… I know it will heal up, I know it is not the end of the world, there are worse things and it will be okay. Just feel like I’ve slowly started to emerge back out in to the real world and this is yet another kick in the head. AND it will probably mean another round of surgery somewhere down the track to get things evened up (which I was holding out a tiny hope that maybe I could just heal really well and avoid further hospital horror). So yes, F***! And on Pink Ribbon day too – another casualty in the horribleness that is breast cancer treatment. I know it could be much, much worse, so I will have a good cry, process it and come to terms with it. I’m sure I’m the only one who is ever really going to care. Funny how you can be so attached to a bit of skin!
Other than that, what I WAS going to say is that I do feel like I am coming back to being myself. I’ve often read on other women’s descriptions of their breast surgery where they look forward to going back to their “old life”. But since my business, pink zebra closed and, much more significantly, Martha passed away, I feel like my whole world has been turned on its head, so my “old life” is not there anymore. As someone said to me last week, “I think when Martha died, it broke your heart, but it opened your heart up too”. I think that’s a valid observation.
So I’m looking forward to moving in to my “all new, improved life”. I’m not quite sure what it will be exactly, but it is sure to have more colour, creativity and gentleness in it than before, and WAY less stress and drama. That’s the gift of Martha to me – she is such a good sister! So I feel her in my ear saying “yeah this is the shitty bit, but it will be really good Sare, just hang in there, I promise!”. Let’s wait and see what the universe delivers – I’m trusting that everything is unfolding as it should. Ah yes, the best is yet to come!