I’ve now passed the ten week mark since my surgery. I have to say I am really getting so bored of even thinking about my body. (So I am sure many of you are bored of hearing about it!) I’m hoping soon to post about things other than my bosoms! Suffice to say, I am on the right track, but for those who are reading this to know what they might expect from a similar surgery, here’s the update:
In recent days I’ve chalked up a few more milestones. Yesterday was my last visit from the community nurse as my wounds have pretty much all healed up now. I’m still a bit stiff and sensitive. I don’t think I could break into a sprint, or jump up and down to save myself, but at least I no longer require medical attention. Hooray for that and on with the long, slow healing process. My abdomen remains sensitive and firm to touch – it feels like I am wearing a way too tight girdle most of the time. Uncomfortable but not painful. My breasts and the lower half of my stomach are still totally numb which is weird, so I’m praying that it’s just a very slow process for any nerve sensation to return. I’d like at least to be able to feel when something sharp or hot touches me there in the future! And this week I took the car for a (very short) drive. I’d still prefer to walk, but it’s good I know I can do it if I have to!
All of my bikinis have now been donated to Holly since stomach scars and a two piece swimsuit really do not work together! (I suppose my bikini wearing days were always going to come to an end at some point…) And I am now on a first name basis with the local Australia Post guy delivering inspiring books, new bathers (one piece ☺) and colourful art supplies! I’ve yet to venture out for bra shopping, I’m still not ready to share my body with anyone new. Makes me too sad for myself. I don’t like the scars (let alone the nipple loss!) but the silicon strips seem to be helping smooth out the worst of the breast scars, and the line across my stomach is settling down a bit too.
So for anyone contemplating the same surgery, the main thing I would say is: IT GET’S BETTER! No one would choose to do this without a good reason. It is no fun. It is really painful and very uncomfortable. You do have scars and numbness to live with for a long time afterwards. But it does get better! I don’t think I’m going to be cartwheeling over the finish line at twelve weeks, but oh my goodness how much better will I be feeling then than I did in those days after surgery?! And even back in the most challenging days, I’m sure your brain protects you through the worst of it. It is dreadful, but it doesn’t seem so bad most of the time when you’re in it. I have almost no recollection of my time in intensive care, even though I know I was awake and functioning that day. And much of the time in hospital is a blur. Everything works out okay in the end.
Really I think my job now is just to rest, heal up and go at a slow pace. I think the physical healing is well along, and now my brain has the space to take everything in. I haven’t really been socialising much at all, I’m just enjoying a quiet life, avoiding any noise or busy-ness. Sometimes I get bored, but I feel like this time is for my head to catch up with all of the changes in my life. Just to slow down, process it all and accept my losses. I think Buddha said ”In the end, just three things matter: how well we have lived, how well we have loved, and how well we have learned to let go”. I think I’m getting a crash course on the letting go bit!
Meantime I’m just enjoying immersing myself in colour and creativity. It is calming and healing on the inside. I know I have to heal inside AND outside, so I am really grateful to have the time and space to do that, before I get up and running in whatever my next chapter will be. I’m looking after my mind, body and (quite neglected!) spirit! Lots of healing required all round. Just going gently … and making pretty things!