Back in the saddle

Holly & Sarah Jan 2014

Me with our daughter, Holly

Today it is six months since my surgery, and next week it will be a year that I have been living every day with my breast removal and reconstruction on my mind. What a long, slow recovery it has been, and still is. I am so over it! As you read this I will be winging my way to the USA with my friend Louise for a trip we booked some time ago. When we booked it, I thought the breast surgery would be a distant memory for me, and this would be a nice little reward for a long finished chapter. Not so! I think this is more a pit stop on the long haul journey! However, the worst is behind me so I am certainly celebrating that.

My situation body-wise is much the same as previously, but it IS getting slowly better. I still have stiffness and numbness in my stomach and breasts, and it is slowly improving. The lymphatic drainage massage treatment has definitely removed the excess fluid in my abdomen, and now we are working on breaking up the scar tissue underneath. I believe I have internal keloid scarring, which is sort of an overgrowth of scarring, so maybe that’s why everything is more uncomfortable than expected, because I think most people don’t develop such heavy internal scarring as I have had. I’m just piecing the information together myself, but it makes sense to me and I feel like the light exersize, massage and acupuncture programs I have underway are the right treatments to gradually reduce the stiffness and numbness. I can only but persevere!

I still get tired easily and can’t stay up late at night or take on too much during the day – slow and steady is the way for me. I think I have about 75% of the energy levels I used to have before. It’s quite frustrating but I am just surrendering to it. I have noted that it is the Year of the Horse on the Chinese calendar, so I would say I am “back in the saddle” but only up for gentle walks – definitely not cantering or galloping yet!

0181_DSC8211Day to day, I am back running my online cashmere business, YUM Cashmere and we are now in the middle of taking orders for this upcoming season. I actually can’t believe I created this range while I was in recovery post surgery, but apparently I did and it is looking good, if I do say so myself! Our daughter Holly has happily contributed her modeling prowess to the photo shoot we did here in Sydney a few weeks ago, and orders are now rolling in for the new season. Hooray for that!

I have also commenced my Surface Design diploma and I am in love with the course! It feels exactly right for me, combining my newly found love of art and drawing and painting, with the practical ability to put it on to household items for sale at some future point. Bringing art and prettiness to the everyday – I love that! So I am really pleased with that too.

photo 1[3]_2I figure I now deserve a bit of a break and am looking forward to several days at a creative workshop in Arizona, with a few spa treatments thrown in for good measure! I’m a bit sad it is still too uncomfortable to lie on my stomach to receive a proper massage, but I am sure they can work round that. And I realised as I did my packing that I do NOT have a Winter wardrobe that works for my new body (I spent all of this past Winter post surgery in recuperation and never ventured out!) so maybe I’ll just have to indulge in a bit of personal shopping therapy whilst over there too. That will not be hard!

When I get back I’ll be going to see my surgeon again to discuss my progress, and make plans for the follow up surgery. I REALLY am not looking forward to going to hospital again, but I don’t want it hanging over me for much longer, so I’m thinking I will do that mid year, to get everything neatened up as they recommend you do. I’m not going to come this far and have an incomplete job. Might as well get it looking and feeling as best it can.

I turned 53 this week and all I can say is watch what happens in this next year of my crazy life! God only knows what is around the corner. After the last few years, I’m expecting anything can happen in life so I’m thinking it’s best to just LET GO of any expectations that things will always work out as you think they will. Make plans, have goals, head where your heart leads you, but be open to anything! I will be grateful for whatever develops, as long as it is gentle! And I am thankful to actually BE in my fifties, since my sisters Martha and Lou never got to experience that. So I’ll keep going and live life a bit for them too. Make them proud!

Onwards! Stay tuned ….



6 responses to “Back in the saddle

  1. John Bailey

    Dear Sarah,

    Glad to hear things are improving but concerned that you face a further operation.

    I am feeling badly to have again missed your birthday, for which best wishes. Have a great time in the USA.

    Love Dad

    Sent from my iPad



    • Hi Dad
      The follow up surgery was always part of the plan so no cause for alarm (although I am not looking forward to it!) Birthday was nicely celebrated here and hope skiing is fine and sunny for you too


  2. Your daughter is Beautiful !!! I have a daughter named Holly also. Next week I am starting the massage on my abdominal scar. Like you my scar is hard, and tight. Is your doctor going to do a scar revision? I am going to have mine revised in the summer after it softens up and the swelling goes down.


    • Hi Kelly – I love the synchronicity of us having the same name for our daughters! Hope the massages work for you too. I am sure they have helped me feel less stretched and hopefully will make things soften up more quickly too. I’m planning to have my scar revision some time mid year. Will see what my surgeon says when I go back to see him soon. I am dreading more surgery but I’d prefer to get it over and done with and just make this chapter be OVER as soon as possible. Love to you – I will keep updated on your progress via your blog. Sarah xx


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