I am very happy to let you know that I left hospital on Saturday, 48 hours after my surgery, and am now happily ensconced at home, focusing on my #1 priority: REST! I think every cell in my body is heaving a sigh of relief that the surgery is over at last. I’ve been feeling like I was wandering around with a dark heavy blanket over me for so long and now it has lifted – thank you God!
In the end, the surgery took almost four hours. Fat was transferred from my hips to round out my breasts and the scars on my breasts were neatened up. I haven’t seen the end result yet, as everything is still under bandages, but I feel like the final outcome is going to be really good! The diagram shows you what was done (from what I can gather!) and I will get the bandages off on Thursday for the big reveal. I am looking forward to it!
Physically I feel okay. Just really tired, so I am sleeping on and off throughout the day. Because most of my torso is numb anyway from the first surgery, there’s not much more for me to feel! I have massive, multi coloured bruises on my hips. Above my breasts it is a bit swollen and bruised too, from where the fat from my hips was transplanted. The main change I can feel is in my breasts. They are a bit sore underneath, where the new stitches are, and the “grabbing” feeling of the nerves on my chest wall is stronger than before. I have a post surgery drug regimen so that is keeping pain at bay. Really, after that first surgery, this was a walk in the park!
But I’m not thinking to myself “why was I even worried?”. Because it really WAS so confronting for me to go back and have surgery again. The pain was more emotional than physical. I was terrified to go back, but I stared that fear down, and I did it. People have said to me that I have been so brave doing this whole procedure, but I haven’t really felt brave up til now. I’ve just felt like “you gotta do what you gotta do”. But with this second surgery, I own it – I was brave! I am so glad I did it.
Something in me has shifted. I was dreading this surgery for so long, and now it is done at last. I’ve been searching to find the finishing line somewhere (anywhere!) in the distance, and FINALLY I feel like it is coming up, and this whole chapter can be over with. My mind can be free of thinking about it for a good portion of every single day, as I have for the last 18 months since my diagnosis. And then I can just get on with life and be proud of me – YEAH! As Tom said as I got out of the car from the hospital on Saturday, “Well Mama, I think you can say ‘Operation I-don’t-have-breast-cancer’ is done”. Yes it is. There may be a few minimal touch ups and a while to go before my stomach softens up a bit more, but the worst of it is definitely behind me now. I am on the downhill run to the finish line!
I felt Martha and Lou with me all along, especially in those final moments before the surgery commenced. I hung on tight to their hands, and I’m quite sure James was divinely guided to do his best work!
Thanks so much to those of you who have sent loving messages, texts and emails. It really does help to know I have not done this alone. I am grateful for the support that surrounds me. Not everyone has it so I am conscious of how fortunate I am, when there are so many other people who endure way more difficult challenges than this, with less support than I have had – THANK YOU!