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These Gray Suede Boots Are Made for Walking in the Right Direction

November 3, 2010

Andrea always seems to be able to say what I can’t, what with my whirling dervish avoidance-seeking  mind. But I needed to share this from her entry, after she’d attended a conference for young women who’d gone through breast cancer, because it’s so important to know what we share:

The lump-finding. The bad news. The pokes, prods and zaps.
The baldness. The isolation. The decisions.
The uncertainty. The losses, the triumphs and lingering impacts.
The crazy mood swings. The shockingly thoughtless comments.

With my hyper-drive brain (self-diagnosed) it’s really easy for me to distract myself from what I’ve gone through either by doing stuff (you know, like making tons of jewelry or repainting furniture and redecorating a room) or to avoid dealing with feelings by either not addressing them or detaching myself from people. Which I did a whole lot of during this process. I gained a couple of friends during this time but I sure did lose, or put on hiatus, a whole lot of friendships.

But I don’t want to talk about the winning and the losing of friendships. That’s not as important to me as it used to be pre-cancer. My good friends are great and the ones that were shaky before it all aren’t so important to me anymore.

I’ve got my reconstructive surgery behind me and I’m so happy for that because I believe that I’m finally headed in the right direction. This surgery wasn’t a cakewalk for me. I’ll be seeing the plastic surgeon tomorrow, for my post-op, and I’m curious as to how much he lipo-suctioned from my back and under my arms. The boy/doctor is a genius! I already can see the slimmer me, even through the bruising and swelling. My lymphedema didn’t get worse, like I feared it would because of the surgery. On some days I even forget that my right hand and arm are slightly swollen. That’s a huge deal because this summer, the only time it felt like it wasn’t swollen was when I was lying on the couch with my arm elevated. Not much of a fun life but it beat having my hand feel like a balloon about to burst.

I’ve done way more than I was supposed to, post-op. I didn’t sleep on my back, elevated, like I was supposed to. I’m sure I carried more than ten pounds before I was supposed to. I KNOW I did that yesterday when I went shopping for gray shoes and came home with gray shoes, gray suede boots, two sweaters and a white blouse (sans darts…I need more of those!) By the time I got my purchases to the car, both of my hands were shaking.

I’ve also yanked everything out from my closet and started to try on some things and get rid of some things that are now way too big for me. What a difference a bilateral mastectomy and liposuction can make!

Now if my hair would come back “thicker and curlier” which I was pretty much guaranteed it would all be worth it. Or not. But so far, it’s not coming back thicker or curlier. Could I at least get one? It’s coming in slowly, thinly, and very straight. I didn’t go through chemo so I could get the same hair back, dammit!

I’m making steps to enjoy life again. Probably more avoidance of the hell I’ve gone through. But I totally deserve it. I decided to rejoin my old book club and while I was a bit worried about how I’d fit in now, after going to my first meeting and having a few things on my calendar, I’m thrilled that I went back.

I am definitely headed in the right direction.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2010 10:45 am

    One of the things we learn: it’s not the end of the world. It can be the beginning.

  2. November 3, 2010 10:54 am

    Yippee, we (you) have come out the other side! The worst is over, and all that. It’s a huge relief. I don’t remember your saying what made you change your mind about the reconstructive surgery. Didn’t you at first think you wouldn’t mind being flatchested? What made you opt for new tits? And did you go for the same size you had, or smaller? I’m guessing you went smaller, and hoping to hell you haven’t written all this before and I somehow missed it, which should be impossible because I read every word you write. But my memory is imperfect.
    It makes perfect sense that you will enjoy/appreciate life even more than you did before all this. You always were a life-enjoyer, I think, but an experience with cancer has to enhance that.
    I’m just glad you are okay.

    • November 3, 2010 10:58 am

      My “reconstructive surgery” was “scar revision.” Still no implants. I don’t want the muss and fuss of falsies. I almost feel danged cute!

  3. goatbarnwitch permalink
    November 3, 2010 4:19 pm

    yay, right direction. yay, new shoes and clothes. Yay, new social agenda.
    Yay you, you go girl!

  4. November 3, 2010 5:40 pm


  5. November 4, 2010 8:59 am

    You are FABULOUS!

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