An explanation...

Why Foob? I had a double mastectomy, and at the time, the plastic surgeon put "expanders" under the muscles in my chest. Every 2-3 weeks, they were filled with more saline, in preparation for my reconstructive surgery. They were very full and hard. Uncomfortable. One time, one of my sons gave me a hug and then said "Your foobs are hard!" Hee, hee, hee! My kids have this endearing habit of combining words. So, "Foobs" are fake boobs. Which I will still have, even after the reconstruction.

Foob Babe - that would be me!
"The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next." ~Mignon McLaughlin


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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Everything Just Came Crashing Down...

I had a few weeks, since my last post, to get used to my new chest (and to think a little bit about my reaction). Let me explain...

I had a mastectomy 8 months ago. It was pretty darn traumatic, just like any amputation would be. But, I kept thinking about the reconstruction. It's really the only thing that helped me focus and not lose my freakin' mind. And, I've been through quite a lot since last October. Again, I had that "light at the end of the tunnel" (the reconstrucion) to get me through all the crap that was chemo, expanders, etc. So, I have to tell you, when I looked in that mirror after the doctor took my bandages off, and I saw what I looked like, everything just came crashing down on me - all the horrible things I'd been through... the breast cancer diagnosis, the biopsies, the mastectomy, the chemo treatments, the sickness, the expanding, the pain, the helplessness, the medications, everything. I realized that I'd just been barely getting by without completely going mad - all because I knew that at the end, I'd look normal again. So, you can maybe understand why I reacted the way I did.

I've had some time to kind of analyze my feelings. First of all, why were my expectations so high? Why did I think I'd look completely normal? Well, I think when you're faced with something like a mastectomy, and a doctor tells you it would be best to do it to save your life, and he can rebuild you, then maybe you grab on to the smallest flicker of hope you can. "I can do this awful, monstrous thing because I know that everything will be ok in the end." And then, I didn't let everything that happened to me touch me too deeply, because a) I would have been in a pit of dispair if I let it get to me, and b) it was going to be OK at the end.

The fact is, my expectation was WAAAYYYYY out of line. How could I possibly be put back together and look really good? I mean, if you have to have your leg or arm cut off to save your life, the doctors can do the very best job possible and it still won't be normal. You still will never look right. Why did I think that it would be any different with a chest? I don't know. I think, subconsciously, I was just protecting myself. "It's ok - everything will be just fine." Kind of like you'd talk someone from jumping off the roof of a building - I just talked my mind out of jumping.

I'll be seeing my plastic surgeon again on Monday. I'm doing ok. I'm healing just fine. I've been massaging the implants, trying to get them to soften up and drop down where they'll look the best. We'll wait 2 months, and then look at everything again. I know my doc won't let me be dissatisfied. He'll make me look as good as possible.

I look ok from the outside of my clothes. The only two people who will ever see the imperfections and scars are me and Rick. And we're ok with it. I'm alive. I got through a crappy illness. I'm starting to be myself again, physically and mentally.

I'm happy.

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