I have been struggling for a few days to write something – anything – about this portion of my fight. I am home, I am recuperating in the truest sense of the word, from a surgery that is more personal than I am prepared to say. It has not been as painful as I expected and I have felt better in general, but I am bulky, tired, reclusive and yet want to shout out my story all at the same time.
On Friday we had meet the teacher – for all three of the kiddos. Which meant three separate trips to two different schools, and a lot of new friends. I wore something that concealed my drains, and walked the halls with confidence and a smile. Though, I felt so unlike myself (short hair, bulky dress, odd body shape). Is that a drain under your shirt or just a potbelly? I looked normal on the outside (and the kids had a great time in their new classes) and yet, as I met all these people, I wondered – should I, could I tell them that I was in the hospital a week ago (the answer is no of course).
After you have survived something as mammoth as this fight, and are enduring recovery from this surgery, you feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. You also want everyone to know without bing told what a badass you are (or at least that’s what I want). The kids keep toasting me at dinner – for no more chemo, no more cancer bugs – but I want to let everyone else I meet know too. Hi, nice to meet you – oh, you are from Chicago? Well I have drains under my shirt because I had a bilateral mastectomy a week ago, What do you think about that?
Our kids are so young, I am also not being honest with them as I had planned or promised- instead of total access, they get redirection and gentle hugs. Emmy wanted to see my boo-boos yesterday and I said no. She was surprised because I’ve been so open, but this is just something I can’t say or show.
Now, the good news is I don’t know too many other recovering mastectomy patients that attended three meet the teacher appointments a week from their surgery – meaning that I think I’m recovering well. I have appointments tomorrow to check in with my surgeon and my oncologist. I believe I will get my drains out and get my radiation scheduled.
Maybe then I will be able to make it into the bed – the past 10 days I have slept in a recliner (a loan from a friend). Suddendly it has started creaking A LOT especially in the morning. Davis thinks it’s because I am starting to get restless, I think it’s because the recliner and I are both interested in parting ways.