Want to see how awesome I look? Well, okay.
I saw my plastic surgeon last Tuesday for him to check my stitches and all that, and I do not know why it didn't occur to me to have him deflate my right side. They can take out or put in fluid whenever they want, and it doesn't hurt at all. I just had other questions written down and other things on my mind. I do see him Tuesday again to get my stitches out, so I'll have him deflate me quite a bit then. So that I'm "matching." A little.
It's been a really emotional week and a half or so. More than I thought it would be. I guess I just...had this plan. This was one of the last hurdles. And then it got all messed up. For eight months, the story was, "First, mastectomy. Then chemo. Then radiation. Then boobs. Then herceptin. Then done." And like I told you before, I've been in limbo for so long. I'm so sick of feeling crappy. I'm so sick of being homebound so much. Bedbound. It's just not my thing. I'm a get-outside girl. Big time. A go-do-fun-stuff girl. I think a lot of the mental battle of the past 8 months has been trying not to be depressed by being stuck indoors so much, and limited in my physical activities.
And yeah, you can see from the picture that I've lost some weight. When I'm in pain, I don't have an appetite. I really do try to pay attention and eat three meals a day, though. I just...don't eat as much. Because of the no appetite thing. And I try to eat healthy. Mainly. Wink. I don't know. I didn't set out to lose weight, and I don't know how much I've lost, but it's kind of a happy consequence of feeling gross.
Ya know, the hospital where I got my radiation is so fun, because they give you free acupuncture, raiki healing, and massage clear until two months after radiation is finished. I love all three of them so. dang. much. It's just time to quiet my mind and be pampered. It's fantastic. So I went in on Tuesday, and the acupuncturist is like, "So, do you have any pain? What can I help you with?" And I just started bawling. I explained that I wasn't in any more physical pain, but in some emotional pain. And I told her my feelings about this tissue expander having been rejected and everything. So she nodded and had me lie down on the gurney thing (my mom and I always joke about me finding "Joy in the Gurney" - makes me laugh every time), and she did some of the usual places with her little needle thingeys - near my toes, by my ankles, by my knees, my wrists, etc. etc. But this time, she put needles right on my calf muscles. Do our calf muscles control our emotions? Who knows. Whatever. But dang, those needles really hurt. Usually they really don't hurt. But I'm telling you what, after an hour of gurney time, I felt like a new woman. I don't know. It's interesting. I like eastern medicine. And need western medicine. ;)
Okay, so I've misinformed you, unintentionally. I clarified things with the plastic surgeon on Tuesday. I blame the pain meds. Which I've been off of for several days. Woot!
So here are my two options:
1. Wait a year. At the very least. Then try a tissue expander in my left side again. There is some risk that my body will reject it again. After it's expanded, we do a smaller surgery - deflate the expanders on both sides, slide them out via a small slit, slide in the fakeys, sew up the slit. Badda-bing, badda boom. There is also a risk with fakeys - sometimes you have to get them replaced. My sister, though, who's a nurse anesthetist, says they're so great nowadays that I may never, ever have to get them replaced. I like the sound of that.
2. As early as July, I can do this tummy tuck thing. It's called a DIUP Flap. And no, the skin doesn't cover fakies like a blanket. They actually harvest your skin and your fat AND your blood vessels. And they put them on your chest and make boobs out of it. Isn't that crazy?? And it's intense. I mean, not only are you doing a tummy tuck, (And those are way more intense than they sound. They have to, like, cut your belly button out before everything, and then make a new hole in the skin they pull down and sew and put the belly button back. It's seriously really gross.) but they're doing microvascular surgery. Like, using microscopes to sew your blood vessels into your chest and stuff. I mean, it's insane.
I could do the flap thing in three months. Or a year. Or two. Or whatever. Recovery time is pretty long. Even the hospital stay itself is SEVEN DAYS. That is intense. I've heard glowing reports from the flap, but I've heard that it's a hard recovery. And after my hysterectomy two years ago, from which I still have major PTSD, I'm not anxious to do something intense again. It's a one to two month recovery, but women are pleased afterwards. There are risks to this one, as well. Your body could still reject your tummy stuff, even though it's your own body and everything.
As I've thought about it and prayed about it and researched it, I don't know. The DIUP thing makes me intensely uncomfortable. I mean, I've been through hell this past year. I just want to recover. I want to be happy. I want to have the most fun summer ever. I am dying to get to teaching ballet. I want to feel the sun on my face and live life and have vigor and feel good.
So I'm thinking I'll go boobless for a year, and then we'll try this tissue expander/fakies thing again. Or maybe I'll wait two years! Who knows? At this point, I don't give a rat's arse about having no boobs whatsoever. I mean, eventually, sure. I'd like to look like a woman again. But my first priority right now is being happy and healthy again. If people stare at my weird chestedness, I don't care. I really, truly don't. These are my battle wounds. I'm actually almost proud of them. Look at what I survived!!
So for now, I'm going to have him deflate my right boob down to maybe a really small size a or whatever. We can always reinflate/restretch in a year. Chances of my right side being rejected are very small. It hasn't been radiated so badly. So we'll deflate it to the point that it looks alright and not like some weird sock hanging down.
And then I'll just be happy.
Being a determined type 3, I have already made a new plan. I obviously want to teach ballet again. As soon as possible. But I can't be the type of teacher that teaches from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. every day. My kids need me more than that. It's just how they are. They struggle in lots of ways, and they need me. Sometimes my hubber doesn't get home until 7 at night. I'm not going to leave them alone that long. It's just not a good idea. They fight too much. Popcorn gets spilled all over the floor. Chocolate milk gets spilled on the walls. (These are true examples I'm using here.) Gage has occupational and speech therapy. The kids need encouragement and help with their homework. My number one job is mommy. But I do have to get out of the house sometimes. So I'm thinking I can teach a couple of classes a week. At night, after homework is done and my husband is here.
But then!! Gage will be a kindergartener, right? I think I want to get certified to teach barre classes, which will be a cinch for me, since I danced for so long. They have a couple of barre studios in town. And I want to teach barre while Gage is in school!! I've heard barre teachers make pretty good money. And it sounds like a ton of fun. I'd love to teach adults.
There's this program I'm starting next week where personal trainers help cancer victims work out during their recovery. The hours are donated by the trainers and teachers. I wouldn't mind teaching ballet for free once a week for people who have gone through what I've gone through. If they want. Very unintense, of course.
So this is my new plan. To be happy. To embrace life. To go explore all of these lakes and hills around here with my kids. To get a garden plot at this free community garden. Grow veggies with my kiddos. Feel the sun on our very well sunscreened, covered, and hatted bodies. :) Let Heavenly Father heal me. Dance again. That feels right for me.