I am sorry that I have not posted in quite a while. I decided to go back to work full time 12 days post op December 16, 2015 (bilateral nipple/skin sparing mastectomy). I got so many different looks and questions. Most of those looks and question were out of worry. I am fortunate to have people care enough to tell me that I am crazy for coming back to work so quickly after my surgery. I bust my ass at work to get things done in a timely manner and take care of my patients, but it is different work than working at home. Scrubbing the floors, doing laundry, making the bed, vacuuming the carpets…that is what I would want to be doing if I was at home (but I am the lucky girl whose husband does a lot of those chores). It felt right to be at work, with my peeps and my patients.
I have found it hard to find tops that are not too low cut. All of my shirts are low cut because my cleavage was the distraction point from my other flaws, but now I look a bit different. I am uncomfortable with myself in certain clothes. It’s that awkward moment when you get to work and realize that your “boobs” are a little lopsided and while you think you are alone in your office, there was a man painting the office across the hall from you and watched the whole adjustment of your boob pillows. I was not embarrassed but I could see how awkward he felt.
I have this weird feeling of having to explain myself to everyone. I am not sure why I “vomit an explanation” or have “diarrhea of the mouth” to people. It is probably the insecurity of knowing under my clothes I am flat chested and breastless while I am patiently waiting to get my tissue expanders placed. So I apologize to anyone that runs into me and compliments on my outfit or my hair and I make an inappropriate joke about my boob pillows or about not having boobs. Humor is the best medicine for me. Just go with it…
I had a follow up with Dr. Scott on 1/14/2016 and he was impressed with how well I am healing. He is wanting the tissue to fully heal into the muscle and then he will be more comfortable placing the expanders and start stretching the tissues. I think I am more nervous for this surgery than I was for the mastectomy. I am nervous for the unknown. I follow up with him again on February 8, 2016 and am tentatively scheduled for March 22, 2016 to have the tissue expanders placed.
This whole process has been a whole process for my whole family. I kept my boys from seeing it for about a month because it was a bit scary looking (the skin reacted like it had been burned, 3rd degree burn) so I didn’t want to scar them forever. Just recently Lucas (5yo) saw me get out of the shower and he said, “oh its not that bad mama, I love you anyways.” I have found through this experience, that the people that love you don’t care if you have boobs, or how perfect your boobs are, just as long as you are healthy and alongside them living life, making memories and helping the future people that may have to endure a similar experience. I hope that I have helped someone, not only my family but also strangers.
If you work in the medical field you would hear “the black cloud of health care workers.” No question that day December 4, 2015, the cloud was there in the operating room. Whatever happened in there happened for a reason. I am lucky that I am not going to need to have a skin graft or another surgery to remove necrotic tissue, I just have to wait a little longer than normal to let my body do the healing. The body is amazing, it blows my mind on the things it does. So to wrap this entry up, look at the bright side of the dark cloud. I could have had to go through chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery with complications. I caught it before the word cancer came into my vocabulary. Thank Goodness for that!
More to come regarding new news…stay tuned!