i find myself looking ahead to exchange surgery. i am also fearful. not of the surgery, but of not liking the final outcome. i have known at least 3 women who have had their exchange and been very unsatisfied.
i want to make sure that i communicate to the p.s. that i am really happy with the look and projection of my expanders now. i don't mind that they look a bit fake. well...a bit...i do want to get a bit more naturalness to them, but i think that will happen with the over-expansion.
i experienced quite a bit of discomfort and pain from the last expansion. it lasted about a week and a half and i coped with the pain by just dealing with it during the day. at night i needed to take a perc/oxy to help me sleep comfortably. i am mostly pain free now and haven't needed anything for pain since last wednesday.
i just realized yesterday, i am almost 4 months post-op. i was remarking to my surgery buddy - megan, that it feels like it was forever ago, and at other times it feels like it was just yesterday. it is all very surreal. i still don't think my mind has fully comprehended what it has gone through both physically and emotionally. i do find however, that i am better able to articulate my experience and what i was going through pre-surgery better, now that i do not feel that my life is threatened anymore.
i can also relate with another blogger's feelings about how we blame ourselves for the ordeals of going through surgery, complications, and pain. there is a guilt i feel when i had the collapsed lung and c-diff, that it was my fault, because "i chose" the surgery. but then i have to gently remind myself, that i didn't have any other option because at any moment cancer could chose me and i would have to do the surgery anyways with most likely not optimal results.
and that leads me to another bizarre thought pattern. i feel guilty that my reconstruction is fantastic. i am deeply grateful and my biggest fear going into this was my body would react in a negative way and reject the expanders or implants. (this is still a possibility). i feel it is not fair to the women that do not get a say in their choice of reconstruction because they have been diagnosed with cancer and end up not having the luxury of having the type of reconstruction i have had - that being the nipple sparing mastectomy with minimal scarring.
i would be interested in hearing feedback from other women who have had reconstruction about your thoughts on this. do you feel guilty over having a choice on your reconstruction? or, do you feel anger or jealously over someone else's reconstruction because you either had a poor outcome or no say in they type of reconstruction you were offered? or, do you have mixed feelings because you have been diagnosed with cancer, and didn't get to choose?
i haven't left a list of can and can't do since my last fill so here goes:
- swim, although not as strongly as last "can do" list - i've lost a bit of my strength
- pick up children - although it was difficult after the last fill for the first week and a half
- i can still sleep on my sides...albeit it is starting to get a little bit uncomfortable with the increase in size
- sleep on my stomach. i tried this morning but it was completely uncomfortable and unnatural
- hug very hard. my chest is getting really tight and it is uncomfortable to have that much pressure on my chest
- *tear - i can't get completely cozy with the little kids i babysit when cuddling with them. i have to be very careful that they don't jump on me when they are excited. they are so cute! even though they are so young, they know how to be respectful and understand that they need to be careful with me.
- wear tight clothing. it feels so restricting and causes my skin to ache and feel an itchy kind of pain. this means i don't wear bras anymore, and it also means i have grown out of most of my tops; thus i need to go shopping.
- ***edit: added sunday august 15*** - handle stress or life's curve balls with out becoming a complete sobbing or shaking mess. being in a constant state of underlying pain takes it's toll on the emotions and anything has been able to trigger me...even minor incidents like watching the news.
so far, i have gone 1 week with out 'pooing my hair. instead, i have been washing with 1 Tbsp of baking soda to 1 cup of water, and "conditioning" it with 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of water. so far, so good. if you are interested in this, there is a wealth of information about no 'pooing on the internet and many people have made the change. check it out!
i will take pics of my hair at some point to show you that it can still look fabulous!