Like a good portion of bloggers, I'm actually writing this Monday night to auto-post on Tuesday. I've a full plate of things on Tuesday and yet I feel like I need to get this out. Excuse me, because this post is my free form ramble, not a planned and edited post.
Thursday I spent the afternoon inn the doctor's office. I lay on the table while he took out the last stitches. And he examined my left fake nipple, the one that wasn't healing well. He snipped away with scissors, the same scissors that he used to cut out the stitches. He snipped and snipped and talked about the Ren Faire, the dissolvable stitches that were poking through, and about how the nipple would heal much better now.
I remember thinking that it was all going to be ok. He put the bandaid with Neosporin on it over the area and sat me up. He told me I'd be happy with it and the profile would be a bit diminished, but it would be good. He taped up my other scars and told me to keep taping them. Then he took 3 month photos and talked about how he wanted to see me back in the office for the cortisone in the scars to help flatten them.
On his way out he handed me the business card for what he called "the hippie tattoo artist in Uptown" who they refer all patients to. He told me that she would flip to see how my body scars, and that I needed to wait until my left fipple had healed completely.
And I left. I was a bit sore on the left side. Weirdly sore. I can't feel the skin that he was working on, but it's almost as though my body sent signals to my brain that it should hurt, so it did. Much like the phantom pain that I've read about with amputees. So instead of going to a movie/presentation for work, I went home. I relaxed in bed with my reality TV, my dinner and my dog.
Friday I got up and didn't change the bandaid or the tape over my scars, I just showered, dried them all well. I got ready for work, worked all day and came home to relax with my hubby and my puppy.
Saturday I got up, was pretty lazy with my crocheting, my coffee and my pup. Pete had a meeting for the motorcycle club and I had my nephew's birthday party. I really didn't want to go, but I forced myself to get ready and I went. Pete and I got home about the same time and cuddled with the TV until bed.
My point is that I I kind of went through the motions and just did what I needed to do to get by. There are days and weeks in the last few months that have been much like this. Days and weeks that I couldn't tell you what happened, unless I read blog posts or asked Pete about them. Days and weeks where my mind was so occupied that the passing of time is a second.
But Sunday. Sunday I worked around the house, doing 6 loads of laundry, baking a cake, reading some blogs and emails and crocheting. I cleaned a couple of rooms and by 1pm I was tired. I laid down to nap and actually fell asleep easily. Pete and my alarm woke me up to shower for your dinner reservations. I took the previous bandaid off and really looked at my left nipple.
Half of it was gone. No wonder he told me the profile would be different. No wonder he snipped so long. It was cut in half from front to back. I get it. It's just a nipple. But on the flip side. It's my flipping fake nipple after a hard long summer of surgery and recovery. It's days like that where I wonder why. Why me? Why did I do this? Why did I chose now to have surgery? Why can't I heal right for once? Why do I have to keep going through this? Why?
In the scheme of things, it's a nipple. But it's just that it symbolizes so much more for me. I have breasts that are fake that I can't feel that have scars all over them. I have a tummy that has a paunch right above it/above my belly button, but my tummy is flat as Minnesota. I have hips that are bigger and my butt is still the same size as before. I can't flex my abs without wincing and I can't do much with my chest muscles before they ache. It still takes me about 15 minutes of sheer wincing and grimacing and sometimes crying in the morning to stop my muscles from spasmming after laying still all night.
Can't my nipples me the one thing that turned out great? Can't they be the one thing that didn't cause me concern or worry or tears? And then I watch TV and see how the people n the Boston Bombing talk about not letting the bombers make them victims. They talk about persevering and even prospering. And I feel weak and pitful. For today I've let breast cancer and being a previvor be something that I'm not ok with, something that has turned me into a victim. I feel weak and dumb and such a fool. If they can do that in the wake of a horrible tragedy, why I can't I do this when I knew for years in the back of my head that it was coming? Why? Why can't I live above it, through it, each and every day? Why do I cry in the shower and put on a happy face for everyone?
I want to scream and yell and punch cancer in the gut. I want to cry that it's not fair and give it to someone else. I want to throw in the towel, admit defeat and stay in bed for weeks with the blinds down, my dog on ne side of me and Pete on the other. I want to yell and scream and cry and pout and be mad. I try to decide if what I'm going through is normal or I should be seeking meds to help me get through it. I have insomnia issues starting back, just like I did before surgery. My anxiety in public is telling me that everyone knows and they're staring. I'm uncomfortable because I've gained weight and I can't fit in my clothes and I'm worried that I won't get back to where I was. I eat Starburst candy corn like it's my only saving grace.
I'm a mess. This morning I called the doctor's office because with all this, what's left of my left nipple is starting to look like it did before he cut away the skin. It's forming this thick white area between the edge of the skin and the open area. I cried when I told the nurse that I was getting worried that I was going to lose the whole thing soon. I don't want to lose it. I want 2 nipples. I want to look like a damn normal woman again. That's all I want. That's all. Normal. Equal. Even.
So when this posts, I should be back on that table again in that doctor's office. Laying back and wondering what's going to happen. Only this time I'm taking Pete. I need the support and I realize that I don't have to do it all alone. I don't have to suffer in silence. Pete married me in good times and bad and he's really my biggest champion in all this and he wants to be with me. And for that, I will never ever be able to tell him how much he means to me.