the girls are gone…

The surgery is over. I’m home recuperating.  I said goodbye to my breasts on Wednesday. That is something no woman should ever have to do.

When I was a little girl, I didn’t give them a thought.  From the waist up I looked just like my brothers.  Things began to change for most girls, and I remember one day, while changing for athletics, a girl who was in need of a bra already proudly announcing next year we will all have to wear bras.  I didn’t exactly need a bra, but I began wearing one in fifth grade anyway.  I had no breasts.  At least the bra was slightly padded.  I suppose that could have been considered my first push up.

 

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about 5th grade

 

By the time high school rolled around I still was flat chested.  This was a source of frustration for me.  I joked that my people came from the high plains.  I consoled by self with the thought, at least I have a bootie and long legs.  Trust when I say I didn’t dwell on flat-chestedness much.  I wore my A cups proudly.  In college, I fell in love with my kids Dad and I remember feeling so beautiful on our wedding day.  Boobs or no boobs.

 

 

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fat girl boobs

 

You know the purpose of our breast is to feed our young.  Every other person has a set and honestly, there are men with breast as well.  The frustration I once felt over being small chested dissipated when I gave birth to my first child.  Overnight it seemed I went from the high plains to a D cup.  One of the best experiences of my life was being able to breast feed my children.  It was the one thing I could do for them that no one else could.  I cherish the memories of cradling my babes close to me while they nursed.  I made it fourteen months breastfeeding with each of my kids.  My breast had served a much greater purpose than filling out a bikini top.

I held on to some of the baby weight after my second child and as a result, I kept some breast tissue too.  At my heaviest weight, I wore a D cup.  Finally… I had cleavage.  I had a big butt and belly too.  I suppose you could say I was proportionate.  Butt, boobs, and belly. In 2014 I had gastric sleeve surgery to better my health.  Of course, I lost a lot of weight, 90 pounds.  I feel great. I went from a D to a C cup.  No biggie, I finally liked my breast. We I thought had finally made peace with each other.  Not too big, not to small and still kinda perky even after children.  Well done ladies.Then came the mammograms, biopsy, and diagnosis. My girls had betrayed me.  Damn it. Not cool trying to kill me, I mean come on.  So now after several years of an up and down relationship had to part ways.  Breasts, I had a party in your honor with some of my girlfriends there to wish you goodbye.  It was a good send off.

 

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gratuitous boob shot

 

I took the bandages away yesterday and saw my chest for the first time last night as I emptied the drains coming out from under my arms.  I cried. It looks like someone else’s body, not mine. Don’t get me, wrong dear friends,  I know how lucky I am.  I thank God for an excellent pathology report.  My surgeon got it all.  I don’t have to do chemo or radiation.  A true blessing.  I’m alive.  Another blessing.  I’ll get fake boobs (foobs).  The thing is I’ll never be the same.  The scars will always be there.  What can I do but go on? It’s not a matter of being strong.  Sometimes we just aren’t given a choice.  I have things to do.  Breast cancer isn’t on my list.  Well, after Wednesday, it really isn’t on my list.

 

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Evening after mastectomies. 

 

Time to recover.

Daisies, Coffee, and Chocolate,

holly

getting ready…

This past week went by quickly, but it also drug by.  I know it doesn’t make sense to me either.  There’s something about the waiting.  You should see my checklist of things I’ve done and of things still to do.  I’m less than a week out from surgery, and I’ve been trying to simplify things as much as possible for me and to help my temporary caregivers out.  Here are a few things I’ve done to prepare for the mastectomies, recovery, and why.

  1. I went to the resale shop and picked up a couple of loose button up men’s shirts.  Pullovers will be difficult to manage since I won’t be able to lift my arms much during the initial recovery.  I went with XL shirts to accommodate the bulk of the bandages.  Heck, I went with Oxford blue and pinstriped shirts to keep things classic. I’ll throw on some leggings and be good to go.
  2. Warm fuzzy socks, check.  Hospitals are cold.
  3. A friend gave me her Boppy pillow.  It’s a breastfeeding pillow.  I’ll be using it to rest my arms on while on the couch or propped up in bed.
  4. Since I’ll be sleeping on my back and not on my side, I ordered a pillow wedge.  I understand there is a lot of pressure on your chest.  Using a wedge should help.
  5. All beauty appointments have been taken care of.  No since having roots showing and my toes always must look nice.  I did ditch the color on my fingers, though.  A pulse oximeter has difficulty getting a read when nail polish is present. I got my legs waxed since it will be difficult to shave.
  6. I purchased a wand shower head to make things easier in the bath.  I need to get in installed.
  7. My house is clean, well it’s beyond clean.  Laundry is done but not put up.  Any volunteers to help me fold?
  8. My personal affairs have been put in order. It was different when I was married.  My husband would still be around if I died, but now I’m not taking chances.  No, I don’t think I’m going to die anytime soon.  I do feel better knowing it’s taken care of, though.
  9. The last thing I did was have a Boob Voyage party with my girlfriends on Friday evening.  It was a good night.  I needed some fun. It was a lively dinner with good friends and lots of laughter.

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Have you ever been afraid you forgot something big and major when there’s a big event coming up?  That’s where I’m at right now.  Did I forget something with FMLA? To pay a bill? The list is endless in my mind.  If I had a thought bubble over my head it would contain a big check mark right now or the emoji face that looks disturbingly constipated.  Let’s end on that high note.  You can figure out which emoji I mean. Until next time…

Daisies, coffee, and chocolates,

holly