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Oct 25, 2019 11:43PM
Oct 26, 2019 12:24AM
I am 43 years old and 4 weeks out from having my bilateral mastectomy. The stress of making a decision whether or not to reconstruct immediatly was difficult for me. I chose not to reconstruct, and feel very happy with my decision. I do believe that every woman should be offered the choice. I visited with the plastic surgeon to explore my options and am thankful that I was given honest information about the procedure, it's risks and details. Reconstructed implants are not as easy as cosmetic implants which I had for 20 years before diagnosis. Healing takes much longer. You can always wait to reconstruct. Don't let anyone rush you. Think about what's easiest for you -not the plastic surgeon. My choice to go flat was stressful at first, but now I feel so free, it's good to have nothing foreign in my chest, and I'm healing quickly.
I am fortunate to have a husband at home, but many dear friends offered help. Let everyone help you!
Reaching is still a work in progress and I cannot lift over 10 lbs yet but I was up and walking about the house the next 2 days doing dishes. I sent my youngest son (8yrs) to a girlfriends house for a weekend sleep over so that I had quiet time right after surgery. You will need someone with you for 48 hrs. You will need help getting dressed. The drains are hellacious but necessary. As soon as they come out you will feel immensely better! I started going on slow walks around the neighborhood 3 days after surgery. I had a few heart pillows with ribbons and tied them from my neck. It felt good to hold it over the chest. You will need a lot of pillows. After diagnosis I began meditating to calm my mind. It also helped with the pain after surgery.
Bills can wait! Don't even look at them untill your drains are out.
Meals ( smoothies- casseroles) can be prepared in advance and frozen. Something I craved after surgery was Chia pudding. Eat a lot to regrow your tissues. Get protien and iron. Hydrate constantly and eat tons of fiber.
My feeling is coming back and I've been doing gentle stretching and soft massaging on my arms. They are almost back to normal.
Find a local support group - most hospitals have one- and utilize the help there. It can be a great resource.
My breast suregon was a woman and she gave me clean lines with a smooth tight surface. Although I was pretty confident about going flat- she cut under the scoop of my breasts so as to leave me the option of hidden scars for future reconstruction if I should change my mind. I do appreciate that although I'm happy with the current result.
I do not want any more surgeries if it can be helped and cutting into my chest every 10 years to replace bags is no longer a commitment that I'm willing to make.
I work in an image driven career and everyone else was so concerned about my choice to go flat. Well, I've have had no trouble at all with stylish clothing. Runway fashion has always been designed for flat chested models and there are plenty of options out there! Off shoulder, backless, deep cut v neck- jackets- scarves etc. Now that I've had the surgery, those same people tell me that I look beautiful as always and still "look like yourself". Damn straight!
My loved ones supported my choice- as they should- My youngest- 8 yrs- got all the " soft hugs" that he could beforehand and twice as many flat hugs now. He's happy to have mom acting normal again.
My breasts do not define me as a woman. I am still the vivacious, feminine, sexy, confident and cheerful woman that I always was- except now I don't own any bras and I love it!
I wish you the best for a calm and peaceful mind, and will send healing thoughts your way as you journey through this path. You are not alone and there are so many survivors in this experience with you!
The important thing is that we are alive- and have been granted more time to make precious golden memories. The cancer chapter is only one in the book of life and there are many others to follow with laughter and beauty.