I’m ready. So ready. So very, very ready for tomorrow.
So ready, I think I’m scaring people with how okay I am with this surgery. I’ve had a lot of genuine “are you okay’s??” this week. But this? This my friends feels like the victory lap. This is just finishing what we started 108 days ago. But really, what started with a consultation 9 months ago. A decision made 13 months ago. And a positive blood test 61 months ago.
I’m not so crazy to call myself excited for tomorrow, because I’m certainly not excited about going through the anesthesia, the pain, the healing again. But I am really freaking excited for what comes AFTER tomorrow.
Sure, the high-risk breast tissue was all removed on August 6th. My risk has been dramatically decreased and the relief that brings is indescribable. But since then, I’ve been in this awkward limbo period. It was necessary, and I wouldn’t change my relatively easy experience for anything. But I’m ready to be done with this in-between period. These last few weeks have been a bit suffocating, both physically and emotionally. Physically, as I’m so tired of the uncomfortable foreign-ness of these expanders. But I’ve elaborated enough on that I won’t bore you again. Emotionally I’m ready to truly have this all behind me. I planned to write more about Pinktober, but honestly after I got home from the incredible walk, the rest of October I felt like I was suffocating in pink, everywhere I turned there it was. It was weird and unexpected, and it’s hard to explain. I realize it’s caused me to be unintentionally short and “on edge” these past couple weeks, so I’m even more grateful than usual to be surrounded my incredible, caring, understanding people that I’ve surrounded myself with to make it to this point. And for distraction. And the mantra of “this too shall pass.”
I’m ready to make plans that aren’t based around surgery dates. I’m ready to not think about this surgery every time I move wrong and get a whack of expander. I’m ready to be able to work out again. To wear clothes without worrying about the unevenness. To order my dress for the wedding I’m in in April that I haven’t been able to not knowing my final size. To not feeling like my life is on hold whole counting down the days to another surgery. To truly get to enjoy every minute of my new, risk-reduced life.
Suffice to say, I’m ready.
I’m truly feeling the love tonight from all of my families… My incredible blood-related family, my sisters I never had, my work family, my newfound yet brilliantly amazing Bright Pink family. This past year has truly shown me the beauty of people, and I am so very grateful. I’ve read stories about women who have lost friends because of the decisions they’ve made to take ownership of their health, and that leaves me heartbroken to think about. I will never take for granted the fact that not only did the people I already knew and loved rally around me like I couldn’t ever have imagined, but that I’ve had the true joy of meeting so many amazing people along the way. My journey would not be the same without each and every one of you… You know who you are!
So needless to say, I’m in such a good place going into tomorrow. I’ve had a lot of people try to not-awkwardly ask what exactly they’re doing, and I apologize I didn’t explain this before. It’s the “exchange” surgery, dubbed that because my plastic surgeon will literally exchange the rock hard expanders for the permanent implants, using the same incisions. Then there’s just some detail work to make sure everything is in the right position, which may involve some other materials in addition to the Alloderm I already have, or some fat grafting where the transfer some fat from somewhere else on your body to fill in gaps, etc. It’s expected to take about 2 hours or so and is under general anesthesia, but I thankfully get to come home after! No drains, no hospital stay, no more muscle stretching… All the women I’ve talked to that have had it say it’s a complete breeze compared to the first one, and that is such a huge relief! I strategically planned this with Thanksgiving so I can take all of next week off work without missing a whole lot of stuff going on. So I’ll crash with my parents again and hopefully get to enjoy some R&R and fabulous Thanksgiving time along with the recovering!
So that’s the plan! I’ve done my “nesting,” got ahead of everything at work, set up my pillow “throne”… Basically done everything I can think of to prepare. Even went against my usual no-decorating-before-Thanksgiving morals and put up my tree and lights at home and work since that kind of reaching is probably not the best idea next week and I don’t want to miss out on the magic of the season!
I have such peace and am so grateful the day is almost here. I’ll be sure to update soon, and once again want to thank you all for the good thoughts, prayers, and juju – I’m truly forever grateful. See you on “the other side” (for reals this time!)