Ain't this some sh*t?
“I’ve gotta figure out how to wipe my ass.”
“What?” my friend Kameron responds to my google chat.
“Yeah, supposedly after the surgery it’s going to be really difficult to reach back there,” I respond.
Kameron is Mrs. Problem Solver. The Fixin’ist person there is. There is not one problem that girl cannot solve. Hell, she might be able to find a way for me to “Save the tata’s” if I press her enough. But right now I need to figure out how to wipe my own ass after the surgery and SHE is the person to help me figure it out.
I’ve spoken to a Breast Cancer survivor who has just beat cancer less than a year before me. She explains everything that I will go through step by step for each part of my journey. We are now at the portion where we are gearing up to say R.I.P. to my breast-es-esses. In our conversation, she goes over EVERYTHING. I have a million +1 questions for her. This is a legit interview. Not sure why I’m doing this to myself, it’s only making me more scared. She gives me an idea of what to expect for recovery time, post surgery hacks, and then gets to the part about some people not being able to wipe their asses after the surgery. She then goes on about how some have to call on people to step...uhh lean in to help. (What in the Tyrannosaurus Rex arms were they born with?!) Was this surgery going to be that difficult? The doctors haven’t said a word about not being able to wipe your my ass. I don’t care if Edward Scissor Hands himself performs the surgery and accidentally chops my arms off, I will not be asking my husband to wipe my ass!
Over my dead body. I refuse. I mean, MJ is already going to have to help change my bandages, measure and empty my drains, feed me, (refill my wine), and who knows what else, and I’m supposed to ask him to wipe my ass too?! Nah. Wiping my ass is not going to be on his To Do list. Let me keep at least an ounce of dignity. My God.
Kam sends me a link. “Boom. Ordered it on (Amazon) Prime. Coming to your house on Wednesday.”
Uhhhh…this is um... resourceful? What is this exactly? Tongs for your ass? Oh, wait, a back scratcher for your ass? All I’m picturing is the wad of toilet paper falling out and the plastic handle going up my bum. Yeaaaah. We’ll just leave this booty wand as a backup, backup.
I have a checklist of things to do before the surgery. Making sure my FMLA paperwork is squared away with work. My doctor has demanded that I stay home for SIX weeks. (6 glorious weeks of freedom, I mean healing.) I need to find just the right clothes to wear for 6 weeks. There will be bandages and drains for the first week or so. I need to find long nightshirts and tops that button down the front. These drains would need to be pinned to the side and allow me to change bandages and empty drains with ease. Hmmm...does Victoria Secret have sexy, night clothes for women who have undergone a double mastectomy? (There’s an idea) Probably not. No, definitely not. Sorry MJ.
Can’t forget about snacks + food for myself, MJ and my mom. Mmmmm...a cheese board, with my favorite fig jam, my favorite fig & olive crisps, and some (nitrate/nitrite free - because Cancer) salami and soppressata.
(Mmmmm. I love a good, bougie snack.)
My mother is coming for a week and we know she loves her Chardonnay. I’ll need a bottle of red on hand for myself. I mean, I need something to help me deal with my sawed off titties. My mother will have just arrived from California and is going to mother my ass to death. I already know it. I’m about to be in for a week of “What time do the stories come on out here?” “Are you using your Clarisonic?” And, “Stop walking around the house without slippers on your feet before you catch a cold.” Ma’am, it is August, and ummm I thought we were supposed to be focused on my breasts?
But to be honest there is a lot of mental preparation taking place. A LOT. Preparation in the way of me looking at my breasts in the mirror at every opportunity, trying to permanently tattoo the memory of them in my mind. I’ve even photographed them a few times. No, they aren’t works of art but they are a special part of a woman’s anatomy. So everyone can knock it off with all the RA-RA about boobs not making the woman. Ok? At least I’ve still got my legs. Those bad boys need to be insured. They are killer.
Who knows what this second set of knockers will look like. My born again titties. Ha. I keep looking at photos of other survivors trying to convince myself that I’ll be happy with my new tata’s. Many of them wear their scars with pride. I keep trying to imagine what my new set will feel like and if I will rock these rocks...uh boobs, with the same confidence. Some survivor’s new breasts are adorned with bright colored, very elaborate, tattoos of flowers and such or 3D nipple tattoos OR nothing at all. But these are all white women. What are the black women doing? I know they’re not tattooing flowers and shit on as nipples. I’ll take a 3D nipple please. I don’t need a garden of Lilies, Gardenias and Daffodil’s tatted across my chest.
If I’m being honest I’m worried about what my husband will think more than anything or anyone else. This constant fear of losing his love and acceptance because -- daddy issues -- is what really has me worried. Would this cause me to lose him? No matter what evidence has been shown of his unwavering love for me, could THIS be the point where all of that goes to shit? Ah, I can’t allow this be an additional weight over me. I just have to believe that he will love every part of me through all of this.
Between wrapping up my IVF and starting preparations for the surgery, I squeeze a lot in. A group of my best friends and I throw one of our best friends a baby shower. Christmas in July pops off -- one of the best birthdays ever, also a group bowling outing, and lots and lots of crab-eating on the water in Annapolis (me and MJ’s favorite summer activity). I am filled with an abundance of love and support. So much that I could swim in. No one is going to let me fall. It felt so good to know that.
We are down to a week away from surgery. I’m cleaning the house, packing my bag for my overnight stay in the hospital, getting my “Netflix and Chill” guide ready for my 6 week stay-cation, and just constantly praying to God to help me make it through this.
Oh and I’ve solved one major problem.
“Honey!!!!” I scream up to MJ as I run up the stairs in his direction with a box from Amazon in tow.
“The bidet is here! Install it please?!” I say holding a box from Amazon Prime in my hands with a huge grin on my face.
I’ll be damned if I stick some tissue between some tongs and wipe my ass with it. I’ll pass.