Are You Ready For Your Healing?
Day 4 of being at home my doctor calls to tell me that they have gotten all of the cancer and there were no traces found in my lymph nodes. Whaaaaat? I mean this is awesome news but are you kidding me? It was like, God said, “You’re in trouble, young lady,” and then 5 minutes later he was like, “Just kiddinnnng.”
God, you play too much.
You guys think I’m exaggerating? Let me break down this timeline for you…
June 29, 2017 - Diagnosed with breast cancer
August 24, 2017 - Bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction
August 29, 2017 - Doctor calls to notify me that my pathology report shows no cancer can be found.
Does anyone else see what a total mind fuck this is?
Anyway, 6 weeks at home. I mean I don’t really need this much time at home,but I’m certainly enjoying every minute of not being at work. EVERY minute. You hear me?
For the doctors I’m being forced to stay home for my physical healing, but for me it’s more about starting my mental healing. I’ve ripped myself apart so much over the last several weeks. Finally, the boobs that were trying to kill me are gone and I’m ready to move forward. Being physically healed is cool but I know that mental healing is what is going to get me through the rest of the journey. Healing is the easy part. It’s my mental endurance that I’m worried about. THAT is what I am most afraid of. Will I be strong enough for the rest of this? We’ll see.
This physical healing though, so far so good. I mean, there is some semblance of cleavage. Heeeeeey. (shimmies) I mean I’ve even taken a few screenshots of said “cleavage” to “show off” a little.
The first week at home is flying by. My mom has been with me and her favorite (only) son in law. We’ve got a routine. I wake up. Mom and I have coffee and a slice of banana bread and then we veg out on the couch the rest of the day. The news, Dr. Oz, The “Stories” ie soap operas, followed by every annoying Lifetime movie you can think of. Midday we each have a glass of wine. For her, a glass of chardonnay and a glass of my favorite Cabernet for me. I’ve been an adult for a very long time but this is different. Our relationship has changed. It’s nice having her here. She’s still so bossy though. She is mommin’ the shit out of me, but unlike when I was younger, it actually makes me feel so loved. Mom stays with us and looks after me for a week and then it’s back to California. I can’t remember the last time I allowed myself to just give in and be my mom’s little girl again. We needed this time together. I am so glad that she came.
It’s back to MJ and I. He thought he was just going to take off 2 weeks and then head back to work. Sheeeeeeeeeit. Where you goin’? How is that enough time? I’m slightly (read: very) obsessed with him so 2 weeks is not going to cut it. Whaaaat??? We’re newlyweds. I let him know this before I even go under the knife. Better up it to 4 weeks, bro. 4 weeks of he and I at home. Ahhhhh. Yessss. Me driving him batshit crazy with my antics and him helping me in more ways than he realizes. More than needing his help physically I need him to help me mentally. He always encourages, supports and lifts my spirits. And he makes me laugh until I cry and that is what I need right now. THAT is the best medicine.
Speaking of medicine, I think they switched my Oxycodone with placebo. Lowest dose? Whatever the case, that shit is doing nada for the pain. NA-DA. I start taking Oxy and Tylenol Extra Strength at the same damn time. Call Intervention! Call em’! DO IT! I’ll wait.
And someone remind me to tell my doctors that this shit doesn’t work! I need something strong next time! Luckily, the pain only lasts the first week.
I feel fine. I’m doing fine. Really. I mean I’m not out here trying to do jumping jacks or anything but I can definitely open a cabinet and reach for a glass. Kinda.
Sleeping has been uncomfortable. I have to sleep on my back the first week or so. Booooo. I’m a side sleeper. But these drains. Well, they’re coming out of my sides and I’m more accident prone than a nerd in a RomCom. Just imagine me tugging too hard on it and then blood spewing out everywhere. Ahhhhh!!! Plug the hole!!!
Showering is only tricky the first night at home. I literally don’t know what to do. How do I hold the drains and wash myself at the same time? Can I just let them dangle at my sides or will they slip out? What’s holding them in place? How deep are they inside me? Eh. Better not risk it.
Honeeeeeey! Can you stand outside the shower and hold the drains while I bathe? Perrrrfect.
By day 2 I have a plan in place. As much as I like being waited on hand and foot, I am equal parts Princess and (cues Boosie) I-N-D-E-P-E-D-E-N-T. I basically throw the drains over my shoulders and sometimes just let them hang at my sides making sure to be extra careful. They basically reach my knees.
When MJ isn’t draining the liquid from my drains (ew) or making sure I’m taking my meds on schedule, he is letting me take my pick of Netflix shows to binge. Ozarks ends up being a favorite.
And ever since the bug has been put in our ear to keep my body in an alkaline state, MJ has been buying me Fiji water by the truckload. Oh is this what we’re doing now? Because I was just guzzling $3 cases of Kirkland water from Costco but now that I might be dying, it’s only the finest water for wifey if that means keeping me alive. Thanks hun.
We bougie now! Sorry.
My surgeon has ordered an In Home Nurse to stop by every few days to check on me. First Fiji water, now a nurse that comes to me? Now I’m extra bougie. My nurses name is Elizabeth and she is the sweetest. She has silky smooth, dark brown skin, with a short natural haircut and the most innocent, sweet smile that makes me want to make her a friendship bracelet. But really, can we be friends after this? Here I go with my clingy, only child ways.
I’m still trying to get rid of that cold that I caught prior to my surgery and Elizabeth gives me a very gentle tongue lashing about keeping my cold a secret so that it didn’t delay my surgery. I laugh and shrug my shoulders.
Elizabeth changes the dressings on my bandages during each visit, takes my temperature and blood pressure and shows me enough TLC that makes me wish she could stay longer.
September 4th rolls around. It’s.My. First.Wedding.Anniversary. Oh wonderful this is exactly how I wanted to greet my husband on our first wedding anniversary. Empanada titties, wrapped up in a surgical bra, wrapped in a breast binder with a side of blood filled drains. Can't get any hotter than that!
MJ is as sweet as he wants to be all day. I’ve made us dinner reservations in the city later that evening. Breast Cancer was not going to stop a damn thing. We drink champagne and eat our saved wedding cake until its time to get ready for dinner.
MJ has to literally help me get dressed and carefully pin my drains to the inside of my dress so they are not visible. Bless this man of mine. He takes care of me with ease and patience and each time I lay there as he helps me with something else I want to burst into tears in awe of it all. There are so many times that I want to run and hide because I feel so ashamed. I feel like part of my womanhood has been taken from me and even though he has seen my naked body and all of my scars, each times feels like the first time. And each time I worry that it may be too much and he will throw his hands up and walk away from me. But of course he doesn’t. He helps me get dress, puts on a suit and we hop in the car and head to a night of fun in DC. We start our evening on the rooftop of the Watergate Hotel where we sip cocktails and watch the sunset over the Potomac. Later, we head to a candlelit dinner, feast on a delicious steak and imbibe far too many glasses of red wine and delicious cocktails.
Tonight proves now, more than ever that we are in this together. Cheers to an unexpected, roller coaster of our first year of marriage. Life isn’t perfect but we sure have been doing a whole helluva lot with these lemons. This year has shown us that there is not one mountain that we cannot climb or one obstacle that we cannot conquer TOGETHER. Happy 1st Anniversary to us! Now let’s continue walking through this amazing life together.