August 20, 2021

Last night I started feeling tired of my drains, tired of the heaviness in my chest, tired of sleeping in the recliner. Today I think it’s the emotional toll of this surgery that has been weighing on me. I feel broken in a way I haven’t up until now.

I knew having a bi-lateral mastectomy would be hard. Since the binding the surgeon put on during my surgery is clear, I’ve seen the bruising and swelling, although the dressings hide my incisions. It was startling at first, but not unexpected, and every day it looks a little better. I’m not sure why the sadness has hit me at this point. Maybe it’s that I’ve spent the last couple of weeks mostly sitting around, and the inactivity makes me feel like an invalid. Maybe it’s these stupid drains that I’ve been carrying around in a fanny pack in front of me that I’m constantly aware of. Maybe it’s that my mom (bless her!) has spent all day cleaning my house for us while I’ve sat outside, out of her way.

Or maybe it’s that I haven’t quite accepted the changes that I knew were inevitable. I wish it were quicker. Off with the old, on with the new. But it can’t work that way. It’s coming in stages and requires healing time. As I type this I realize that really is the crux of it for me. I want to be finished, so I can really move on. I don’t like the unknowns that still linger.

The pathology from my surgery showed positive margins which means some cancer cells may have been left behind. If we weren’t going to do radiation already, we would be now. I was told there’s also a chance my oncologist could suggest more chemo. I hope not. Next week I see him as well as the radiation oncologist. I also see both surgeons again. By Wednesday, I’ll know the next steps.

Still, I’m thankful today that I’m on the mend. That I had such great help from my mom and sister the last couple of weeks. That I’ll have answers early next week. And I’m grateful that my days feeling broken are few and quickly over.

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