Well we meet again.. scars, pain, drains, emotions and tears and more tears

9 months  since the initial surgery, some days it seems like it was yesterday and some seem like it was another lifetime ago. My life has resumed the normal routines and monotony of daily life from the outside looking in, from the inside looking in, it’s been a difficult trek with unsteady terrains and my mountain has become even taller. 

Unfortunately the physical pain did not subside and the above paragraph said 6 months and I left it unattended because quite honestly I was exhausted dealing with this and was hoping it was my ending to this physical healing part but it’s not. My implants settled nicely and I was excited, around June I noticed that would come home and just ache, and then the aches would last all day, and then the only time I got relief was if I was wearing a sports bra.. hold on, I had the luxury of not having to wear a bra what the hell! I just prayed and let it go. I then started to notice that the implants were shifting into my armpits, yes I know natural breasts do this but again I am supposed to have nice perky stable breasts.  I also had a lot  of ripplin, it  got to the point to where I had no cleavage at all, I could stick my whole hand parallel between the implants, not cool. And did I mention the pain? I didn’t sign up for this! (But who really does “sign” up ) Honestly even thou I was disappointed with the look if it wasn’t for the actual pain I would have just left alone. 

I went to the PS and he said that I needed a pocket revision(common)  and some more fat grafting but kinda dismissed the pain, I felt like an idiot. So let me backtrack to my feelings these last 6 months. People are mean. Women are brutal.We as a species should be ashamed.I have been accused of doing all this for “attention” and that it was all “fake” and many of other judgments. I don’t care really but yes I have feelings so maybe I do care?!  If you are someone reading this that may be facing this journey, you will lose support as this goes on. I don’t blame anyone in particular, it’s human nature, we get busy, we don’t want to take the time.  It just is hurtful that the help, the gestures of kindness, the respect, the support all fade away almost as if no one cares to hear anymore, because this is a process!  This surgery that I had last week has been my most painful so far and didn’t even have some of my own family check on me.. I just got my feelings hurt but again this is raw emotion and it’s my own fault for not reaching out or asking. I know I have plenty of people that love me. It’s just the notion  that people have that I have done this before I can manage, I can’t. I still need help, my family needs help and I am in pain. 

Ok.. So with the need for surgery again, I bawled.. I have to start all over. I have to take off work, recover, learn to do things again. I dreaded telling people because I kinda feel like an old book that people have no interest in no longer. The pain.. is this my life? Am I always going to feel this way? Friday before surgery my PS calls me and said “Kathy, I have thought about you all week. We need to take a new approach and swap the implants with a completely different kind, manufacturer and size.” I had to pull over from wrecking I was distraught. What if this doesn’t work? What have I done? If I get an infection or my body rejects these then I am a 36 year old with nothing. I am not a vain person in the least, I am however, a woman. 

We decide to go with what is called gummy bear implants, it’s a textured implant so will be easier to adhere to my skin and not shift, the downside they are a lot firmer than the silicone. At this point whatever to get rid of the pain. Hopefully this does the trick because If not I am not left with many options. If you are going thru this, I wrote to be honest not to scare. In the big scheme of things, I am suffering a year of my life that I hope to be 50-60yrs more. I can do this, you can do this! 

I went in September 14th for the swap and fat graphing(so painful!) it was a 10 hour surgery! I went home that night as well! The dr did say he could definitely see why I was in pain (so glad to have some validity) scar tissue was so bad and the implant wasn’t adhering to the muscle and some of the muscle was exposed. My implants are under the muscle. 

I have all these little stitches (20) from the fat graphing 
My stomach from the fat graphing (hurts like hell, I can’t sit up) 

He didn’t open my old incision instead added so I literally have a scar all the way across 😦 and definitely feel like Frankenstein

The day before my surgery amazing how much your body can endure and change but your smile stays the same!

Much bruising all over and I did end up with 2 drains. The short end is it’s painful, there is nothing vain about it. I want to save my life and no one said it would be a walk in the park and it’s not but soon and soon is the million dollar question on what that means but this will be behind me one day just not today! 

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Our scars may not ever fade but the beauty of lace and a smile will always be present… preparing for exchange surgery 

I have kept my favorite bra hung up in my bathroom as a reminder that what I am going through although is life changing but also temporary. I am one day closer to being able to wear a normal bra, to be able to feel my sense of intimacy, my sense of just being a woman.(I love my lace) But I have learned more than ever that this In no way defines who I am. The last 14 weeks have been the most dark days of my life. I wanted to give up, I regretted my decision more than once, I have endured constant pain, I have had complications but just when I thought I couldn’t make another day I would remind myself why I made the decision I did.. my girls, so with that I conquered and waded through the rough cold waters. Prayer was the most important thing in my journey, again the power of prayer is memorizing. I am not the only person to do this and anyone who is facing this, you will find your inner strength and get through it! 

In 2 weeks I will undergo my exchange surgery, for those that don’t realize what that is, it’s to swap out my expanders and insert the real implants. The expanders don’t resemble natural breast at all, the purpose is to create a pocket for the implant while stretching the pectoral muscle and man has it! Muscle stretching pain is no joke! The implants are surprisingly very similar to natural breasts, they are so soft and round. There are a million different kinds to choose from and I relied on my plastic surgeon to help me, we chose Natrelle inspria high rounds. So yes they will be perky and any women especially those with kids, you can feel my excitement! But again if I had my choice I would have never had to make this decision and lose my breasts. Since this was reconstruction and not cosmetic they will not be perfect, I will have some imperfections and again the scars 😪 I am learning to look past them but it’s hard. The way the surgeon made the incisions (slanted not straight across) will help hide in a bra or swimsuit top. 

Surgery is outpatient, will have drains again and swelling for about 3-4 weeks as the settle. I am nervous as this is the final product but also excited to be getting closer to moving on. As stated before I will never have feeling, I am numb in both breasts and under my arm(feels weird shaving!) I will not ever be able to use a heating pad as I have no feeling so can actually burn myself without knowing. I will have a compression or sports bra on while recovering but will eventually be able to wear a normal bra if I desire! I will be perky so won’t have to if I don’t want to, I will, I love my lace to much not to! I have chosen to not forego the 3rd surgery of reconstruction with nipple reconstruction and will just do 3D tattoos. I plan on taking a trip to New Orleans for the world renowned in the breast cancer world, the one and only Vinny Meyers so for my 37th birthday I will take a trip and get my tattoos! 

Every day I get stronger, every day I fall in love with myself more , every day I am able to look past my scars , every day I have more smiles and less tears, every day I am more thankful for my life and knowledge that I had to be in control. Every day is a new day to embrace. 

“Happiness is in the heart, not in the circumstances”