Almost 4 weeks post op, I finally had my dressings off that have been shielding me from the sight of my scars. The tan long plasters had become a part of my new reconstructed breasts, so it was a bit overwhelming having something removed that I had become comfortable with. Coming to terms with your breasts, how they look and how they feel is a long process, and can be a hard one. You have looked one way for a long time, and all of a sudden that has changed. I had started to get used to my new breasts having a nice plaster equator, I think I may now call them the plasters of denial!
Seeing the scars was tough and stirred up some emotion that I did not know was there.
At first glance, I was ok. My sensible head and internal dialogue thought, ‘yes the right one looks good, it is thin, neat and tidy looking. Crap! What the hell is wrong with the left one?! The scar is dark, gooey and looks cross with me. It is ok… eventually it will look like the right one’. This was the mind set for a good few hours. I was calm, I was ok and this was part of the journey. I knew I would have scars, obviously, I knew they had been under those plasters the whole time, so ‘I AM FINE’.
I was so not fine! I had a little snooze and then decided I would take a picture of my chest to see what they looked like, well, that was it. One snap and it was like a snap in to reality. It is upsetting to see your body look injured or different, despite knowing that the reason behind the surgery was needed and the right choice, it doesn’t make this part easy. I had a good old cry, and actually, I think it is what I needed. I am not a person who really cries. Slap on a smiley face and it will all be ok tends to be my first port of call, but actually that was not the way to deal with this. The scars will heal over time, they will look less invasive and I will also get used to them. However, at the moment, they are raw in every sense of the word.
What helped? Speaking to someone who could relate to this feeling. I rung my Grandma who had a mastectomy several years ago. Speaking to someone who has been through this, knows how you feel and can empathize, can really help. If you don’t know someone, use this site, the email or message board to get the support you need. Asking for help, wanting to vent or sharing your experience to know you are not alone, is not a sign of weakness. I have learnt that through this whole process. Speaking to friends and family who have not necessarily gone through this journey is helpful, as they can support you when things are tough. However, sometimes someone who can relate to what you are going through can reassure you much better.