I could write my foobiversary blog post with sentiments from the heart, filled with serious comments and profound moments from the past year. I have spent 20 minutes trying to start it and deleted 6 starting sentences, so safe to say I will probably not go down that route. Instead I thought I would just go over what has happened this year fooby booby related as a recap and what life is like now. To put the really boring spin on it, my life is pretty much what it was like pre-mastectomy, but now just braless with more ‘perks’ ;) But to leave it like that would be pretty boring and not helpful to those exploring this option or needing to go down this road.
In all seriousness, the time has flown. The long nights of lying awake for the weeks following my surgery, I remember thinking that those nights were never going to end and here I am, a year later and they are so far behind me. Anyone who has had a mastectomy is familiar with the ceiling stare. The inability to lie on your side or move easily, the feeling of requiring a heavy duty forklift to hoick you out of bed, bloody hell it’s a drag. But it is done and guess what, it didn’t last forever after all. Those of you going down this road or on the mastectomy journey, yes, it is tough but time is a healer. This is something I have said to lots of the ladies that have contacted me, many who have been mid ceiling stare stage of recovery. Soon enough they have had that euphoric moment where they realise, THE ROLL ON TO THE SIDE IS POSSIBLE, HALLELUJAH! It is a momentous moment in recovery, not because you feel better, you still feel pretty crap but it is that light at the end of the tunnel moment, where sleep is an option once again and comfort is no longer your deepest most genuine wish at 2am.
The scars. I remember the very raw realisation that my scars were something real when I had my plasters taken off. I was a 27 year old with blue, purple swollen odd things attached to my chest and scabby, crusty incisions across each foob… what a mental image for you. It was a challenge because all of a sudden you don’t look like you, and you don’t feel like you as you’ve got these weird things that don’t belong to you attached to you, plus you feel like dog poo and it hurts. But again, time is a huge healer. I wouldn’t say I forget but I don’t think about my foobs all the time anymore. At the start of recovery, for about 3-4 months I would think about it everyday, I would look every day, I would see what had changed, I would double check they were still there, I would poke them to see if I could feel it, I would look in the mirror to see if people could tell, I would look at my scars and thing ‘eurgh’… this is not the case now. My mastectomy and foobs are just another chapter in my life. They don’t define my life or rule my life, they are just part of my life and part of me. If you are at the stage where you look, prod and think about it all the time, this is normal and in time it does go further in to the back of your mind. My scars have faded lots and they almost look like faint creases. The foobs are more booby shape, especially with my most recent surgery of fat grafting. They look more natural and have some warmth. The icicle blocks kept catching me off guard when I rested my arms down, those things will surprise you!
How do I feel now, like a normal 28 year old girl. Boring isn’t it! But actually, feeling normal again is an achievement and a milestone for those who go through a mastectomy. What is next? I have a check up for my fat grafting in a few weeks. Will I have another surgery if asked? No, I am done. I just want to go back to living life, teaching the great kids at school, stomping around in my high heels and just being me again. I have had my time in a hospital gown, so unless it is necessary, as in completely necessary, I am hanging up the sexy surgery socks and those bloody surgical bras, adios!
Life now… I can run down the stairs without holding my boobs (ladies, we know what I mean), I can wear a backless dress and not worry that my boobs without a bra look like saggy pancakes and ultimately I have taken the reigns on my life and reduced my risk of breast cancer. An opportunity that challenged me but I am ever so grateful for.