Today marks three months since I had my bilateral mastectomy, which I will (in order to make you laugh) henceforth refer to as my BM.
A lot has happened since October 18th! I've kept you up to date on most of the biggies, like blood clots, swimming a mile, and the mysterious Mondor's Disease (which is healing up nicely, thanks for asking!) I'm still on the coumadin for the blood clots...that'll end in April, hopefully. Coumadin is one of those lifesaving/pain in the ass drugs, like prednisone. I have had my clotting time checked (via finger-prick, AT the doctor's office, with a $25 co-pay each time, 11 times so far.) This is necessary to make sure the coumadin is at a "therapeutic level." If it's not, I risk another blood clot if my blood's too thick, or bleeding to death from a razor nick if my blood's too thin. Fun times, huh?
Okay, moving on. There IS life post BM. The only thing I still have trouble doing is laying on my stomach, reaching the top shelf in my kitchen, and filling my C-cup bras, which is why, a couple weeks ago, I got rid of them. This was a big day, a symbolic day. Who knows why I even kept them that long? 'Coulda chucked them on the morning of October 18th. Maybe I secretly thought I'd be the exception and mine would grow back.
I've packed about 100 boxes, as I am in the process of selling my home. I have lifted almost all of those boxes, made runs to the dump, and numerous trips to Goodwill. I have painted and scrubbed, and as of two days ago, I've even shoveled snow. So, YES. I have my strength and range of motion back. I'd put both at 90%.
I was told by my dear Dr. F that the best way to make BM scars diminish is to rub them with aloe vera. I have a friend who donated one of her aloe plants to the cause, and it now resides in my bathroom, where every couple days, I cut off a chunk and...well, I'll stop there. Let's just say the scars are looking good. I still am mostly numb, which is strange, but common. Nerve regeneration is a slow process. I still occasionally experience phantom pain. Go figure.
I'm kind of wondering how long to keep this blog going. I feel that my cancer journey was rather short compared to some who have to endure chemo and/or radiation. I am thankful that those treatments are not a part of my days right now, as they would likely flatten me at a time when I have a lot to get done. God is merciful and good. I will stick to my word and write the compression-tight blog that I promised so long ago. Maybe I'll end with that...we'll see.
I guess I didn't really give a lot of thought to what life would be like after my BM, so I haven't had any expectations dashed. Recovering from anything is a process, and like any recovery, there are good days and bad days. I have days when I grieve the loss of my breasts. Most days, though, I'm just happy to be zipping along.
Until next time...