I wasn't able to sleep too well last night but I have to admit, it was better than the hospital. I'm not sure that I was ready for how sore I would be today, still I didn't think it was as bad as trying to recuperate from a C-section. Shirley had her work cut out today trying to keep me on schedule with all my supplements and rest. Amy and Angie came over and visited today, that was great because I haven't seen them since before the surgery. No matter how scared I am or how much pain I am in, that little RED HEAD makes me forget it all and smile. When I hear her say " Love you Nana" I realize that somehow I have got to beat this cancer so that she and I can have a lot more memories together.
One of the things that the Doctor suggested I get after my mastectomy was a camisole that holds the drains that are from my incision. There is nothing nice looking about it but it was more convenient. It also has place for the prosthesis for later, so I had better get used to it. For some reason I didn't struggle as hard mentally today but I didn't talk or see anyone either. I know that I won't feel like this forever but for now some how I just don't know what to say or really want anyone to see me.
Now I have never been one to feel uncomfortable with anyone who looks or is different, that's actually what I did for work for quite a few years. I worked with kids with handicaps, to me they are the most special spirits around. My little niece who now is a young woman has been handicapped for years and yet she has brought our family more joy than anyone can imagine.
When I was 11 years old my oldest brother Mike was seriously hurt in Vietnam and for quite some time we didn't know if he would even live. I remember one time traveling all night on the train to go visit him in the Bethesda Naval Hospital. My memory isn't that great now, but I won't ever forget walking down the halls of the hospital and going into the ward where all the young injured marines were. Oh my word, I can still remember the smells and sounds of that room. These young men were severely injured and moaning and crying. It scared me to death as a little girl, many of them didn't seem to know where they were and many of them kept reaching for us. I know that they were in a tremendous pain and mom just kept telling us not to stare and keep looking for Mike. As we got closer to Mike, he seemed to look like one of the worst ones there, with all of his injuries, almost his whole body was wrapped in bandages and he was very groggy from all the medicine. I don't remember how long we stayed or what was said, but I do remember how brave my mom was in telling Mike that he was going to be able to fight this and win. She told him over and over again that we loved him and together as a family we could handle this. As I walked back out of the ward I realized that all I was seeing as a 11 year old girl was what seemed to be pieces of young men, they had all kinds of body parts missing and it seemed like hopelessness was every where.
Well, fast forward years later and my brother Mike not only made it, but he excelled in life and is a husband, dad, teacher and grandfather. Maybe when I am ready, it is him I should ask to coach me on how to get on with my life and feel good about myself again. Losing a breast has seemed so overwhelming, how I wish that since Evergreen Hospital prides themselves in being one of the best Cancer Centers in the nation that they would at least have some volunteers who are survivors themselves, that would personally come in and give you tips on how to survive a mastectomy and the emotional things that come with it. I was lucky or I should say blessed to have a survivor as one of my nurses, but we didn't have that much time together. She did give me a few bits of wisdom and even came back to visit me the next day, what a sweetheart.
Mastectomies are so common but I don't think surviving them is as easy. I wonder if I will ever feel normal about my body again. I am a motivational speaker and only hope to do more and more of it in the future, but for now I can't imagine how I would feel comfortable enough to stand up in front of people. They say that TIME HEALS ALL THINGS and so I will just have to trust that is true and wait. I know I have said this before but thanks for taking this journey with me, knowing that so many people love, support and pray for me, really does make a difference.
So day three, even though it was long... it is finally over and I will wait and hope that tomorrow will be a bit better!