Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Against All Expectations

Against all expectations, life without breasts is almost indistinguishable from life with breasts. I'm sore and doing physio to regain mobility as my skin tightens around the scars. The drains were a pain and so disabling (although Pickle did appreciate me having tentacles like an Octonaut character) but they were out on Day 4. I'm still waiting for big emotions. Maybe they'll come. I know for some women it's months before they grieve their breasts. Of course I'm hoping I got sufficiently angry and sad and self-pitying and frightened when I first knew I would lose them, so that work is done. I've hoped that before and generally found I've just completed Stage One. Watch this space.

I've been to a couple of parties in a low-key way. At one, my first time with a group of my friends, I got hot in the sun and felt self-conscious taking my cardigan off to reveal a figure-hugging top underneath, swollen only by bruising and a little fluid under the skin. The moment turned out to not really be A Moment at all. I sat in the sun. I talked to my friends. I got tired and walked home, Pickle stoically carrying everything in her backpack. I made a simple tea and we went to bed. The next morning I was pleased to note that my yellow and purple stripy socks were perfectly matched to the colours on my chest. It's always good to accessorise.

Even the actual surgery was okay. I lay on the most wonderful mattress of heated gel (appparently it's really cold in theatre) and wished I could hang on to the sensation of being so warm and comfortable while the cold white anaesthetic burrowed into my arm. Bliss...

I was in a child space when I woke and spent a minute crying for my husband. A lovely nurse assured me we could phone him when I was back on the ward and I think welled up herself when I said (sobbed) that we couldn't because he died. Then that passed and I was more concerned with what the HELL was happening to my legs! In my drugged-up state it felt as though they were being alternately squeezed in inflating tubes. Turns out that was actually happpening (sometimes life is so weird) to prevent blood clots. Then I decided it felt quite nice and drifted off again.

I could have come home the same day but was still needing a steadying arm to get to the loo, so stayed in hospital reading and eating crisps. (Honestly, I'm not sure I warrant any sympathy at all.) I didn't need any painkillers for the first 24 hours because I still had anaesthetic in my system. I've been on regular paracetomol since but am wondering if I really need it. Might wait and see how it is with my dressing off. The hospital are too busy to take it off this week as planned, but my lovely nurse friend will do it with me. There's only so long it can be a good thing to wrap a wound in plastic in the summer.

So now I am pretty functional. I can't carry much or hoover or iron (I don't actually own an iron) and I can't open or close my windows. This morning I feared a stiff jar lid might get the better of me, but it gave up before I did. Pickle is wonderful. The day I came home she placed, with exquisite care, a row of kisses across my jumper. How could I not heal after that? Plus, I am surrounded by helpful friends and family (my sister stayed for a couple of days and even folded my pants!), the sun is shining and roses are blasting out of the green in my garden.

The most surprising thing for me is how instantly I felt normal in my new streamlined body. I had wondered beforehand how it would affect my dance to be a different shape. I imagined it would perhaps be awkward, that I would always feel a lack. I can't dance much yet, but it feels fine. This is just the shape of me and I like it. I like me.











19 comments:

  1. You are such an inspiration. Many blessings on your journey forward.

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  2. You look great. And made me laugh out loud at the legs being squished turning out to be real. And at your socks.

    I followed your blog awhile ago, then stopped blogging, then restarted and am getting caught up and reminded of the people on the web. I (re) found you through Terri Windling.

    I am glad you have support. And that your Pickle is such a sweetheart. I will think healing thoughts your way.

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  3. I'm so pleased to hear you're through to the other side and for all the love around you. Pickle is such a sweetie pie carrying everything in her backpack and planting kisses on your jumper!
    You look beautiful.
    Jess x

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  4. You truly are an inspiration, Lunar.
    Beautiful, beautiful photos! I love how your smile emerges along the way.
    All the best to you and Pickle.

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  5. Thankyou for you great spirit, playfulness and inspiration <3

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  6. Me again, my name is Marianne but it came up as my husbands name, dont know how to change it!

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  7. Wow Lunar ! You are such a warrior woman ! :) I'm finding it hard to say what I mean here for fear that it will come out wrong somehow, but having had a life-long resentment of my own breasts I can honestly say I envy you your new figure. You look beautiful and so well. I also envy the tremendous strength, integrity and courage with which you face every challenge. Much love xxx

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  8. You are beautiful, inside and out. So happy the surgery is behind you and now to move forward as your physical strength builds again. Sending enormous healing energy your way!

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  9. Thanks everyone. It's a strange and marvellous thing to have such words said about me - and what is far stranger and more marvellous is that I believe them! Lots of love back at y'all xx

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  10. AnonymousJune 18, 2014

    You look absolutely wonderful!! You are an inspiration to us all. All good wishes for you and your lovely little Pickle.
    Apologies for being anonymous but I could not work out how to put my name to this.

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  11. You are an absolute inspiration. You do look fantastic and you are so strong, I am in awe. How could your little Pickle not be anything but wonderful? Much love.xx

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  12. Yes - what they all said! Dearest lovely Lunar, you were gorgeous with breasts and you are just as gorgeous without them. I'm so glad for you that it went smoothly and that your journey through awesomeness into further awesomeness continues to be related here, I love reading your blog. xxx

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  13. You look beautiful and your sharing this process is so generous. Wishing you much healing and many more Pickle kisses as medicine.

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  14. Others have said it all - you're beautiful.

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  15. Lunar, you are amazing. All this with grace and good humour too. I am so happy everything went smoothly and you're on the road to recovery, and you look beautiful and strong. xxx

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  16. Thanks! I hope you all know I'm a bit of a twit too. I resist a lot of what would make me happy (like writing my frickin' novel) and am often grumpy. I'm not exclusively awesome - just mostly :o).

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  17. Lunar, it is Melly from Flat and Fabulous. Great read. The grief emotions may come, they may not. Or they may come in short bursts. It is best to allow whatever to happen and to glide through.

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