I made it through my surgery! It's not that I had qualms that I wouldn't make it, but my worse case scenario could have been days unconscious, MERSA, being unclaimed in the hospital recovery room...all sorts of options.
I was surprised to hear this was an outpatient procedure, since the surgery was scheduled for five hours. Lucky for me, my surgeon was done in three and a half. Luckier for everyone else, the affects of the anesthesia were still on full display, and I was chatty Kathy. I remember waking up and thinking, "I know I need to go home. It's outpatient surgery and they don't want me here." So instead of indulging in the sleep-induced haze I was in, I fought it every step of the way. I asked my mom if she watched the Wimbledon finals; if wearing all-white is required at Wimbledon; if everyone was happy that Serena Williams pulled off a victory. I kept wanting to touch everything to see how I felt - is my port gone, how big is my new chest, what are all of these undergarments? The best though, is when I got out of bed for the first time. I have been known to get sick from anesthesia, so I have to watch how aggressive I move for the first day. Plus, vomiting when you are wrapped up like a mummy is not comfortable.
So, I meandered out of bed, only to hear my nurse and my husband become actively engaged in a conversation around her mortgage. I heard the terms, "ripping us off", "keep calling me" and knew it had taken a turn for a deep discussion when Brian started talking about specific rates and saving thousands of dollars. My mom was left to try to keep me from passing out - which I didn't - and vomiting - which I did. But like Brian said later..."I'm just passionate about it". Touche.
The fat-grafting is definitely causing more soreness than the chest reconstruction. Due to my radiation, more fat is needed in my left-side, since it doesn't accept it as well. My right side, on the other hand, is perfectly happy to accept, store and produce fat. I am pretty bruised up and down my torso and along my outer hips and thighs but am happy that I am finally able to sleep on my side again at night. I can't wait to be able to sleep on my stomach!
Evan knows that something is up; he is pretty used to me picking him out of his crib, carrying him with me around the house and toting him in and out of the car. He just squats on his bum when I won't pick him up and refuses to walk with me. I crave cuddling with him but most of the time I try to sit with him, he ends up digging his elbows in to use as a platform to spring off to his next adventure. I am looking forward to being able to pick him up in two more weeks and just hope the time goes fast.
I am amazed at how Playboy-bunny-ish I feel, from one simple attribute. Obviously, there is a lot of swelling to adjust to but I don't think I've been this perky since I first hit puberty. I can't wait to participate in the world of pretty shirts and strapless dresses without worrying about ill-fitting strapless bras. I'm pretty sure this is the positive side of breast cancer, and I intend to enjoy it!
I will have to have one more surgery in December, similar to the surgery I just had. There will be more fat-grafting to build up the left side, where I had radiation. But now I know what to expect and hope to get through that and just move on. It feels amazing to slide my hand over my clavicle and not feel my port; I'm a real person again! Not a sick person!
Thank you for all of the well-wishes, e-mails, cards and surprises in the mail. It's not only nice to know I'm being thought about, but it's wonderful to share with my amazing caregivers. Nana Moni has been staying with us since Tuesday and Evan is now crawling up her leg, instead of mine. I'm so lucky to have such wonderful friends and family.