real

Bloody hell this healing process takes fucking forever. Its been two months now since my second breast was removed. It’ll be three months when all is healed so the tissue expanding can happen to make space for an implant if I so desire. Haven’t decided yet. Have been dealing with ongoing seroma, ‘a build up of fluids in a place on the body where tissue has been removed’. I seem to have a lot of it. Two weeks ago my stylish canadian doc aspirated 150mls. And i was left with a little pouch containing nothing but a tissue expander and some lat tissue. Hmmmm. Not sure that’ll make a boob. Latissimus dorsi flap breast reconstructions are traditionally done using your own tissue and an implant to give a more natural feel and the majority of patients (amputees, survivors, thrivers? Fuck so confused by what term to use) are happier longer term than those with only implants. At this point I start to think what are you bleating about you’re alive. Survivor guilt is a thing. But never let it negate you and your fears, issues, idiosyncracies. They are valid. Ok, note to self over. Annnd I have been ‘happy’ with my existing reconstructed breast like mound thingy. Just don’t remember it taking this long to heal, but then again there has been the onslaught of chemo etc. Reckon this body is holding up the middle finger right now. Anyhoo, the continuing fluid build up means it looks like I’ve got a boob still. Bit flippity floppity but oh well. Its quite handy when you want to go to the beach. That sounds flippant but its not. I have my very dear friend to thank. I was hiding as I had been, albeit knowingly, when she bullied me into her car and out for a coffee on the beach a couple of weeks ago. The sun was shining. It was glorious. Everyone was out and proud in their cozzies and worshipping the sun. My happy place. I was feeling grumpy and scarred and flat and confused. So she took me cozzie shopping. Fuck me. Not many people who can know what I need when i don’t even know. It all felt so normal as we found “busy’ padded tops that would disguise the fact that I was mishaped and that one side was primarly empty. I needed help doing my top up and she helped me. It was all so easy. I didn’t flinch once. She made it so. It was only days later that she admitted she had found it so emotional seeing me standing there asking if this is ok, with my scarred semblace of a boob, that it took her breath away. She hid it well. And it helped me so.

So on 13 december we start expanding or not. Then we schedule phase 2 and 3. Insert implant or not. Remove implant from other breast and reinsert new one. Or not. Reconstruct nipple from bit of back skin on breast like mound filling in for my areola. Tattoo both nipples and areolea to match. Et voila. Oh ja and follow up blood tests and oncologist check up. Just to keep it real.

 

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two hundred and ninety six

 

6 November. I admit today I am grateful for Sara Blakely and her Spanx. Or any version thereof. It meant I could wear the clingy what the hell was I thinking dress I’ve had in my wardrobe with the tags still on for almost a year. Vanity ruled the day I am sad but not too shy to admit.

vanity

I am trying not to be self absorbed. Surrounded by all the beauty here we all do pale by comparison. But I have become obsessed with my face. The bugger with beautiful photography is you can’t escape yourself. The reality of you. And especially with B. Always with a camera, a lingering loving camera. Not so much. I look, and try as I might to focus on the entire shot, my gaze finally settles on me and how I look. ¬†Everyone does it, and lies if they say they don’t. And then invariably never mind how gorgeous the view is if we look crap, the shot is deleted. I see it with my girls too. A gorgeous pic of Queenstown, but the first thing they look at is themselves. Okay, I admit, it is more a girl thing but still. I so wish I could lead by example but oh my word, my face has suddenly collapsed. It feels like it happened the past month. I have become completely obsessed by it. By the lines and furrows down the side of my mouth. Those ones that make you look like a puppet. I’m suddenly a little bit less dismissive of major intervention. Growing old gracefully, accepting the beauty of age and wisdom and experience etched in deep grooves on your face? Sounds wonderful and noble and true and no doubt I will get there because ultimately I do believe it. But right now there is nothing beautiful about seeing my granny’s mouth on my face. Especially when I feel twenty nine. Max. Shit. So, whilst surrounded by heaven, I have become a little obsessed by my face. Damn photography. I was loving the illusion. Less so Kate and Jem tickling my wattle. Very funny girls. Leave mom alone, she’s having a moment.