When I was pregnant, I remember saying that the nine months made so much sense to me. Every few weeks I would experience a new wave of realization. The fact that I was making a person was becoming more and more real to me as the months progressed and every time I thought I really *knew* that I was going to have a baby, it would become more real. Once I was admitted to the hospital and actually had Daughter, met her, held her, smelled her, I realized that I had not been prepared for it at all. Having my mastectomy has been like that.
In the weeks leading up to my surgery, I went through waves of what I thought was preparedness. I’d move my breast out of the way and look down, thinking that the smooth, flat surface I saw below me was what I was going to be seeing. I’d keep seeing it and thinking it wasn’t so bad. I was glad to be doing one at a time so I had the time to process. I was getting excited about my new fitness goals and readying my wardrobe for the change.
Let me tell you something: I wasn’t prepared. Not even a little bit. My chest is mangled. It’s a mess. I have an incision from he middle of my chest all the way around to my back. I have holes I’ve not even seen yet where my drains are. When I initially looked, I shook. I cried. I told Husband that I am a freak. I hated myself, again.
That was Friday and today is Monday and I’m a little better. My swelling is pretty out of control and my muscles twitch painfully from time to time. I’m still scared and don’t like what I see. But I’m going to manage, and now I know what to expect next time. Maybe then I will actually be prepared.