A little catch up for you on the quite major goings on this month at Casa C-k.
On the 18th May, my husband dropped me off at our local breast care ward for surgery. This date has been moved 5 times in the last 3 years. This surgery should have happened with the first one, but a permission letter going rogue changed my path. I've had to fight ever since to have the surgeon bring me from the bottom of his list, to the top.
Last year he actually scrubbed me off the list altogether with a letter containing instead of a date, a phone number for mental health support- by that time I felt I really needed it. I had the friends and family and the wellbeing tools at my fingertips- but what about those that didn't- who else was having the carpet pulled from under their feet?
The result of this for our family was we found our long awaited puppy Pretzel and began to live more fully beyond the shadow that an ever impending op date had been casting. Although bitterly disappointed, I dusted myself off and got on with supporting my family, training a puppy and supporting the women that were ready to take the next steps in their lives too...
Meet Pretzel, our fox red Lab, utter gooffball and beloved little bro to H.
Roll forward 3 years and a pandemic later, following my breast cancer diagnosis, treatment that I thrived through by supporting myself naturally, a left mastecomy with a temporary skin saving implant that hugely impacted the movement of my dominant left arm, removal of the implant a year later- the original plan was to have a bilateral mastecotomy all in one go and use my tummy for recon as i didnt want a foreign body in mine. as long as i was symmetrical, that ws all that mattered. But it wasn't to be- so I made the decision at the removal of the horrendous implant, to go flat- on both sides. IThat was still symmetrical. Finally was offered a date to have my bilateral right mastectomy. I could finally be flat , symmetrical, feel the releif in my wonky spine due to the weigh tof only one boob, realign my hips, knees and feet which have all hurt and impeded my movement for the past 3 years- but most of all, the weight of worry I have still carried every day, with every twinge for all this time.
Yes I hugely support my mind body and soul with all I've learned. All I've learned about nutrition, the impact of buried emotional trauma, toxins around us has long been my thing, but yep that too.. all the things- I still had that fear of reocurrence - and I'm totally available for all the things that help me reduce that. There are many reasons why going flat has been the right next step for me. It's not one I advocate to anyone without serious time and consideration- the funny thing is, I knew from the start this would be right for me. Symmetry, and a place to pop a bra with two prosthetic boobs in. Simple. right?
As an aside- There is a huge push back on anyone making this decision, and to not have reconstrution- but I'll come back to that another time.
For now, a little update. The op went great they said.
The time in hospital wasn't a smooth one-but now safely at home, through the first hours of prayers and gratitude for simply getting to come roud from the anaesthetic, through the first few days of pain relief, dvt scare, infection worry , I'm all good - I'm healing , recovering the only way I know how- slowly, taking one day at a time... using all the tools I have in my wellbeing toollbox that honestly, I'd be lost or deranged without.
The thing is, although I've bounced back great, and I'm making beautiful progress and my scar is healing- there's been a bump in the road. Well, on my chest more really. As I came through the initial days I was then able to look. There wasn't grief for my girl. who I'd annointed, massaged, cried over and thanked before the op. She'd served me so well. There instead was pure shock, horror and oh the rage- the new side was not all all symmetrical to the other side. Far from it- and symmetry was all I'd ever asked for. There has been a mistake made- I'm not at all flat. Wearing a bra with my new little boobs in and skipping off into the horizon has been cancelled for now and I am left to live confused, upset and feeling utterly let down, until I get to see my surgeon in a few weeks time.
I posted on my social media an image that caused a bit of a stir- because cry pictures always do- as a species we respind to pain way more intensely than we do to joy. This wasn't for effect- it was to mark a moment in time for myself as i hit another mountain to get over,under , through- which I'm no stranger too- the issue being, I'll need to have surgery again to put this right. The thought of heading into surgety again is too much, recovering from anther aneasthetic, re healing what i'm already working every day to heal... but the biggest thing- have they any idea the military organisation it takes for a family's world to turn when you take mummy out of the equation- again. When they need to be isoalated, when they can't dress themselves, when they are sick from the pain relif or passing out. When they need to get back to hospital appoiments- you know, all the things that was the biggest releif to get through only days ago- we will now need to wait with a date hanging over us again and go through it again. After 3 years of never knowing if we can plan a holiday, and from a business perspective, growth is again on hold. Being self employed has huge wins- but when you have to go through this kind of setback unnecesarily - it can have a huge impact on the support for others you were planning to bring. On the incredible expriences you were booking in.
So- the rage was real- adn thank the Lord, that i have an incredible A team that caught me as i hit a tailspin in freefall... thank the lord that I have tools to use to calm my mind and oils to soothe my heart and soul.
A few days post my weekend of tears and the world ending, I have calm in my heart again. I know I'm being shown this path for a reason- I'm still unsure where it will lead, when I 'll find resution, and I'm still cross if I think about it too much- but what I do know is- I now need to buld my strength to take said path- mind, body and soul- and for that - my daily practices of oils, juices, prayer, energy work (yes they get to exist in the same sentence) and my journal will help me through as they have every other time I've needed to advocate for myself and carve a new path.
Thank you for reading... I'll be sharing more details of how I get through times like these and how you can support yourself through surgery, blends for discomfort, for healing and what you can do to scaffold youself in tough times in my lovely group- feel free to join us here..