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So I realize how long it’s been since I’ve posted here. Many things, so many things, have changed. There have been tough times and incredibly wonderful times. Now I’m settling in.

This won’t be long…just a short run down since, um, 3 years ago. I think I last wrote when I was still having complications with my surgery. I have since had a couple of additional surgeries. The bottom line is my abdominal muscle will always be “detached” and weaker. However, I have never been more strong. My breasts actually look better than the real ones ever did and I feel better than I ever have…even in my younger years. I’ve said it before, I’m scarred but who isn’t? I no longer differentiate between those scars or any others on my body, with the exception of one. The damn scar on my shin from a missed box jump is worse than any other one on my body. I am, admittedly, self conscious about that one.

Let’s see…I was also married when I last wrote. That changed on Christmas Day 2011 when my ex walked out. I did the typical tailspin for a while and now realize that was the best, and I mean absolute best, thing he ever did for me. I have grown as an independent woman and have learned to accept myself for who I am, which happens to be a damn strong, intelligent, loving, beautiful human being. I love me and I love my family.

Another update…my son and I moved to Frisco, Texas. I left behind a few very, very dear friends who I really don’t want to be away from. There’s also the network of friends who you know are always going to be around somewhere at any given time. Moving is scary and, holy crap, is it stressful. But things are falling into place. The house actually feels more like a home now that things are unpacked and finding the way into the proper places. My son is playing hockey and the best part is that I’m 20 minutes from my aunt and 20 minutes from my cousin. I get to see them all the time now and I love it.

Oh yeah, all the reconstructions? That’s all done. The fat grafting, implants, more fat grafting…no more. Not because I can’t handle it anymore, I simply don’t need it. Now my scars are faded, and did I mention that my breasts look better than they ever did before? I think so, but it bears repeating ūüėČ I’m fit and started training for triathlons. I simply feel great about myself. Now, I’m normal, so it’s not all rainbows and butterflies, but it’s really pretty damn good.

Looking back, I wrote about a really jacked up experience. What I went through, and chose to write about, was definitely raw. I was in the emotional and physical trenches. It feels weird to read some of what I’ve written. Some is embarrassing and I have felt tempted to remove it or close the blog. But then I think of the other women who are facing the choice I had to face and I feel like this might be helpful in some way. So I’m swallowing the pride and leaving it all out there.

In the end, full circle doesn’t really describe my journey. I haven’t stopped where I began. I’m in a completely different place; someplace so much more positive and peaceful than the starting point. I’m grateful for the important people in my life who have helped me get here because it didn’t happen all by itself. But it happened.

 

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This has been a slow healing process that I’m about fed up with. I now have a seroma (a pocket of fluid) above my incision on the left side. On the positive, and boy it is so positive, my muscle has not detached again. I noticed swelling after returning from New York, and no I did not over do it or lift/push/pull any thing I shouldn’t have. I was assisted with my one small carry on, by fellow passengers and it rolled without any difficulty. The swelling has been getting¬† a little worse so I went to the ER to be sure the muscles hadn’t detached. There’s so much nerve damage from the surgery that I don’t think I would feel pain if they detached again. It didn’t really “hurt” before. Anyway,¬†the muscle is¬†intact but I have this seroma. I don’t think it’s so big that it needs to be drained, but I’m being referred to a general surgeon here in town to evaluate it. Please, please, please let it be small enough that my body can handle it on its own. To be honest, the longer this goes on the wimpier I’m getting, which really pisses me off because I’m no wimp. But I seriously felt woozy when they did my IV the other night.¬†Really? This is getting ridiculous.¬†If they have to drain it they’ll be putting a needle into my abdomen to aspirate the fluid. Ugh. Please, no. I’m discouraged because the swelling is worse if I do even minimal stuff, like walk around the grocery store. I’m hoping the surgeon will tell me it’s okay and I can go for walks, the swelling will gradually get better and I’m not making anything worse. I hope. Because today was beautiful, even from inside the house. The sun was shining. I did go outside with the dogs in the backyard. It was cold and the snow that covers my backyard is now a thick blanket of ice but the sun was shining so brightly. This weekend is supposed to be sunny and in the 40’s. Woohoo!! A short walk around the block should be okay. I’m supposed to go back to work the first week of April, so this has to be fixed, like now. I’m tired of being stuck at home and I miss the interactions with people at work. Being off work for a while is one thing, especially when you work in a crazy, busy, emotionally charged place like I do. But being off work and not interacting with others on a regular basis for this long is just madness. I’m not one to “put myself out there” and invite myself to hang out with people, so I end up alone. I do it to myself so I have no one to blame. That’s one thing I have to work on. Anyway, I’ve made a decision to pick my head up. I was telling¬†a dear friend that it seems as though I’ve been trudging along with my head down, eyes on the ground, not looking around at where I was going or who was around me. These negative things keep crashing down on me, still I don’t look up. Maybe if I pick my head up, open my eyes and engage in my world around me a little more, letting go of the negative, things will be easier. Maybe the bad will be there and maybe there’s more to come, but it’ll be easier to cope with. I just have to let it go and make room for the good around me. That’s what I’m going to do.

We went to Ali’s genetic counseling appointment the other day. Ali spoke as an adult who is well informed. She is well informed, but there are things she didn’t consider that we both needed to hear from the doctor. Fear is a very powerful emotion and hasty decisions guided by fear are usually not the best. Ali has decided to wait for any surgeries until she has children, provided her test is positive. In that case there is not a lot that will be done, other than being very vigilant about screening and living a healthy lifestyle. We are going to secure a good life insurance policy for her before she gets tested. We should know more about that by the end of the month. While there is a federal law that protects from discrimination by health insurance companies, there is no legislation about life insurance. I don’t have a policy, other than the maximum I can get from work. I’m told, however, that if I were to be denied I could appeal it and probably win because my cancer risk is now significantly lower than that of the general population. Who knows what sort of changes will happen by the time Ali has children. There may be legislation in place regarding life insurance by then. At any rate, the plan is to get some sort of policy in place for her, then get the test done. For now, the test kit sits on our counter, waiting. It’s right in the open, where we can see it, but I don’t feel like the fear of it has any control over us anymore. Oh, the fear is there and until the results come back negative, it’s not going away. But the fear is not controlling anything. Not anymore. Ali and I make¬†a good team. We give each other strength, that’s all we need…no matter what happens.