Happy Anniversary

Y’all, I blinked and an entire year has passed by. I cannot believe that ONE YEAR ago I was having surgery at this very minute. I was under the careful eyes of Dr. Ordoyne and Dr. Wise. My surgery would last six hours and when I woke up, I would ask Dr. Wise if he was going to do surgery. He laughed and said it was done. Anesthesia is a surreal experience. I remember not quite believing that we were on the other side of this massive thing. I do remember looking down and seeing a horrible black front clasp bra that was embossed satin and tons of gauze and tape. I remember thinking, I guess something did happen.

The only other surgery I’d had before this one was my appendectomy in like 1990. I don’t remember anything after it beyond antibiotic shots to the butt that seriously almost broke me, and huge horse pills that have scarred my ability to take a pill to this very day. I didn’t know how I would react after anesthesia. As it turns out, after anesthesia, I’m pretty much just like any other Christia, with maybe a little bit of my favorite gangster rappers thrown in.

When I look back at pictures of my body marked up for surgery, I’m instantly thrown back there. I remember feeling so ready and almost excited about the prospect of losing my mom skin. I felt like it would help me feel confident once that was gone.

Nipple Sparing Mastectomy = NSM
(For real this is a hard picture for me to post! My body carried 4 big ol’ babies, obvs)

It’s an entire year later and I still don’t feel comfortable in my skin. There are definitely aspects of my new body that I appreciate and love. I also really respect the fact that my risk of breast cancer is significantly decreased. It wasn’t a quick fix though. Turns out, getting that mom skin cut off did not instantly make me confident. I needed to fix something inside of me for that to happen. Dr. Wise did keep his promise though, I did wear a bikini all summer, thank you very much.

I’m just going to say, that center picture, with the blue cords taped to my chest was right after surgery. I was definitely 100% still on a pain pump, and thus high as a kite. Those blue cords are doppler cords to make sure blood flow to my flap was good. You see, they didn’t just take the fat and shove it in the breast cavity, they performed a transplant and reconnected blood vessels. I had those dopplers until I was discharged and honestly having them removed freaked me out a bit. What if a flap failed? Thankfully, it didn’t happen. The pink is my first time standing up after surgery. It doesn’t seem like a big deal until you remember they cut me from hip to hip and pulled my skin insanely tight. Do you see how straight I’m standing?? Hi, that’s HUGE! #TootingMyOwnDamnedHorn My surgeon was definitely one that encouraged walking as straight as possible and as much as possible from the get go. I think right after that photo I walked to get my first self served icee. Ok, I think Barry actually served it to me because that pull down motion would have been hard to do with my chest muscles so weak.

It may have been one year, or 365 days since my surgery. I may be roughly 30 lbs over my ‘goal’ weight (thanks to my nonstop bulking pre surgery that’s mysteriously continued post surgery). I will forever do the nerdy peace sign pose and be grateful for the knowledge that a BRCA1 mutation has provided me. I’m very grateful that I’ve been able to be proactive and take control of my health.

In someways it feels like an actual lifetime since September 11, 2018. In others it feels like the blink of an eye. Or like an anesthesia nap. You don’t remember anything happening but you look around and see subtle changes. I went to sleep hoping that when I woke up I would instantly feel comfortable in my skin. That I would feel like the badass that I know lives deep inside. It turns out that it doesn’t exactly work that way. I need to work on making my inner and my outer badasses match. Pretty sure that peace signs and tacos will definitely help the two come together.

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