It’s been a while since I’ve written anything in this blog. After the expanders were removed my skin had to heal, then I had to massage and ready the skin to accept the expanders again. I didn’t think I could do it. I hadn’t touched that skin since before the mastectomy. Now that it was all tucked under and looked pitiful, I was supposed to massage it? Meh. I would do it, but it was very difficult to reconcile that this was what my breasts looked like now.
I had to apply vitamin-enriched lotion several times a day. I have to admit, I thought that having the expanders gone and having my skin just hanging there for months would be the worst thing ever. It turned out to be a nice break. I needed one. Too much surgery. Too much heartbreak and disappointment. I was sick of lying around and was anxious to get back into life again. I would eventually be able to go on my walks again, ride my bike, do stuff with the kids and dogs. I was ready to feel like a human again.
I had no prosthetic bra so when my skin healed up enough to try to fashion some sort of fake breast, I tried my bathing suit top with some bra inserts held in there with bobby pins. It worked out ok. I wore it for a while until I decided to try to get a really firm bra when the incisions healed up enough that it didn’t bother me to have something rubbing on them. It still irritated the incision area, but at least I ended up looking like I had some balance to myself. I’d gained weight and without breasts everything is all out of balance, so with a nice firm-cupped bra it wasn’t too bad. My scars itched like a mother, but I dealt with it to have a feminine shape again.
I went to the beach, got a new pup, showed my dogs, walked, exercised, resumed normal (as normal as it can be without breasts) relations with my husband, took a vacation with my sister. Sure it was depressing to look at myself with shriveled, empty, sunken breasts every night, but I just kept telling myself that it could always be worse. It could be chemo. It could be no hair. It could have been a death sentence. I began to look at life with a renewed sense of vigor and determination to do everything I ever wanted to do and had been putting off. I enjoyed life.