I’m inching closer and closer to Valentine’s Day, the day when I have my exchange surgery. Part of me is of course very excited. The other half is dreading it because it means I will once again be in “can’t do anything” mode. I’m still not back to 100%, but I’ve been able to do a lot (I can sleep on my side now!) and I just dread going backward in that regard.
I’ve gotten used to looking like I actually have breasts again, and part of me is scared that when I wake up from the next surgery they either won’t be there or they won’t look as I’d hoped. They still aren’t perfect and never will be, the left breast still has a very large dent, they’re hard as rocks (but getting a little softer) but I don’t have to wear a bra and NOTHING sags. Gotta love that. I am, however, battling acne on the breasts. This was the source of the infection that caused the expanders to have to be removed the first time. I have been working out in an effort to shed some of this extra weight I’ve gained just sitting around and when I sweat, I get acne. On my face, my back, my breasts. Weird, but that’s me.
I’ve worked my way up to 6 miles a day (walking). There’s a bridge nearby with a wicked incline and if you go over and back it equals 3 miles. I’ve been doing it twice. The dogs love it, the kids enjoy it. Ok well, most of the kids. The middle kid would rather saw his left leg off than exercise. Shame, too, because he has energy to spare. The view from the bridge is beautiful and there are always lots of people out there walking and running. Sassy doesn’t act like a locomotive gone crazy with the pulling so I usually take her with me if I don’t have the teenager with me.
After the exchange surgery I’m going to miss these walks, as I won’t be able to sweat until the incision is perfectly healed. Part of me wants to put it off for another six months or so, so I have a chance to get the rest of the weight off and just enjoy being active again. I feel like I am dragging everyone’s life down sometimes and making things more difficult on everyone, so I’d rather not feel that way again for awhile. It’s costing more money to hire a handler to show the dogs, my parents are giving so much of their time and their lives to come over and make sure my house still runs and the kids are tended to, my sister takes off time to come and help with the kids, my husband and I haven’t much of a social life. I’d rather not go down that road again so soon. I really would rather put it off. The nurses said that the longer we wait, the better the result as the skin relaxes more. The thought of dealing with another recovery right now is an emotional roller coaster. This is surgery number 5 in this odyssey. I actually asked my primary care physician if we could up the dosage on my cymbalta as I anticipate being down in the dumps. I’m already feeling poopie about it. I know it’s a positive step and I need to do it, I just don’t want to have to do it now. Is that bad?
Despite all of this, it could still be so much worse. I consider myself lucky.
On a brighter note, this whole experience has lit a fire in me to get stuff done. My whole adult life I’ve been trying to work toward establishing a breeding program/kennel of my own. There’s always someone who’d rather not deal with it, money, no one wants to go to dog shows every weekend, money, dog hair, slobber and oh yes, money. You have to do what you have to do. The sport is full of rich folks with their high-paid handlers in their fancy motor homes with their well-coifed dogs, but it was built on the backs of those who struggled to afford entry fees and grooming equipment and pack their minivans to the hilt on weekends, spending their hard-earned money on hotel rooms and sitters for the kids in the hopes of bringing home those ribbons and points. I’ve been very blessed with a husband who wants me to be able to realize my dreams and I am very excited about what the future holds. I have my two beautiful girls and one on the way in a few months, a breeding planned this year, a kennel area to get set up and pre-lims to get done (Sassy). Lots to do! Very exciting!