Something Went Really Wrong

The other day a commercial came on for some cancer center or another, and my 6-year old looked at me quizzically. I asked her what she was thinking and she said, “You had cancer.” I told her yes. “But you don’t anymore, right?” I told her she was correct, that the doctor cut it all out of me. Last night she was asking more questions about whether I still have to go to the doctor a lot, etc. My 10-year old told her I wouldn’t be having any more surgeries unless something goes “really wrong”.

Well, “really wrong” has happened, apparently. Yesterday the stitches came out. This morning as I was getting ready to get in the shower, I noticed blood on my arm. Blood from my incision, which we will now just call a wound. An open wound. Shower was canceled, hubby bandaged me up, and I decide not to go to work until I talk to the doctor’s office. After dropping the kids off at school, I was able to talk to my surgeon’s nurse, who is just fabulous. She then talked to the surgeon (he’s not in the office today), and it is decided that the implant must come out. So I will be having surgery next Tuesday. My fourth time going under this year.

I am in shock. Honestly, the shock I feel is comparable to that I felt when I was given my cancer diagnosis almost a year ago. My two biggest fears were 1) dying and 2) not having boobs. I beat the cancer and had finally made peace with the nipple-less, scarred breast mounds (at least they make me look feminine with my clothes on). I don’t cry every day anymore, and can actually look at them in the mirror. Now I will be boobless again. And I have to decide whether to have the other side removed or be lopsided until such time as we can try the reconstruction again, if that is even going to be an option and if I will even want to try again. The idea of having one fake boob and wearing a prosthesis on the other side is just very unsettling to me. If I’m going to wear a prosthesis, I wish I’d kept my real boob (the left one was not cancerous). I am just so…devastated. My husband made note of what a beautiful day it is outside today and all I could say was that it feels cloudy to me. I know I should be grateful that the cancer is gone, I am going to be okay, everything else in life is pretty good. Lots of silver linings. Quite frankly, I’m tired of having to find silver linings.

So when my girls get home from school tonight, I will have to let them know that Mommy will be having yet another surgery. I’ll have to find a way to say it so they don’t think something went “really wrong”. I guess that’s where those stupid silver linings will come in handy.


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