Breast, cancer, expanders, husband, lumpectomy, mastectomy, reconstruction, skin, skin-sparing, surgeon
“Be your own miracle”
– From “Stand Up” by Beyonce Knowles
Four days to go and the reminders seem to be all around us. There were women walking in all shades of pink around the city in their Walk against Breast Cancer. Our daughter asked why mommy was waiving at them, “Because I am one of them and they are walking for me”, she said. Then tonight was a major event for the organization Standup2cancer.org. I think it was a landmark event. It took just an hour but it was a fundraiser to bring ALL cancer research together. Some crazy stats:
- Cancer takes so many forms and one person in America dies from cancer every minute.
- Every other person in this world will have some form of cancer
- 500,000 Americans will die of cancer this year (1500 each day)
I actually watched the show alone as it was uplifting to the point of shedding a tear. My wife is going through so many emotions right now we agreed to Tivo it and let her just watch it after the surgery.
I also didn’t go with my wife to her last meeting with the reconstruction surgeon. I just thought it better that she ask her own questions and give her my questions on paper (of course she didn’t ask them). I mostly worried about her balance and how steady she might be although I know most people are walking around the next day. He had some good recommendations about relieving the pain and making sure not to let the drains hang too low as that is why they are painful. He said that ticket holders (hey my profession comes in handy) are great to put them in so they don’t pull on your skin. He also said that the tissue expanders aren’t as painful as some people think. It was a relatively short meeting so I think it came out okay. My wife had a few other personal questions about the recovery but the doctor seems to have given her all the right answers or at least the ones she wanted to hear. He told her that most of his work would be done two weeks after the surgery and just to watch under the bandages for any swelling or infections (redness).
At the end of the day we are exhausted once again, but it always is nice to catch up. It has become our daily ritual to check in with each other and see where we are mentally. She’s still a bit anxious, but more anxious to get this cancer out of her body and move on. Me, I feel like I’ve been managing the emotions of two people and she knows that. I told her that I’d rather be on the table next Tuesday unconscious because I don’t think I can spend 5 hours waiting around. I’ll need to buy a new pair of running shoes.