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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Looking For Answers and Answering Some of My Own Questions!? (Let me know your answers!)

It has been almost 7 weeks since my surgery (pbm). I have been having trouble writing and updating my blog, so I am sorry to all who read. I feel as if my emotions and thoughts are all over the place. I am healing nicely, pain is minimal, only taking ibuprofen occasionally, but I get physically exhausted and I am emotionally fragile. I never know what my mood will be. When I am tired, my mood is worse. I just feel like since the physical part of the surgery is improving and I am feeling stronger, my emotional state is weaker. Perhaps I am thinking more clearly, no pain meds, or the reality of what I have done is sinking in. I am not sure.

One minute I want to spread the word and feel so passionate about BRCA and the next I want this all to go away. I feel sad, lonely, frustrated, fearful and I second guess all of this. What if what I have done is not enough. What if, what if, what if.... Then I feel strong and powerful and want to help others get through this process and share my story.

I'm just all over the place. Which makes focusing on a topic impossible.

I have secluded myself a bit from friends and interactions. I actually went out for the first time the other night with a girlfriend and honestly it was nice. This weekend has been my first "real" full day by myself with the two kids. I did have my mom with me at the zoo! It 's been exhausting but actually nice to start feeling like MOM again. Not that I have not been one, but I did depend on others to really help me with them.

So what can I focus on to be helpful to others???? Perhaps I'll answer questions I would like answered by others!
So a reminder! I had a skin/nipple sparing silicone implant pbm!

How do I feel 7 wks post op?
My breasts feel heavy all the time and there is a lot of tightness in the chest area. Especially under my armpit, but nipple level. I feel as if there are hooks holding my breasts up! It is not painful, just weird! I feel as if I have a tight bra on all the time. I have not sensation on my breasts or under my arms and extending to my back. This is scary when shaving! I feel as if my breasts a bit saggy too! If you can believe that one! I feel like there is some scar tissue or skin puckering under my breasts, my scars look great is just feels heavy. I have been massaging the area, I do hope this goes away. I do notice at the end of the day I am a little sore in areas and have pulling in areas. I also am very sensitive to cold. Drinking cold products, being chilled, this becomes very uncomfortable and my muscles tend to tense up and it just does not feel right. So living in New England is not going to be great for me!

How do I feel emotionally?
Well that is a loaded question for me! I am seeing a social worker right now and started to before my surgery. This surgery has helped resurface some underlying shit in my life. So I do feel like this has been an emotional journey for me. I have a lot of fears still of getting cancer! That has not really left my mind. It is not intense, but there. However, with the amount of close family and friends that I have lost I think this fear has been en-grained in me forever. I am learning right now how to change my thinking and enjoy my life that I have right now! That ought to be interesting. I do not regret having this surgery though. I woke up from surgery feeling extremely confident in what I did. I know it was the right decision . I continue to struggle at times with guilt as well. Guilt of putting family through all this. I know it is crazy, but I do sometimes. The impact it has had on my husband and kids hurts me. Even though my children do not know what surgery I had, they know mommy was not "normal mommy" for sometime. I still can't give big hugs, roll around, just be me! And that hurts sometimes.

Has this changed your relationship with your husband?
Yes! It has added a stress in our life temporarily that we just did not need. My husband has been amazing and supported me through everything. He took care of me for a couple weeks after surgery, took care of the kids, house, everything. But about 3-4 weeks after surgery I think the stress of the "job" got to him. And as I looked better and did a bit more, the expectations were there. We really needed to take a step back and still do and think about why we did this. I also liked that I was being cared for by my husband, crazy huh ! but I am a complete control freak and I take care of most things, so having someone else care for me and the rest of the crap going on around us was really nice. I like that he was with me more and we reconnected in a sense. However for him, he was out straight and ON all the time! I know that is not easy. When I was tired or moody he could do nothing right either. No matter what he did or said, I was just overly sensitive too. I also feel like I owe my husband for being there for me. Which personally I too feel is ridiculous, but I feel that way. Or perhaps I think, how can I thank him for going through this with me! I am grateful I had him through this process, even though it has been hard on us!

Are you exercising?
I'm walking that is it, and just started stretching. I do not feel like I was guided good here. I was not referred to a physical therapist, I go back and forth about whether I need that anyway, but I do feel like I want to be guided a little more. I tend to do start out a little quickly. I was weeding the other day, doing housework, back to lifting. I just do not do things gradually. I have noticed my range of motion is pretty restricted in my arms and underarms, so I really want to stretch and strengthen this area. I was spinning before the surgery, and hope to get back to that. I just get so freaking tired all the time!

I have a lot of fatigue and it gets me very upset. I get tired, I get emotional and cranky. Which I am sure happened to me before this surgery. The fatigue is just physical at times and that is not what I am used to. I also do not sleep well, so I know that is not helping. Laying on my side is still very uncomfortable, so moving in bed is frustrating. I am nervous b/c I am going back to work in a week and my days are long and emotionally draining, so this scares me a bit.

Has this changed you?
I do feel like this has changed me! And I do wonder where this road will take me. I am someone who feels I have been given a challenging and bumpy life path. I do feel as if this path has however made me who I am and given all the great things I have. I have always believed that everything happens for a reason, but I have struggled sometimes with finding the reason. Sometimes shit just happens right! I work in the oncology world and have made it sort of my life, my passion. As an oncology nurse practitioner I am faced with cancer and what it does on every level there is. Having personally watched my brother live and die of cancer I have experienced that level as well. I just wonder if this is all too much. I wonder how I will feel sitting across from my breast cancer patients. Will I have it in me, will it instill fear in me, will I feel stronger, will I tell them what I went through? I just don't know! Will this whole experience lead me down a different road?

I hope some my answers help others! Please respond and answer some of the questions for me! I am certainly always looking for guidance!

Thanks for listening!


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  2. hey kim.

    just wondering where you are at these days? i have missed your updates and am concerned you are still struggling hard core.

    i am done with expansion and struggling with depression big time. i just want these damn things out of me and to be done with everything. i am starting to put on weight (which is weird for me cuz i am super skinny) and i am losing tone and muscle definition. i am in a funk and wish i could exercise/run to stay in shape.

    instead i mope around the house and sometimes don't leave or my pajamas for days.

    fortunately, there is a light at the end of the tunnel...and fingers crossed, my exchange surgery (might be) dec. 6 or 13th.

    either way, life is looking up for january when i start school for nursing. i just wish it would get here already.

    feel free to private message me if you need to share your thoughts.

    binary dot speaking at gmail dot com