Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I just finished crying...big ugly tears kind of crying. And yes, it's because I'm feeling sorry for myself. I had my surgery this morning to remove my expander and the necrotic skin. It was quick and easy. I arrived at the surgery center at 6 am where they made me wait in the waiting room for an hour before taking me back to the pre-op area. I love how they do that...make you get up earlier than you needed to so you can wait around. So I went in at 7 am, surgery started at 8, at 9:15 I was in recovery texting my sister telling her to come pick me up, and by 10 am I was home at my parent's house. The kids and I had spent the night at my parents house so my dad could watch the kids while my mom took me to the hospital.  John is in Alaska for work. He asked if he should cancel his trip because of my surgery but my mom and my sister were willing to take care of me and the kids so he was able to still go. Anyhow, I spent the day at my parents house after surgery. I'm pretty doped up on pain killers so the pain isn't too bad. I've had quite a bit of nausea from the anesthesia and had to run to the bathroom a couple of times. I slept on and off throughout the day and then after dinner my parents drove us home. They got the kids to bed for me. After they went home I went to my room to get ready for bed. I took off the bandages and looked at the surgery site where I expected to see a flat boobless chest. That's not what I saw. What I did see horrified me. I'm actually starting to tear up again just thinking about the experience. I'm deformed. Not just mastectomy deformed. I don't even know how to describe the hideous vision of what was formerly known as my right breast. It's this big mess of tight skin and excess skin with a huge incision which lies in a sunken in valley where the expander used to be. I saw this mess for the first time about an hour ago and I cried tears of self pity. Lots of big ugly tears with several sobs thrown in as well. 

I've had two episodes of self pity tears today. The first time happened this morning after I got all gowned up for my surgery. I really didn't like the nurse who was doing all my pre-op preparation. She was stiff and cold. She had no compassion. I felt so strong going into this surgery. I didn't feel too disappointed about losing my foob (fake boob). I wasn't afraid of the surgery or the recovery. I was fine. Then this nurse was cold toward me. She didn't do anything wrong. She just wasn't anything like all of the loving, compassionate, tender hearted nurses that I've had before. Then again, all those previous nurses knew about my diagnosis during pregnancy. This nurse today, all she knew is that I was there for surgery with a plastic surgeon. All of a sudden I felt defensive with this nurse. I wanted to say to her... Do you realize that I don't want to be here?  Do you realize that something is being taken from me today that I don't want to have taken away again?  Do you realize that most women my age having plastic surgery are getting a nose job or a tummy tuck and all I want is to have a second breast but I don't get to because my cancer treatment caused an infection. I wanted to tell her all these things but I was just saying them to myself and causing my own heart ache. Once you start down that road...that road of misery and self pity, it's hard to stop.  Yes, all those things are true. But what's the point of dwelling on them or even thinking about them at all for that matter?  It's so much easier to just ignore those feelings. It's healthier for me to ignore those feelings...because I'm doing fine. Actually... I'm great. I choose to be good...even with only one boob and a deformed right side. I might cry every time I look in the mirror...but cover that crap up and I can forget it's even there and then I'll be fine. I really do believe that we choose how we live our lives. I choose to live well. Oh...that reminds me of a hymn. I'm sure that hymn would describe exactly what I'm feeling.  I can't think of the name. All I can think of is that it says something about being well in my soul. Okay figuring out what hymn that is will be a job for tomorrow because I am too tired tonight. 


  1. Thanks for sharing this Rebecca! That being well in my soul bit sticks with me too. Lately I've had a hard time choosing to be ok, but I'm back on track. I'm glad you are choosing to live well. Take care of yourself!
    ~Jenn Stewart

  2. Rebecca,
    I cannot pretend to fully understand. But I can tell you you are beautiful. And, that John would be crazy in love with you, your soul, no matter what. Same for your kids...all who love you for that matter. It sucks, but you are blessed with so much love (I know you know that. Sending you love and hugs from your kin in Oregon... xoxox

  3. When peace like a river attendeth my soul,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll,
    Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul.

    Praying for you, Rebecca.

  4. God bless you Rebecca, may He continue to carry you through those very hard times and always give you the strength and peace to be well with your soul.
    You are amazing and I admire your spirt.
    Thinking and praying for you.
    Lisa Gallardo

  5. "How Great Thou Art"?

    Nate D