Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Censored Version (Breast Cancer)

So . . .  on Wednesday, I had what I was hoping would be my one and only adventure in reconstructive surgery.  Here's a highly edited version of my response to same:

A total mismatch.

A loooong incision.

I still can't lie down to sleep.

I hate how I look and I hate that I now have to consider additional surgery.

I feel as if I were duped.  I totally bought into the idea that this would be the easiest solution and that I would look fine. I thought that my expectations were at least borderline realistic.   I was not looking to be a cover model for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.

What I got were months of painful procedures and an appearance that is not acceptable.

My only goals were to look unremarkable and to put this all behind me, and I could not even accomplish that much.  I am utterly discouraged, and not least of all by the fact that, cancer-free and relatively healthy, I have no business complaining, and yet: I am very, very unhappy.


  1. You have a right to be annoyed and unhappy, especially if you feel duped. I'm sorry you are feeling discouraged. But how great that you are cancer-free!

  2. Sh*t. All I have to say. Well, I'm sorry. This is truly awful. After all you have been through and thinking/hoping it would be over, there is more. I never realized how surgery assaulted the body until I actually had surgery. It takes forever to get well again. I'm so sorry. Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t.

  3. I don't think the feelings of gratitude for health and discouragement for the results are mutually exclusive.

    You are a thoughtful, spiritual, intelligent, active woman and you have a complicated health issue here. I think you're doing a terrific job of navigating your personal life while also sharing so much of your story that you are really and truly helping others along the way.

    I wish that the result after this surgery had been more in line with the expectations you were led to have. I wish that you could have a simple, relatively pain free experience here. I hope that is possible in the near future.

    But don't feel like you have to trade your authentic sense of discouragement and disappointment in order to have deep and authentic gratitude. They can (and do) co-exist in the real world.

    Sending you love and hugs and hopes for healing. And, I also hope Marissa's Relay goes well - and that the weather doesn't interfere!

  4. Cindy, you are brilliant to articulate that: that discouragement and gratitude can co-exist. Of course!

    And I just got a great card from you in the mail a few minutes ago - thank you!

    And I'll post the Relay for Life info for Marissa soon.

  5. When I read your post I was so disheartened for you. Appropriate words fail. I am praying for not only healing and relief from pain but for more. And right now the best I can muster is that sense in the Psalms that says "shake a fist in the sky and lament" because now that is where it is while we pray that more is possible than this. As one who has had reconstruction surgery one thing I know is that now and later look different-but in between frankly sucked. You have been a ray of light in my virtual world- if I can reciprocate in any meaningful way, I am listening and praying now.

  6. Thank you so much, L&G. I had so hoped that I had reached the "later," but I guess I'm still at the "in-between."

  7. A wise woman once told me that emotions come in stacks like pancakes. Joy and anger can and will hang out together. Hope and peace be with you.

    1. Wayne - I'm definitely going to borrow this!! Great imagery - and it has such a ring of truth!

  8. Cindy and Wayne are wise friends; listen to them. And then get thee to thine doctor to discuss the entire situation--the pain, mismatch, expectations, etc. Continued healing prayers...

  9. You had every right to expect "acceptable" as an outcome. And you have every right to vent about your expectations not being met. And we are out here so you can do exactly that. Hugs for you, my friend!