Happy Reconstruction Day, everyone! Out with the hard, in with the squishy. Hasta la vista, expanders. It’s been real (insert painful, brutal, dehumanizing, etc.) having you attached to me for the last six months. 191 days to be exact.
I am floored that this day has finally come. When my plastic surgeon first told me reconstruction wouldn’t happen until about six months after my double mastectomy I was more than disappointed. I was devastated. This process had gone so fast from diagnosis to surgery that the idea of a lull of half a year seemed ridiculous. It seemed unfair. It seemed cruel. What was I just supposed to go back to my life? (Hint: that is exactly what I was supposed to do).
Visits with family. Check.
Spending time with friends. Check.
Incredible experiences with Jesse. Double Check.
Feelings of incredible anxiety, fear, disbelief, joy, hope, and guilt. Check, Check, Check.
Alyssa and I were able to use our previously cancer canceled airline ticket money for New York on a trip to New Orleans. Instead of waiting and worrying for the last few days I was seeing the beautiful sights of a very historic, very humid, city where different cultures mix together into one big beautiful melting pot. One of those cultures: flashing your breasts for beads. And while fake flashing in my hotel room was as far as I got, my last hurrah with these expanders was a blast.
A lot of people will call this my cancer “journey” and I may have even used the word myself. But lately it doesn’t feel like the word fits. To me journey implies traveling from one place to another. A start to a finish. A beginning to an end. It sounds a little too romantic to me, too sunshine and rainbows in a time where I’m more thunder and lightning. Maybe when I die someday you can use the word journey but not today. There is no finish to this, no end. Yes there are new breasts but they will forever be place holders for what was there before. They will simultaneously remind me of who I was BC (before cancer) and who I am AC (after cancer). No, this is no journey. This is a freaking excursion.
Excursion: An instance of the movement of something along a path. A digression. A deviation from a regular pattern, path, or level of operation.