Be Kind.

I hardly update my Facebook status.  I don’t think anyone wants to know when I’ve just finished my laundry, had too many mudslides, or funny things my kids say.  Most of the time, I’m pretty sure that I’m the only one that finds them hilarious.  I used to be the queen of “I guess you had to be there.”  I finally realized that I should just chuckle to myself and be happy that I find my kids adorable (and then text my mom, because grandmas are good for that, too).

I do make exceptions, however.  Particularly during this month of pink.  Breast cancer awareness month gives me an excuse to repost other peoples’ tips on prevention, reminders for mammograms, or funny boob stuff.  I’m allowed, it’s October.  PS. Get your mammograms, ladies.  The pink everywhere is a not-so-subtle reminder to do so.

I was perusing my Facebook feed the other day and happened upon an image that I loved. It so perfectly articulated what I aim to teach my kids. It displayed the text, “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.  Be kind.  Always.” 4 likes. That’s it. I wasn’t aiming for likes, but that’s it?  I recently posted, “Hey, autocorrect.  I NEVER mean “ducking”.  Arrrg!”  (If you have an iPhone, you know that the autocorrect hates the words Fuck, Yo, and OY.  Apparently, autocorrect is a grammatical-stick-up-the-ass anti-semite.)  How many “likes” for that quip?  30.  And 4 comments!  I guess everyone likes to text “Fuck” more than they like to be kind. Boo. (And not in the Halloween way.)

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It’s worth it!

As a woman, we have to put up with a bunch of nature’s bullshit.  I’m mainly talking about all of the hormonal nonsense that we have to deal with.  There are the weeps, the whines, and the plain old what-the-fucks of life’s emotional roller coaster.  When I was pregnant, I was all over the place, emotionally.  I can’t help but feel like my post-op attitude is akin to the hormonal response following the birth of my girls.  After they were born and after each of my BRCA related surgeries, I’ve felt a near-euphoric zest for my life’s blessings.  (My husband is probably laughing to himself while reading this. He’s wondering if euphoria, to me, just means that he has to wake up more with the kids in the middle of the night. Ummm…? Yes.)

It’s really kind of miraculous what our bodies can endure.  Growing another human being inside of us, taking off body parts and replacing them with a mixture of man-made parts and donated parts from your own body.  None of it is easy, but all of it is worth it.  It’s almost Machiavellian.  We have to get our period, go through a myriad of hormonal fluctuations and a ton of physical discomfort to have children.  But, it’s worth it.  I had to chop off my knockers and get them rebuilt from scratch, but now I know I won’t get breast cancer.  It was worth it.

I’m two weeks and two days post-op.  Although I’m still sore, the discomfort is fading.  I’m tired, but I’m motivated.  The past few days have brought us spectacular fall weather.  The girls and I went for walks and I had no problem pushing the double stroller to our friends’ houses for impromptu playdates.  I’m enjoying the post-op high of watching my two little blessings run around giggling with their friends and each other.   They won’t have to put up with nature’s bullshit for many years to come.  But when they do, I’ll have them look in the mirror and I’ll tell them from my own experience, “It’s worth it!”

Freedom’s Road

At last week’s post-op appointment, my doctor told me that everything looked great and to expect my swelling to increase over the next week.  Tomorrow will be two weeks since I had the fat grafting procedure. That’s supposed to be the peak of post-lipo swelling.  I’m definitely swollen and the bruising, although still there, is starting to fade.  I can already see that the results are pretty incredible.

The rippling in my breasts seems to be mostly gone.  As I study my new boobs, I think I see a faint ripple here or there, but nothing like the ocean waves that I saw before.  However, now I see why my surgeon warned me that usually fat grafting has to be done twice.  He said they took out about 1200 cc’s of fat out of my legs and injected roughly 250 cc’s into the breasts.  So he took a little extra just for the fun of it (I’m telling myself that was an early birthday present.  32 is looking a lot better!).  Not all of the fat that was injected is expected to “take”.  I asked him where the rest of it would go.  In my head, I was picturing how fat separates and rises to the surface when you cook chicken soup and that gooey, yellowish junk needs to be skimmed off.  Would I have to start skimming fat off of my boobs at the end of the day?  Gross!  No, he said, “it dissipates just as fat would normally do so?”  This boggled my mind, as well.  As I started to say, “Wait… how does that happen naturally?”  I stopped myself and realized, “Oh…. like when people work out and the fat “melts away”.  Gotcha!”  (Maybe if I had tried that earlier, I wouldn’t have had 1200 cc’s to take out.  Genius!)

So as I am still a work in progress and my swelling and fat almost miraculously disappear, I continue to feel sore and more tired than usual.  I am happy to be driving again and to feel independent with my daughters.  I loved having the help of my parents and my mother-in-law, but I’m thrilled to not take away from their time anymore and to be so reliant on them.  I’ve gotten myself into the mindset that I am going to be sore, but it will get better with time.  Some people have chronic pain, but this will be fleeting.  Pushing myself and doing more things on my own, for and with my daughters, is exactly what I need to get better.  And although I’m pretty sure he wasn’t referring to recovery period after liposuction, JFK said, “The best road to progress is freedom’s road.” 

The Real Scoop on Lipo

So you want the real scoop on lipo?  Most people who get liposuction are probably doing it on the DL, so they’re not going to be forthcoming with the dirty details.  Luckily, I will.  Be warned, it’s not pretty (but I’m hoping in about 6 weeks it will be).

Ya know the 300 workouts that I should have done to achieve the body of my dreams?  Take all of the soreness that I would have felt after all of those squats, leg lifts, and whatever else trainers make you do so your thighs and butt look good (I wouldn’t know) and combine those into a few days of cumulative soreness.  “Transitions are the hardest.”  That’s what my plastic surgeon’s nurse warned me.  When I’m not moving, I feel great!  Move a muscle?  Feel the proverbial burn.  It’s definitely not painful per se, but it looks like someone took a bat to my legs and butt.

I now know what it was like to sit on an ancient thrown… or at least an old toilet carved out of marble.  A soft toilet seat cover.  My kingdom for a squishy, soft toilet seat cover. (I’m so tempted to grab my daughters’ princess potty cover with its padded ring of comfort.)  And I hear that crotchless compression pants are going to be all the rage for spring 2014.  Mine have side zips from my knee to the underboobs, hook and eye closures for added compression, and fine Parisian lace around the bottom hem. Ok fine, the lace is probably not from Paris, but the fact that they’re crotchless makes up for that.  But before you go onto the Agent Provacateur website and order your pair, please note the following.  You can only take them off when you shower and since your bladder and tush cheeks are so squished together, going to the bathroom can be challenging (on many levels).  Luckily, the nurse had a helpful tip for this part too and I’ve found a new use for the post-summer surplus of red SOLO cups previously used for fun things like games of flip cup and beer pong.  Cut the bottom off the cup and use it as a pee funnel so you don’t get the lovely compression garments dirty. Amazing!

So far, I see only a little bit of a difference in the shape of my legs due to swelling, but I definitely don’t see any more rippling in my boobs anymore.  All of that leg fat is sitting nicely atop my implants giving them a rounder, softer appearance. As I still don’t have any feeling in my breasts, the fat grafting and scar revision don’t hurt.  Yes, my breast bone area is sore and I can feel a little bit of discomfort where my little one accidentally slammed her head into the one strip of my left breast where I’ve regained sensation, but I needed that cuddle as much as she did and the residual pain is worth it.

Comparatively speaking, after the previous two surgeries, this is a breeze.  Maybe after the nose job, my double mastectomy, the implant swap and now fat grafting, I’m just used to plastic surgery?  I’m accomplished in a way I’d never imagined.  I never would have thought that, before age 32, I’d already have achieved Gold Status on the Joan Rivers Scale of Plastic Surgery.  Now I just need some Botox… and if I can manage a facelift before 40, I may get Platinum for life!

 

The Final Countdown

It’s the final countdown.  T minus 9 hours.  I’ve already reached the point where I have to stop eating and drinking.  It’s go time.  I was calm up until this moment. (Yes, take away my food and drink and I inevitably freak out.)  Now I start to let the anxieties creep in.

Will I get the same anesthesiologist?  Will she be having a good day? What if I wake up in surgery and flip the fuck out, causing instruments to go flying and people to panic? What if I get an infection post-op? Blah, blah, blah, all the depressing crap that comes with thoughts like those (and too many hours watching medical dramas on TV).  I could really go down the rabbit’s hole.

Luckily, I have the good sense to stop myself.  (Plus, I’m exhausted and just want to go to sleep already. I’m sure one or both of my girls will be up sometime soon.) I remind myself that by this time tomorrow, I will be back home and this set of surgeries will be done.  I can put this chapter behind me and move on.  I will still have the radical hysterectomy to look forward to, but that is years away.  I’m excited for this to be over.  I’m thrilled that I have knocked breast cancer out of my life and man, I’m gonna have the tits and ass to prove it!