With Ryan taking my place accompanying our son Zac on the class trip to the Big Island today, I’m going to be spending the next couple of nights without him. It will be the first time we’ll be apart for more than a few hours since the surgery. I think we’ve always been close, but since my diagnosis, I’ve really come to appreciate what a good man he is. I think we’ve gotten closer. He cares for me so well and I think we trust each other even more.
But I’m worried for him. He’s so strong, but I know he’s afraid, too, but doesn’t readily express it. I’ve been so busy thinking about my health that I hadn’t really thought about how he must feel. This is going to be hard for him, too… maybe even more so than it will be for me.
We had a normal, typical family weekend. I felt great. My energy level has returned to normal. It felt like any other weekend, really, but I couldn’t stop crying, and not even for any particular reason I could articulate. It wasn’t just the prospect of the treatment; it was little things that set me off. And I could feel Ryan getting frustrated at little things, too. We were both emotional and sometimes impatient with the kids. For the first time, we were semi-seriously considering shipping the kids off to stay with relatives for a few weeks, and I felt guilty at the mere thought. We need each other and the kids more than ever.
And since I am undergoing radiation and chemo, reconstruction will have to wait for at least a year. Now I don’t know if I’ll even want to go through that when this is all over. I was seeing reconstruction as inevitable, but today I can’t even imagine having more surgery.
I’m no longer lopsided, at least. On Sunday, I finally got my first piece of post-mastectomy lingerie.
I was originally told to pick up my post-surgical camisole before my procedure from Nordstrom. I hadn’t shopped at Nordstrom before, but I learned that they do a lot of good work for breast cancer patients. Of the national chains that are here in Hawaii, Nordstrom is the only one that provides mastectomy supplies. I put in my order but had to wait for a back order of my size, and the surgery came and went. Our Kaiser nurse, Roxanne, was seriously diligent in trying to sort it all out.
I decided that I would try another size instead, and we dropped by after church on Sunday, and I met the manager, Jackie, who was super cool and very professional. She told me about all my choices and went over the particulars of our insurance plan. In about six weeks, after I’m healed, I will be fitted for a prosthesis. Nordstrom will also give me three bras free every year, and I can buy more tax-free for the rest of my life.
My post-surgery camisole is not very pretty, but it fits and makes me look like I did before, which is all that counts, for right now. I can wear my normal clothes again.
Today I had an echocardiogram. Since chemo can weaken the heart, an echocardiogram is needed to check for any hidden heart problems. It was fast, at least. I also have another follow-up with my surgeon on Friday. If anything, I guess I’m going to be able to find my way around the hospital pretty well soon.