Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Friday, November 10, 2006

Crush Kranki's Spirit Friday - Fuckity Fuck Fuck

*Big Sigh*

I went to have my little procedure done yesterday and the surgeon looked and looked at the wound on my breast which had become even larger in the last couple days and said the words I dreaded hearing but somehow knew were inevitable;

“I cannot close it. I am not even going to try. The skin is too far gone. You are going to need surgery.”

Crap.

I am devastated.

Here are my three choices:

1. Get my boob rebuilt through a very involved surgery called a Latissimus Dorsi Flab.

2. Get the implant removed and the bad skin removed and be without a breast entirely on my right side.

3. Get the implant and skin removed now and have the Latissimus Dorsi Flap surgery at a later date.

I did not get my choice of just leaving things as they are and having no more surgery at all and never having to see another doctor ever again. No matter what I choose I have to have surgery of some type. I am freaking out.

I have a little bit of time to make this decision and this is a great gift as I am now operating purely on anxiety and fear and having to make an important choice while overwhelmed by these feelings sucks. The thought of having more surgery, my 4th operation in the last year and a half, literally makes me nauseous. I only had my last surgery less than six weeks ago. I wish I could put it off for a while but it is one of those surgeries that has to be done very soon. In fact my surgery will bump others from my surgeons’ schedule.

The Latissimus Dorsi Surgery is about 4 hours long and will require me to stay 2 days in the hospital. I will have a few drains to deal with and about a six week recovery. The scaring with be extensive on my breast as well as on my back. You can read about the procedure here and here. Obviously nobody would really want to go through something like that and the whole thing triggers my anxiety disorder in a major way but the alternative is losing my breast and all that entails emotionally.

Interestingly I have had a lot of strange and conflicting thoughts about being without my breast. Part of me believes that if I was not a single gal and was, in fact, in a wonderful relationship where I felt loved unconditionally I might just say, “Fuck it!” and not have the major surgery but go the lesser implant removal route. The fact is that I do feel incredible pressure to fit into the beauty mold. I worry about how future potential boyfriends would deal with my lack of a breast. I know that a superficial guy is obviously not the right one for me but I am also brutally aware that guys are visual creatures and that I already don’t fall into the ideal deluxe package parameters. Do I want yet one more major strike against me? Guys think of their girlfriend’s breasts as ‘theirs’ and I can only wonder that unless a love bond was already there a guy might not want to ‘do without’. Why would they deal with all that when there are other fully boobed fish in the sea? Then I think I sound so shallow and that I should give myself and the male part of the human race more credit. I shouldn’t care what others think of me. Beauty is not all in the boobs.

The fact is that deciding whether or not to have a breast reconstructed is very different from feeling pressure to follow the latest fashion trend. There is a very complex emotional element to this. We are talking about a major part of the female identity. I honestly don’t think I have even ‘gone there’ as far as considering the entire emotional ramifications of being without a breast. I wonder if I am focusing on the superficial aspects because I don’t want to even go that deep. I honestly don’t know.

What I do know is that I am feeling very sad.

The doc expressed his remorse that things went this way as he too was also very pleased with the look of the implants. He assured me it was nothing I did and only that my skin was too damaged by all the radiation treatments. We had a great talk about my anxiety issues and how I say dumb ass things when stressed and he very kindly offered to do everything in his power to make whatever decision I came to as easy for me as possible. I can pick whether I have my surgery in the morning or afternoon. I can have a private room. I can even possibly go home a day early if my pain is under control. He is open to whatever I need. He was very sweet to me.

So no matter what my decision is I am feeling very anxious about it. At this point I am thinking that I will stay the course I started on and get the reconstruction done. I know I could always get it at the later date but that means 2 surgeries instead of the one and probably just prolonging my anxiety. But, fuck, I am really scared. Just scared. And second guessing myself. Even thinking about it…..*shudder*

Obviously I am a complete control freak because as soon as things go off course I am totally thrown for a loop. But when you go through months and months of nasty treatment which is very unpleasant and painful and uncomfortable and frightening and then you see the end in sight and you believe all the major stuff is over and finished with and you can FINALLY think about getting on with things it SUCKS ASS to suddenly find out that is, in fact, NOT THE CASE!

I am trying to keep things in perspective. This is not a cancer reoccurrence. This is not a life threatening situation. I’m going to be ok.

And clearly I must now be eligible for some really good happy drugs.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Stacey,
I read your blog entry and will say a prayer to our Lord Jesus Christ that he will comfort and heal you. I pray that you will find his peace and love.

angela marie said...

These are big decisions, but like you said yourself...it isn't cancer. You aren't dealing with life and death this time. Does thinking that help or no?

I don't think it is shallow to worry about having one breast or two. I cannot put myself in your place because I have not had to face it, but thinking it through is important. I bet you will see just what you said...that you have started down this road and you can finish it. It sounds like your surgeon is really standing behind you...or rather in front of you, eh?

Take a deep breath. Go. (Thinking of you)

eclectic said...

Awww Kranki, I'm just so damn sorry! I've always wanted to get breast implants, but surgery just seems so huge. And now for you to have to do it all over, and with the skin transplant...awwww shit, I wish I could make it easier. I know you'll be fine whatever you decide, and you're much too beautiful to have one boob make much difference. But still, I totally empathize with the pain of your decision. We're still here, and we're not going anywhere. You're still wonderful, whatever you decide. And Yoshi must still be crushed. So, it will all be good, it's just a matter of time. Sending love and peace.

Madame D said...

I'm so sorry you have to go through all this. I'm glad you have an understanding surgeon to help you with your decision making process.

Tay said...

I hope everything works out okay for you. I don't know you, but I've been reading your blog for a while, and I really enjoy it. I send you a really big hug!

Nerdgirl said...

Oh sweetie! I'm sorry to hear that you'll need more surgery.

I think it's good that you had a chat with your doctor though, and got things out in the open - that must make you a little more relaxed.

You've come so far on this journey, and been through so much. Ok, there's been a hiccup, and you'll have to go a little further to reach the end. But I think it's good to stay positive, this isn't cancer coming back, it's some tweeking, and after the tweeking, and the recovery you'll have some nice boobies.

Oh, and yay on the happy drugs. *Hugs*

headless cat said...

kranki - im so sorry to hear the news isnt good - i didnt have a reconstruction as i had radiation also and decided i could live with one breast - its good you will have some time to think it through

thinking of you..

east village idiot said...

Kranki - I am very sorry that you are going through this stressful situation.
You have a lot going on. Maybe you should hang out with your mom for a while and talk it through.

happy and blue 2 said...

I'm sorry you have to go through this..

Angelove said...

I'm so sorry you are having such a hard time right now. %

fridita said...

I wish you did not have to face such a monumentally suck-y decision & more surgery. The fact that you are trying to keep it all in perspective, however, is amazing & really quite true: you ARE going to be okay no matter what. Furthermore, I think Yoshi will serve as a great live-in nurse while you recuperate !

whfropera said...

fuckity fuck fuck fuck is right - why does one of the sweetest people in the world (YOU) have to deal with this shit?

ok, now that I have said that, although I have no damn advice for you, I do have a lot of love, and whatever you choose WILL be the right decision for you and for "he who is not here yet but should be and will be dammitall".

hang in there!

stampydurst said...

VKP-I, too, concur that this totally sucks. It is a hard choice to make. While I like to think that I would be a strong, self-confident woman and not need a reconstruction, I'm pretty sure I'd worry about it alot. When my mom had to make some surgery decisions (it ended up being a lump/ax with radiation so things turned out well), I encouraged her to have an immediate tram flap reconstruction. Part of that recommendation was predicated on the promise of no further surgery. But if she'd had a radical mastectomy, they were not recommending radiation so she had the immediate reconstruction option. Now that you've been through several surgeries and adjuvant treatments, your decision is that much harder.

O.K. Here's my vote. I've narrowed it down to two. Either have the implant removed and have no further reconstruction (if you can come to terms with that), or have it as a one-stage procedure. Sounds like you just need a better soft tissue envelope for healing.

No matter what your decision, we here in Blogland wholeheartedly (and small boobedly) support you.

JP said...

Oh geeze, that really sucks! I'm soo sorry you have to go through all of this crap. It is just so unfair, especially with all you've been through.

I suppose if you were Sharkey and she were trying to decide my advice would be if there would be any regrets moving forward with one decision or another. Cause you shouldn't make a decision if you know you'll eventually regret it in the long run even if it gives you short term comfort. Just my opinion on it.

I totally understand the single fitting into the mold attitude. I can see it. I understand it. But I also think the right guy won't be with you just to see and feel your hoots. He'll be with you for you and everything else is just extra!!

Big positive thoughts and prayers your way! Be strong and hang tough!

mrtl said...

How can a headless cat be thinking of you? Is that what happened to Yoshi?

This does suck, even when you put it in the "in the grand scheme of things" perspective. It's really too bad you can't keep the hole and use it as a secret pocket.

It's hard to make a decision when your choices are all crappy. Love and hugs to you.

kalki said...

DAMMIT. Fuckity fuck fuck indeed.

You are right - it is not a cancer recurrence, and thank the freaking universe for that. But still, this is a big deal, and an emotional one. You are entitled to being upset by this. And I hate making (simple) decisions, so I realize how shitty that is as well.

I want to say, however, that you are still you - and still beautiful - with or without perfect breasts or any breasts at all. You are not defined by your breasts; you proved that when you kicked cancer's ass. You are fabulous, and the beauty that is you shines through. Truly. I see it, everyone who comes here sees it, and any man worth his weight will see it, too.

Twisteduterus said...

well dang it all.

you are strong and awesome..boob or no boob.

as far as the guy thing-any guy worth your attention will understand

Squirl said...

Oh, honey, I wish you didn't have to make a sucky decision like this. I don't know what I would do in this situation, much less have good advice for you.

Ask Yoshi, your welfare is one of her top priorities, right?

Flaming Goddess said...

Bugger Arse and Bollocks babe, so the bumpy ride isnt quite over yet hey ? just remember that Them Amazons used to cut a breast off in order that they may shoot their arrows far, so ,um , archery is always an option,or you know. being just being an Amazon. which as far as I'm concerned you already are.
You are much more than the sum of your parts so one boobie or two I still love what you do and some deeply non-shallow dude gonna come along and love you one day too, can you imagine Henry letting a mere boob minus get in the way of some krankipantzen action? no? didnt think so.
Hang in there babe, hugs and Lots of supportive 0101001's to you
FG

Snap said...

Boobs are a pretty big deal. There's really no way around it. I think I'd feel a lot like you if I were in the same situation. My own hooters have been part of my identity ever since they sprouted. I'm nowhere near wanting kids, but someday I'm bound to get knocked up, and I'm terrified about what my rack will look like after that. I'll be thinking of you, and checking in. Damn. That's a shitty deal, but you've got the worst behind you. Keep your chin up, Krank.

SassyFemme said...

Oh Kranki, it sucks, plain and simple. :( I do have to concur with East Village about hanging out and chatting with your mom re: options.

Closet Metro said...

Any man worthy of seeing you nekkid is surely smart enough to see more in you than boobs, or he shouldn't even be allowed to hold your hand.

*hugs*

Do what feels right.

hemlock said...

Kranki:

So sorry about this road block popping up NOW.

Take care of yourself sweets. You are strong and will make it through this for sure... and happy drugs? Why not!

LadyBug said...

Oh, honey, I'm so, so sorry things suck so badly right now. I wish there were something I could do to make it better.

You're in my thoughts and prayers, hon.

Hänni said...

Awww, I know this will be a hard decision for you kranki.

You're in our thoughts and prayers.

elizabeth said...

i'm beginning to think you continuously up the posting ante just to bring be out of lurkdom from time to time, because surely all of this cannot possibly be happening to one person. i concur with all the lovely people above me, and have only this to add.

you are one strong-ass woman. after all you've been through, you can and will make the decision that is best for you. the fact that part of the decision is based on (what may seem like) pure aesthetics does not make that part less real or important. it's your body, you literally fought with your life to keep yourself in it, therefore you get to call the shots about what it should look like in the end of all this crap.

whatever that decision is, it's yours, and you have endless support from so many people.