We’re Not The Only Ones…

As I rolled out of bed this morning, the first thing I did was the exact same thing I’ve been doing since I got home from the hospital Wednesday morning. I headed straight for the mirror.

Yes – the mirror and I seem to have become the best of friends over the last few days and as many times as I’ve given the ol’ lookingwoman-crying-2 glass a good flash or ten, I wouldn’t be surprised if I wake up tomorrow to find it growing legs and running down the street. A little dramatic, I know, but I’ve never been so aware of a mirror’s presence in my entire life! Now, for those of you who already know me, you are correct in calling me a big, fat liar after that one, as the world knows I love mirrors. Not because I’m conceited or that I enjoy gawking at myself, but more so because I’m slightly insecure at times and am constantly checking my hair, my face or my shoes in case that lone trail of toilet paper decides to join me for a little stroll down Main Street. And don’t you dare act like that hasn’t happened to you! I’ll refrain from naming names…

Before this surgery, I already had my own minor imperfections that I struggled with on a daily basis. Whether it was dealing with a little extra water weight on a Friday night or complaining that the arch in my foot was too high, I seemed to always have some outlandish reason for bailing, flaking and breaking plans with great friends who couldn’t give a rat’s ass if my nail beds are too short! Add some reconstructed breasts into that mix and you’ve got yourself good solid dose of classic female complaining that could quite possibly last a lifetime – if you let it.

I once read about an Arab Proverb that delightfully sums up the scientific theory behind the female mind:

“Women want toasted ice.”

It’s embarrassing, but true – especially when it comes to our image. My point is, as I sit here and pick apart my brand new, beautifully reconstructed breasts, I’m completely missing the point as to why I had this procedure done in the first place. And at the end of the day, my rack is pretty rockin’, if I may say so myself. It’s different from my old one, but rockin’, nonetheless! And even though I may have my own minor imperfections to point out, others probably won’t even notice. And when I really think about it, the only thing that has been a slight bother to me is that they’re a little bit bigger than they were to begin with! And to complain about that is just plain stupid, let’s be honest!

When you strip it all down to brass tacks, the only hiccup from this process seems to be the fact that I’m still somewhat halted by the “what if” factor. What if I was to never get cancer? Then I would never have had to go through all of this. But as a wise father once told me, “If the dog hadn’t stopped to poop, he would’ve caught the rabbit!” Ain’t that the truth!

It’s difficult being cast into the “PREvivor” role. As a dear friend of mine once said, “It can be isolating. You do not have full blown cancer so you find you don’t fit in with the ‘pink ribbon brigade’.” Agreeing with her on so many levels, she has inspired me to put together a list of women in the spotlight who have gone through the trials and tribulations of undergoing a mastectomy with reconstruction. Yes, my sister’s case and mine went smoothly, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t had to deal with the insecurities that come along with it all. I think it’s extremely important for women of all ages to understand that just because this isn’t talked about the way full blown breast cancer is, doesn’t mean there aren’t thousands of other women going through the exact same thing! And at the end of the day, a mastectomy is a mastectomy – period.

So for all of you reconstructed women out there, here is a list of some beautiful women who’ve experienced their own set of ups and downs after a mastectomy.

Giuliana Rancic

Bilateral Mastectomy w/Reconstruction

giuliana

Christina Applegate

BRCA Positive – Bilateral Mastectomy w/Reconstruction

Christina A

Sharon Osbourne

BRCA Positive – Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy w/Reconstruction

sharon o

Allyn Rose (Miss DC)

Scheduled to have a Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy w/Reconstruction

allyn rose

E.D. Hill

BRCA Positive – Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy w/Reconstruction

e d hill

Wanda Sykes

DCIS – Bilateral Mastectomy w/Reconstruction

wanda

Kathy Bates

BRCA Positive – Bilateral Mastectomy w/Reconstruction

kathy bates

Maura Tierney

Bilateral Mastectomy w/Reconstruction

maura_tierney_m

Olivia Newton-John

Radical Mastectomy w/Reconstruction

olivia

Breast Wishes –

Amy

3 thoughts on “We’re Not The Only Ones…

  1. Your timing with this post was perfect for me. I’m scheduled for a PBM on January 8th and spent the weekend stressing about this. Reading your post and seeing all the strong women who have gone before me give me comfort. Thanks again for encouraging and supporting those of us who will soon be going through what you have already conquered.

    • You’re very welcome, Pam! That makes me feel like this blog is really accomplishing something! 🙂 We have to remember that this whole thing is still relatively new to society as a whole. So just because it’s not always talked about, doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Expect there to be a couple of ups and downs, but also know that when it’s all said and done, we’re all going to be so happy! Just like Giuliana Rancic, and Christina Applegate and Olivia Newton John were. If you need anything at all or any advice, PLEASE don’t hesitate to ask. My email is amy@flightandfeathers.com. I’d be happy to help if you have questions! 🙂 So proud of you for making such a brave decision!!

      Amy

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