• Another 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 221 (Death to My Tail)

    This is what the drainage tubes looked like, though I only had them on the right side.

    This is what the drainage tubes looked like, though I only had them on the right side.

    Tuesday, February 17, 2015

    Run/ Walk/ Bike/ Elliptical (Today:  0.00 miles;  Running Total: 174.00 miles)

    Day 221 of *Another* 100 Days of Good Karma.

    I went back to the plastic surgeon to have the tissue expander inflated some more and to have the remaining drain inspected.

    The surgeon’s PA took the remaining drain out.


    What a relief it is to move without that drain in. Having that drain was like waking up one day to find I had a tail. The tail wasn’t an appendage I was born with and I didn’t have my whole life to learn to maneuver around it.  So the tail was clumsy and obnoxious and always in the way.

    Once the drain was taken out taking a shower became instantly easier.  I didn’t have to hang my tail from the side of the shower and only move within the arc of its length. I can sleep laying down now because I don’t have to worry about rolling over on or pinching the tail.  I don’t have to worry about snagging clothing on it when I get dressed.  Oh, and I can put my not-so-irrational fear of doors aside because I no longer have to worry about walking past and the damn thing looping itself around a doorknob.

    I hated that thing. I hope the tail feels pain when they burn it.

    The PA also inflated the tissue expander more. It’s closer now to matching the size of the other side.  They’ll deflate it next week before the radiation simulation.

    I’m a little sad about that. Having the tissue expander inflated to this size was like bringing a puppy home for a weekend and then wanting to keep it. I just got attached.

    I like having two breasts. It makes me feel prettier. More confident. Whole.

    I feel like I can look other people in the eye and they won’t know what’s wrong with me.

    Having breast cancer has induced a strange mixture of shame and embarrassment. I know I didn’t choose to have cancer, but it still feels shameful to be ‘sick’ (I still hate that word). Like it’s a form of personal weakness.

    And missing a body part, even if I cover it up with a shirt, is embarrassing.

    Whether I like it or not breasts are a strong sign of femininity. You only have to look at a magazine rack to know that (I dare you not to find cleavage). Then there’s all the topless women in television shows and movies.  And don’t get me started on restaurants like Hooters, or Twin Peaks or Bone Daddy’s.

    It’s not easy to look at these things and know I will never again have two native breasts like those other women.

    Having the right side inflated is a good feeling. It offsets the shame and embarrassment. It’s a small slice of normal given back to me.  I look forward to keeping that feeling permanently after radiation is over.

    Today’s silver lining: They took the tube out.

    Thank God that part is over.

    What’s your silver lining today?  I love comments!

    Don’t want to leave a comment, but have something you want to share?  Send me an email at gettingthewordswrong(at)gmail(dot)com.


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4 Responsesso far.

  1. Pat S says:

    You forgot Bikini’s and Bombshells…………..

  2. Tina Smith says:

    WOOT! Goodbye tail! Sadly, you will not be missed 🙂 So glad you can now roll over when you sleep. Seems like such a simple thing, but I bet last night was heaven.

  3. Mom says:

    No one will know what is wrong with you my dear! You are YOU! I’m glad your tail is gone. It’s a pill having things on you that you really didn’t ask for. It’s easy for me to say you will be okay because I’m the mommy. Love you, Mom

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