That is the amount of time that has passed since my surgery. This time last November 13 (it was a Wednesday) I was still under anesthesia while doctors were completing my surgery. In some ways I can’t believe it has been an entire year, and in other ways it feels like my surgery was decades ago. I had someone ask me today if looking back I would have changed my mind.
No way. No freakin way.
I would do it again if faced with the same predicament (thank goodness that can’t happen)
The past year was quite an experience. I have learned a lot about myself and others throughout this entire ordeal. We are all souls that posses a body and boy oh boy did God do an awesome job when he created it. I think a lot of the time, we as humans look at our bodies being the main entity that possesses the soul. This is a tragic flaw of the human race. Instead of looking at ourselves with the respect and awe that we all deserve we get hung up on the physical aspects of our being “why can’t my legs be smaller, or why can’t my nose be smaller?, Why don’t I have curly hair, I hate my waist,etc…” You get my point. This year has taught me that God constructed my person to be an extremely tough, durable, resilient piece of artwork and I am thankful that he made me this way. But he has constructed my soul from something tough like titanium. I am way stonger than I ever imagined I was. He has also blessed me by surrounding me with an extremely stong support system. Family, friends, co-workers, doctors, nurses, physical therapists, even random strangers who reached out along the way. What an awesome feeling knowing that I have multitudes of people who are there to cheer me on. It’s unreal. Hopefully someday I will be able to pay it forward to all of you who have lifted me up. One can hope.
A lot has happened over the last 12 months.
I made it through my recovery, and I must say while it was a grueling process filled with difficult physical hurdles (did I ever mention that I hated PT bahhahahahaha) I can look back and surprisingly not remember the pain. There are a few things I do remember like the first time getting up to go to the bathroom right after surgery (OUCH!!!) the drains, and that stupid seroma a.k.a my third boob. But, the majority of the pain I experienced I cannot remember.
I made it through the implant exchange with flying colors! I went back to work with full ROM in my arms. It’s hard for me to explain what a big deal that is for me. Since my lats are in the front now, I had difficulty doing a lot with my arms. I went from having T-Rex arms to being stronger than I think I have ever been.
I switched jobs. I loved my PACU job and miss all of my co-workers there a ton, but I had the opportunity to work in the NICU which I have always wanted to do. How blessed am I to be fortunate enough to help prevent myself from being a statistic of breast cancer and score my dream job in one year?!?!? Extremely.
I had nipple grafting surgery. Unfortunately this was not successful, but if at first you don’t succeed, try,try again. And I will. I have an appointment in December to see when we can go ahead with the next attempt.
The thing that I am most proud of that I have accomplished this year was that I hiked the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim. My good friend Regina asked me to hike with her and I am so proud of us that we did it. This truly showed how “recovered” I was. I spent 3 days carrying a pack that weighed 30 lbs. through the Canyon on a 24 mile hike. I was worried that my lack of muscles in my back would make this too hard. It didn’t. Yet again, another example to the strength God instilled in my body. AWESOME.
If you would have told me a year ago that I would be where I am now, I would have laughed in your face. This year was far from rainbows and butterflies, but it has shown me what I am made of. I am sure there are more hurdles and bumps to come, but that is life.
Oh what a difference a year can make.