So I met with one surgeon for my reconstruction...he was really very nice. Though I've tried my best to get used to the difficult scenarios in store, it is still a shock to hear certain things. Part of me feels like this is all very interesting, sort of a new intellectual pursuit. But then I realize, wait, this is me and my body! WHOA, that's a whole new thing!
So seeing the pictures and hearing about the process was not fun, but let's go on to the good thoughts I've had recently...that seems to be so much of a better focus!
The surgeon said I should do well with reconstruction, as having three children and nursing them, etc. has left me with enough extra skin in that area. I never thought I would be glad I was already sagging! But that is a joking good thought, not the real good thoughts, so I will proceed.
My mom never got a chance to say - "Hey, wait! I want to have a say in my own mortality here!" I am going to make myself feel glad that I have a chance. I can say, take this stuff, give me some scars, change my whole body, but leave me around longer. When I was painting yesterday, I had a few conversations with my mom telling her I would really try my best with this, that I would use this chance that she never had.
Especially since I've had children, I have had moments when I felt like I really began to understand things about my mom - things I might have already understood if she hadn't died before we had the chance to have those conversations. I know lots of people start to understand their mothers more once they are mothers, too, so I have always been thankful that I've gotten to understand mine (I think) in a similar way. I am thankful for this one more chance to understand her. When you are 12, and your mother dies so suddenly, you sometimes have sad thoughts that maybe it wasn't so hard for her when she left you. I definitely so differently now. I feel like it is a huge gift that now I viscerally feel like she would have done everything to stay with us if she could have, and I am going to give everything because she couldn't. (And I am expecting her to help me! But seriously, I've had weird things happen when I really needed her, and I knew she was there...So I feel like I should be able to count on her now.)
And the last good thought before I begin painting like crazy again today: I'm going to do my very best to help myself and hopefully my daughters learn from this that a person is so much more than what they look like. I've always felt strongly that it was my job to do this for them, but here is a really big opportunity to do that!
WAIT, there is one more amazing thing... all of our supporters! Bill still cries each time I forward him another email, and tears were running down his face when he saw the Lotsa Helping Hands website and everyone who has registered to help us. If anyone reading this knows of someone who wants to join, they can contact my sister-in-law, Angela Guenther, who is serving as the coordinator. Her email is email@example.com. (If you contact her today, wish her a Happy Birthday!)
So now off to the world of paint. Wish me quick and good painting... I have Katie's room 3/4 done already!