Another dear friend from high school, Sakura Keast, has signed up to walk the 3-day! Also, Bill's cousin, Melonie Martinez, has signed up as well. I can barely keep up with all the wonderful walkers!
I left the house yesterday for only the 2nd time since the 18th/day of surgery, but that is more because it has been chilly and everything seems to hurt more when I am cold. I've been pretty active, otherwise - I've been outside with the kids on nice days, I've been on the treadmill more days than not, I'm doing tons of normal things, and I've also seen plenty of wonderful people as they bring over meals or drop off my children - but I hadn't been in public yet since the surgery. (The other outing was for Easter brunch - so I was with beloved family members as opposed to being in public.) We went to Ikea and joy of joys! We left without any purchases except for cinnamon buns!
I did feel like it was weird to leave the sanctuary of home - it is strange to be in the old situations but feel like I am so different. I felt a little morose - why did I have breast cancer when all of these people probably don't have some sort of crazy disease like that? Then I promptly told myself that I was being stupid because of course I don't know what private trials they might have (and maybe their trials are worse). I do sometimes feel like I have an invisible mark of inferiority since my traitorous body went haywire on me - though that thought really only crosses my mind when I am out in the world, observing all the people and contemplating what a small percentage I now belong to - the percentage of youngish people who have/had cancer.
It was a good exercise, though. It is easy to feel very comfortable and Pam-like when you are at home and in your own little world. It is more thought-provoking to put oneself in public and see how one's theories of themselves play out. I have given myself a little mantra, though, when I start to feel like my life is forever changed by this disease; when I am asking myself, why me? I tell myself to make this be a change for the better. I pray that God will show me a way that I can make a positive difference in this world, and if having breast cancer is one way that I can do that, then I'm fine with that.
Today I drove myself for the first time...to church. I felt like God would make that an easy destination for me (ha ha). Anyway, my doctor said I could drive as soon as I was done with serious pain medication, like Vicodin (which I have been for a while), and after that, as soon as it was comfortable. It was a little uncomfortable to turn the wheel of that big giant minivan but not seriously hard. It felt like the expanders were moving around, which is a sensation not unlike a pregnant woman feels when her giant baby decides to turn over and push its limbs under the other rib, or something similarly inconvenient.
For a few days now I've been quite comfortable, and only needed to take pain medication at night. I feel like I get more swollen then and wake up hurting, so I take more Ibuprofen and go back to bed. The drainage is almost done...I would bet this last drain will come out within the next couple of days. I am actually expecting to go to the plastic surgeon's office tomorrow for that (we'll see when I call in the a.m.) , and I also have an appointment at the oncologist's office which will probably give me information about the chemotherapy that should be starting soon. More updates on that tomorrow.
Lastly, I think my new chest probably ALREADY looks better than my old one, scars and all, with almost no filling in these misshapen expanders. My "breasts" are at least in a better place now than they were before (which was that sagging place)! That shows the sorry state of affairs my chest was in after being pregnant 3 times (studies show that is what leads to sagginess, more than breastfeeding, but I am sure breastfeeding for all those years didn't help). I had a feeling I might be trading up, but I didn't expect I'd feel that way so soon! Again, I don't really care much about the looks - less even than I thought I would - but I do think it is an interesting observation that was worth sharing. Maybe someone will encounter a woman who is shocked and sad about her breast cancer diagnosis, and can relate this story about how one can come out of the whole thing better than before, physically too!