My name is Allyson and I was diagnosed March 7, 2012 with Breast Cancer at the age of 33. Although I am very fortunate (and grateful) for not having to experience chemotherapy, the process has still been a roller-coaster. This blog is a way for me to journal my thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Here is my journey in overcoming breast cancer....
One thing's for sure, I am so glad to be done with everything related to breast cancer. For the most part, that is. I still see my oncologist every 3 months to make sure my body is doing well with the medication I have to be on for the next 5 years of my life. But aside from that, I am done with surgery. Done with healing. Done with weekly doctor's appointments. Done. I can now move forward in my life...kinda.
I feel like I was pretty prepared with every surgery and recovery period. As much as I could be anyway. But I do feel like there are some things that even the doctors can't prepare you for. Things that are learned either through support groups with other breast cancer survivor or on your own. **I will admit, out of shear laziness, I haven't been to my support groups since the summer time. I enjoy the group and having that kind of support, but I have felt I'm in a much stable place emotionally.** Anyhow, back on topic... After my bi-lateral mastectomy the end of June, I had plenty of time for recovery before heading back to work. Boy, I had no idea trying to get back into a regular routine would be such a task. Granite, I do understand my best interests are being taken into consideration.
My plastic surgeon released me to go back to work, but with the restrictions of "light duty and no lifting over 40 pounds". Ummm, okay. Are you sure? I tried to explain to him the nature of my job, but it is difficult for people who are not around children with Autism and behavior problems to know exactly what it is like. To make a long story short, I went back to work on a Monday and was sent home Tuesday due to my restrictions. I mean, "light duty" and pre-school Autism kiddos don't exactly mesh well. So per the school district, I am now on medical leave for another week until I am re-released from my doctor with "no restrictions". I am so grateful for working with a school district that is so accommodating and understanding, however, it would be nice to get on with life.
How are the new tatas you ask? Meh, they are silicone implants. I did not know what to expect or how I thought they would look. I mean, I know how the breasts of a normal female with implants look, but the implants on a breast cancer patient are a little different. We don't have breast tissue or fat (in my case) to add to the fullness of the implant, so they look just like how the implant looks (wide and round). I am so grateful I at least have breast again, but I have to get use to the look of them. I also still have quite a bit of scar tissue the surgeon was not able to release in surgery, which gives a little rippling effect. Not gonna lie, there are times when I feel a little unhappy because they don't look like my real breasts did. However, my daily boob stretches should help release the remaining scar tissue. I have to keep reminding myself I'm only 4 weeks out from surgery and everything will look better in a few months. And that, my friends are just a few things written in fine print in the handbook of a breast cancer survivor's journey.
I feel 2012 so far was the biggest test of faith, courage and strength for me. If I survived that, then I can definitely get through anything. In 2012, I accepted a new job, got engaged, was diagnosed and beat breast cancer within a matter of months, unearthed my true strength and self, started loving myself more and discovered my true friendships near and far. I am so grateful for everything 2012 brought me, but it's a new year. A new year, with a healthy cancer-free body. I couldn't ask for more right now. Thank you, Trevor, for always being there for me. We make the perfect team when life throws a curve ball.
Welcome 2013! I look forward to getting to know you. :)