The first week of school is over. I made it. There is no tired like the first week of school tired for teachers and students. For fun, my abdominal incision from my DIEP split open slightly in the dead middle of my abdomen. The split is about four inches long. It’s not infected. It is weeping some. I saw Dr. L, my plastic surgeon, on Wednesday. He told me he isn’t concerned, we do standard wound care, and he’ll see me again in three weeks. He did say if it turns red and hot or starts smelling really bad, I should call asap.
He also told me where my incision split is the most common place for a DIEP abdominal incision to split because the skin is pulled the tightest there. He said there is a lot of tension in that area, and now, that area is farthest from the blood supply, so this isn’t an uncommon complication. Best case scenario, the split slowly heals on its own. Worst case scenario, I have to have another surgery to stitch it back together.
I guess the fact that 24 inches of the incision healed really well makes up for the 4 inches that are currently being stupid.
I had what I hope is my second to last Herceptin treatment yesterday.
Today is the one year anniversary of being told I have (had?) breast cancer.
A told me yesterday evening that I get to be upset about it for one day, but after that, no more. I told him this has been such a terrible year. He agreed…to an extent. He reminded me of the good things that happened over the last year: I have a job I love where I work with amazing people; S and AJ had a good school year and are off to a great start to this school year; we are blessed to have such a strong and loving support system of friends, family, and coworkers; I’ve lost thirty pounds; I like my hair short, and so does he; I kicked my Coca Cola addiction; I discovered a love for crazy hair and hair colors; I’m still here.
Yes, this year was difficult. Yes, I’ve struggled. A lot. Yes, there are days where I still feel like cancer will get the best of me and will take my life. Yes, I still cry over what’s happened to me and what it’s done to my family. Yes, I still wonder what I did to have cancer happen to me at 37. Yes, I still have one-sided rants at God. Yes, I hug my children a little tighter and say yes to more things than I should (Pokemon hunting…Legos…late night Uno…take out dinners). Yes, I still have nightmares (fewer and farther between).
As hard as this year has been, I’ve learned some things about myself, though, too. I’ve learned to ask for help. I’ve learned to admit when I can’t do something. I’ve learned it’s ok to admit when I’m overwhelmed. I’ve learned it’s ok to cry on a friend’s shoulder when I need to cry. I’ve learned it’s ok to take time for me. I’ve learned I can face my worst fear. I may not always face it head on, I may let it break me sometimes, but I put the pieces back together and face the next day.
I don’t want to be weak. I’ve allowed cancer to steal so much from me…my joy, my smile, my balance, my happy, my peace. It’s been a struggle to find those again, and to be honest, I haven’t found them in any sort of consistent manner. Last night, A told me he needs me to find my smile again. He told me he misses my smile, my happy. I need to find my smile, my happy, my joy, my peace again.
So, I’ll work on finding my smile, my joy, my happy, my peace. And, I’ll work on remembering, I’m still here…I’m still me. I’m just changed by the obstacles put in front of me since August 27, 2015.