I’ve sat down to write this post several times since late last night. Then, I allow myself to be distracted. Cancerversaries approach. Surgery anniversaries approach.
One year ago today, at this time, I was into my first hour of my DIEP reconstruction, of having myself put back together using other parts of me…a little bit like Frankenstein’s Monster but with my own skin and blood and fat.
Sometimes I feel a little bit like a monster, scars and stitches, tough skin and thin skin, discolorations and spots.
Last year, I REALLY did not want to do the DIEP reconstruction. I just wanted to be done with the intensity of cancer. A friend texted me the night before the surgery and reminded me all I had to do was show up. So, I showed up. I had the DIEP reconstruction. I came home with drains, incisions, stitches, and glue. I did not come home happy to be done because cancer is never really done. At this point last year, I still had three Herceptin treatments and an oophorectomy in front of me, at the very least.
It’s been a long time since I felt normal, truly, deeply normal. That’s partially why I began getting tattoos. If I can’t be who I was before cancer, I can be the person I want to be with cancer. I saw my dermatologist last Friday afternoon for my yearly skin check. He commented on my “musical” inspired tattoos. I didn’t correct him because all of my tattoos do have a music note-esque look to them. I’m already planning my next one…a Harry Potter one, probably on my left shoulder or left ribcage. I don’t have very much feeling on my left ribcage from the DIEP, so that’s appealing.
The DIEP began to put me back together, and looking back on it, I don’t regret it. I regret the fact I had to have it. I don’t regret the scars. I regret what mandated the scars. I do miss the things breast cancer stole…my breasts, my ovaries, my happy. Sometimes, I really do miss pre-cancer, hypochondriac me.
I accept what I’ve endured. I accept I may not live to see my children grow up, to grow old with A. I also rage against that which necessitates acceptance.
Reconstruction, to rebuild. I’m still rebuilding.
Maybe I’ll always be under construction.