And so the adventure begins. We will be kissing one of The Girls goodbye. Wait, maybe I should rephrase that. Chuck can kiss her goodbye, everyone else can just wave.
I met with my breast surgeon yesterday. Chuck came with me; he didn’t go the first time but, frankly, as my husband, I figure he has a vested interest in my boobelage. Not, perhaps, as intimate as my own interest, but still. And the doctor pointed out that he might very well also have an interest in my overall health. Since I can be a handful, I am glad he thinks I’m worth it. Technically I’m two handfuls right now, but after we kiss the Left Girl goodbye (again with the phrasing) I will still be a handful. Anyhow, I’ve decided on a complete mastectomy instead of a lumpectomy (which actually has an official, medically-ish name that starts with onco- but I’m too lazy to look it up). This will not 100% guarantee that I will not need radiation (a two-hour commute plus wait time plus treatment time every weekday for six weeks), but there’s a pretty darn good chance I won’t. That was a consideration. I think the recovery part of the journey is going to be emotionally exhausting and I really don’t want to add that stress unless absolutely necessary. Additionally, without the MRI (for which I was thankfully not chastised) we don’t have as much information on the State of the Lump as we could have. Also additionally, it is large enough and in such a location that a lot of tissue is going to have to come out anyhow. Also additionally as well, I have wondered if adding to what’s left of the left one would be as attractive as starting from scratch. So, for me, a mastectomy is best. Chuck, the doctor, and I agree. We didn’t ask The Girls but they usually don’t have much to say anyhow (except in a push-up bra, when they scream, “Look at us!”).
I met with my plastic surgeon last week. (I swear, it’s like an assembly line; one person does on thing and another does the next. The scheduling is murder, but there is comfort in knowing that every step is being performed by an Expert in the Field.) We discussed options on how to level the playing field, so to speak, after Lefty Lucy (pronounced Lefty Lose-y) is partially or completely out of the picture. She will fill in Lefty Lucy with either body fat (tummy tuck! or an implant) and reduce Righty Tighty (who got her name since she will be all firm and perky again) to match. The good news is that I have plenty of body fat to work with. But that’s also the bad news. Apparently your flap can die. (Medical terminology is a hoot when they use words you know. Like the time I sliced a big chunk of my left pinky off and the doctor said it would “remodel” nicely and look normal when it healed. They were wrong. The color scheme is okay, though.) In any case, they can’t do the DIEP flap (“deep flap”–love it!) until I get my BMI (Body Mass Index) down enough to statistically improve the chances significantly that the removed/relocated tissue will not die. Granted saying goodbye to Lefty Lucy will reduce it by a good chunk, but not enough. There is a LOT of me to love. I have to tear down before I can rebuild; lose some weight to that I am statistically better suited to a successful tummy tuck. Thankfully (oh, so thankfully!) I’ve been on a diet (mostly just portion control as I may or may not have previously mentioned) and already have the mindset to make this thing happen; all I need to do is up my game a bit to make it happen sooner. I have about 35 pounds to go. Once I get there, we will re-evaluate and when everything looks good, I’ll get the DIEP flap tummy tuck to create Lefty Lovely and reduce Righty Tighty (who may end up with a new name at that point). Which means, ugh, two surgeries, but it also means survival, good health, and good body image, so I cannot complain too much. Worst case scenario, they can put in an implant. I’ll go through the waiting, frustration, and indignity of being a One-Boobed Wonder for a while to try to avoid that.
Here’s the game plan: wait for The (Presumably) Nice People at the Hospital to call.
It’s not as worrisome as it sounds; I just wanted to go for dramatic effect. What the (Hopefully) Nice People will do when they call is tell me what time to be at the hospital on November 17 (I already know that much) and how to prepare for it. I may go into detail about what will happen but, remember, everyone’s journey is different, so don’t go by what I write to plan your own journey. You are starting in a different place than I have, so your path will be different, even though the final destination (a great life!) is the same.
November 17 was the day I was going to meet the Renny Gang at Texas Renaissance Festival. Since I knew that wouldn’t happen, it became the day before we finally got to hear Spilled Whiskey play at Roadhouse Paige. I am pretty sure I won’t be up for that, although I will probably be home from visiting the (Quite Likely) Nice People at the Hospital by then.
November 17 is also the Friday before Thanksgiving. We’ve been planning for a year to host Thanksgiving again at our house. We had a blast last year (although I was so out of practice that, even with Superior Assistance by Friends and Family, dinner was about 2 1/2 hours late). Not knowing when Lefty Lucy was going to vacate the premises, we thought maybe if everyone brought side dishes we could wing it, since Chuck prepared the turkey and the ham last year and would do so again this year. But I’m worried that I won’t have the stamina to have visitors for an extended period of time. The flip side of that is that I’ll be horribly disappointed at not seeing folks. No right answer, no wrong answer. We’ll figure something out. What I’m thankful for this year is that we caught the Pink Menace in time to send Lefty Lucy packing and get Right Tightly a new sister.