DAY SEVEN

Here’s what I love about getting a double mastectomy exactly a week ago today, and just so you are prepared, it is pure pre therapy ego, but I feel like I am entitled to some ego living once in a while (after all I did just survive a second run with breast cancer, right?)

When I see people that haven’t seen me since pre surgery, they immediately say, “Wow, you look amazing.” I know it is silly to enjoy this comment, but I do for a brief moment. I mean it is not like I am fully dressed in a skirt and high heels and full make up or in one of my numerous pairs of workout pants getting ready to go for a boot camp class. I have a button down extra large shirt on to try to be comfortable with those drains and fake balls discussed previously, some loose flannel pjs and some comfortable wool socks. Yes, I am showered, yes my hair is relatively normal looking, but for certain I am not really put together. But when someone says,”wow you look amazing,” I kind of take a little extra pride. After all, a week ago today I was just coming out of the recovery period and was high as a kite, it is hard to imagine that a seven hour surgery one week later can show this rapid recovery as it has. Ahhh, but there are some things I can definitely take credit for and some things I can’t. Both go hand and hand. The body is powerful and resilient with very strong healing powers. These powers move quick to fix and repair and I don’t even think it is even anything spectacular as much is it is just the way our fantastic bodies work. Add to the mix, my very healthy cared for exercised body and this just speeds up the process even more. Two more ingredients are a positive outlook on life and following doctor’s orders. This makes for a really good outcome. I am not sure what people think I am going to look like when they see me, but what I do know is that the words double mastectomy with reconstruction sounds pretty potent so I am sure, (me included here) no matter what the doctor says about your recovery time (4–6 weeks) everyone has their own idea of what I should actually look like only the first one of these weeks.

I am not trying to “look amazing” like I did so often a few months after having my son, Michael. We first time moms were all nuts as we tried to show how fabulous we were by feats of jogging or fitting or going wherever we thought our perfections would be noticed. That was a serious bunch of bullshit especially because it was all outside appearances, our brains were a rat race and there was no way we were normal back then. I am really happy I don’t set the bar for myself like that silliness anymore. I have a lot of new moms and it is so fun to watch them grapple with some of these same things as they navigate their new roles from woman to mom and somewhere in between. One thing I know for sure is that we each have to discover this on our own and no one can tell a new mom otherwise. This time around, I don’t have any bar of expectation to try to rise to other than that pesky word that comes up in my life often called PATIENCE.

So here’s to Patience. I got to go to my plastic surgeon today and get one set of the drains removed! And I heard from my rockstar breast doctor that the pathology reports came back all awesome and clean and no more cancer which means nothing ahead except the joys of new Wonder Woman boobs. I’m definitely up for patience in this department.

(How did a week go by already?)

Before surgery, Patience abound. Julie Brigidi photos pre-mastectomy. Can’t show the full monty because of our silly laws.

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