“Beware of plastics” -Janis from Mean Girls.
On April 22nd 2021. I went in for DMX followed by a direct implant reconstruction. In my 1st picture is what it looks right after surgery. I still had tubes in and my right breast had internal bruising and hemorrhage. The 2nd picture is what I have now before my revision surgery (due in 1 month). You can see that the left side was the radiated side.
Most 25 year olds would have loved to get their boobs done but I always guarantee that this is not the same. For one this was an unexpected decision making. And there’s a chance that your body may just say NO and then you have to make decisions based on what your body decides.
Surgery was a long process to heal. On my 1st week I had a nerve die while I was unmedicated and it was the worst. I was screaming and crying, and that most definitely did not help. Thankfully my husband, sister, and the 24-hr nurse hotline were there to guide and comfort me the best they could. I recommend calling those nurse lines in your area if you’re not sure what to do in those moments. If you don’t have money for those post mastectomy pillows, just know you’re gonna take up all the pillows lol. I carried one while I traveled on the car rides. For sleep, I had 2 on my back and 1 on each side. It still sucked but I did the best I could. I would definitely recommend a reclining chair- that could have saved me the pain from laying down and sitting up because that was super painful too. My mom and cousin (who had just lost her mom to stage 4 breast cancer, 2 weeks before my surgery) helped at the time with bathing, bandages, and support of not being able to hold my little ones. They are heaven sent helpers btw! The drain removal process was the least painful. Just listen to the doctor and take a huge deep breath, and let it out very slowly as the doctor pulls the tube.
My advice for the newly diagnosed is to let yourself feel everything you need to feel in this process. Everything is validated, and you have a community here. Set boundaries, and anyone who values you will respect that. But mainly I want to say that even though we all go through our own journeys, and none are the same, just know that your story matters just as much and the pain and grief won’t last forever. PTSD may play a huge part but as time goes just know those feeling are just as valid as they were in the beginning. Never lose yourself in this, but if you do, just know a better you is right around the corner. Imagine a phoenix rising from its ashes.
One last thing is to do research before making decisions. As cliche as that sounds there’s gonna come a time when you look back and wish you had known more to help make decisions for yourself.
Sending you much love and strength 💞
Surgeon: Dr. Darlene Sparkman with Texas BSW, USA