I knew for 10 years that I would eventually need to have both breasts removed, due to the BRAC1 gene I carry. However, I was surprised when the time came 10 days ago, at how unprepared I was. Even in pre-op with the IV line in my arm, I suggested to my husband Jun that we make a run for it. So many things felt insurmountable: Not lifting my three boys for three months, the pain, the Hollywood of fake boobs, surgery going wrong and other things I wouldn’t know until afterwards, I was terrified.
The morning of my mastectomy, I posted on Facebook in hopes that people would send me their love and support. It was the only thing I could think to do for some last minute reassurance, and as I waited for my surgery, literally hundreds of messages poured in and made me feel strong, lots of love and that the world was on my side. Honestly, it was huge, and I am still crying about it as I write this. Mind you, that could also be the valium I’m on, because I’m not usually much of a crier. Regardless, drugged up with my amplified emotions aside, I still feel very moved.
I’m happy to say the surgery went really well, and for the first time since I can remember, I have had nearly two weeks of nothing but watching television and resting at my friend Claire’s. It is also the first time I have been the person that everyone has rallied around - because it’s not my inclination to ask - but this time I had no choice. My husband has especially blown my mind, with the attitude of ‘no man left behind’ He has thrown all of us over his shoulders.
First to arrive Mathilde and then Lali and next Claire and Scarlett who brought the two older boys to see me the following day after my surgery and refused to take no for an answer when the security said children weren’t allowed in the ward, God love them. Jessie Reder took over once they had left to paint my toenails and share a pizza, Sitting with me until I was ready to sleep. Penelope Ann Hyde and my Mother were at home the entire week caring for my children, making sure nothing slipped thought the cracks. Then on Wednesday Tanya brought large amounts of food to my family to feed everyone, while I had a quiet night with Jun. Thursday night and Sara came for a visit, followed by Jessie, Jilina and Jun to entertain me. My friend Howard and I will be laughing soon about our very discombobulated conversation during his visit, as I had just double dosed my morphine before he arrived.
I basically lived on the homemade Granola Portia Furst brought around. I was sent the most beautiful flowers from my children’s preschool, and a beautiful pashmina from my sister in law Kate that I have yet to take off.
We had a big goodbye boobs photo shoot with a bunch of friends shot on the beach by Scarlett and Vivien a few days before surgery. Obviously it goes on, Breanna taking me to her salon to wash and blow dry my hair for the first time in a week, food from Neighbors, extra special attention to my children from the teachers at Mount Olive Preschool, cards, flowers, etc.
How much beauty the people around me brought to what was a scary, painful situation. All the love that I had no choice but to receive. Yes my chest still hurts and it is going to continue to physically hurt for a while, however, NOTHING like if I had had beast cancer and had to run from potentially dying and leaving my 3 children.
THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU THAT HAVE BEEN THERE FOR ME THROUGH THIS. LOVE LOVE LOVE