Today I had my 6 week follow-up with my plastic surgeon, post-reconstruction surgery.
I had a whole list of questions like, do I still have to wear a bra around the clock, can I sleep on my stomach, etc.
Very early on in my speech, Dr. Sisco stopped me and said, ‘Grace, this is it. You have healed enough that you can do whatever you want now.’
-Eyes go wide, mouth gapes open-
Say wha? I am done? As in, I am graduating from plastic surgery?
He replied, ‘we just need to take your ‘after’* photos right now and then I won’t need to see you for a year.’
I have been seeing someone from my core team of doctors pretty much weekly since April. How can they be letting me go? Who am I without my plastic surgeon?!
I suppose this is what those cancer patients who have walked before me have referred to as the ‘hardest part’ of the odyssey. The reckoning.
I am being left to just be me. Not ‘me the cancer patient,’ or ‘me the walking wounded.’ Just good ol’ me. It feels like returning to school after summer and sensing a familiar unfamiliar.
I have certainly walked these halls before, but they look different. Maybe only I can see the difference?
This baby bird wants to stay in her safe, familiar, cancer nest (hello, words I never thought I would say!). I know how things work in here. I have appointments to go to, people falling all over themselves to help me. Physically healing is so linear. Emotional healing… not so much.
I have my commencement appointment with my breast surgeon in a few weeks. After that, the only doc still left in my corner will be my oncologist, who will follow up with me every few months. I am slowly being weaned from the breast of cancer (get it?!) and on to the formula of normal life.
Stay tuned for how this pans out…
*After photos. You heard me. The plastic surgeon has a room devoted to professional photography in order to capture our anatomy ‘before and after.’ You stand there topless turning 1/8 turns as the camera system captures your every angle. I do not think this is what Cindy Crawford’s early sessions were like. I signed the consent for my ‘before and after’ to be used on Dr. Sisco’s website, so check back in in a few weeks to catch a full metal glimpse of my rack.
I am also working on convincing Dr. Sisco to give 1 free botox sesh to all of his young breast cancer patients. When you are bald, having at least one thing on your head coming correct and looking fresh is clutch. For those who walk after me, you are welcome.
Oh and one more thing:
I got stuck in the elevator on the way out of the doctor’s office. Classic 2016.