Adjust.....and eat the damned cake!

When I woke up from my surgery, I was clear as a bell. I guess the anesthesiologist did not lie when he said he was the most important person in the room. I felt no pain, but enjoyed a deep annoyance of the tubes that were coming out of either side of my body. I had Jackson-Pratt drains attached to me, and they did quite a job of making my feel like a Cyborg or a person in the last installment of the Divergent movies, floating in the air with these tubes attached. Unlike in the movie, I didn't grab them and snatch them out. (After experiencing waking up with tubes, I must tell you that those characters in any movies that do that are REALLY bad ass.)

In my head, I felt as if I had been tied to the bed by the Lilliputians, so I opted for as little movement as possible. That only lasted so long. They were pumping fluids into me like I was a dry swimming pool and the fluid had to go somewhere. Before long, I had to pee. I had to get up. In fact, I was commanded to do so.

I will spare you those details. I also had a bandage around my chest. I was curious, but was afraid to look. Because the doctor had placed tissue expanders, I was pleasingly not flat as I imagined I would be, but I really wanted to know what was under there. I opted to wait to see my surgeon and ask her what I had been dying to know.
"Do I have nipples?"

She didn't even look up. "No."

I only thought "damn" for a moment.

One damn to be exact. I refused to dwell on it. The tubes hurt too bad.

That was just about 3 weeks ago, and I am adjusting to my body. The tubes are gone and so is that annoyance. I had them for two weeks. Makes getting dressed REALLY hard. Lots of comedy. (Maybe I will tell you about the time I had the bright idea to pin the drains to my pants. It kind of made suspenders and I didn't realize it until I had to use the bathroom. Awkward!) Now, I have to wear a crazy looking surgical bra, limiting my fashion choices (but far less than the drains), but that's okay, too, because I am here.

If you have been following this blog, you are probably saying "damn," yourself, or you might be terrified. Some of you are scheduling mammograms and doing self-exams nightly. Guys might trying to do exams for their women. Breathe, people. There is a bright side to all of this.

The following is terrible. I'm warning you now, but it is a benefit nonetheless. My friends know I was in training to compete as a Figure Athlete. I was supposed to compete on June 20th (Since I am banned from the gym for another few weeks, I won't be doing that at this moment.) I'd been training hard, and had gotten down to about 16% bodyfat. I'm 5'8", and I had built 152 lbs of lean muscle mass. (That meant I'd actually have to lose some muscle once I started cutting fat for the show). To achieve those results, you absolutely must eat clean. For me, that meant I was eating foods that were natural and not processed. Chicken, fish, lean meats. Fresh vegetables, sweet potatoes, asparagus, broccoli and green beans. Low sugar fruit--Blueberry, strawberries, grapefruit, and the occasional Granny smith apple. NO SUGAR. NO DAIRY. NO BREAD. NO PASTA. (Basically, nothing that tasted really great).

Eating clean means in lunch meetings, when everyone else was eating the delicious sandwich, complete with the huge chocolate chip cookie they provided, or better yet, the fancy pizza, I was not. Instead I was running to the microwave to heat up my precisely measured meal.

How is this related to my diagnoses? Simple. When something like this happens, people cook for you. You get a pass to relax the rules a little, and I did. I received my Cancer Cakes. Comfort food is called that because it makes you feel better. If you have a cold, chicken soup soothes your aches and pain. If you have cancer, carbs are the answer. My friends, my sisters...they made me cakes and pies and I allowed myself to have some. Did they make me feel better? HELL YEAH. They made my kids feel better, too. Dumb? Maybe? But there is nothing like a little life threatening disease and amputation to put things in perspective. Sure, my progress might slow down (or in my head, I would blow up like a balloon if I ate a piece of cake), but some things make you realize that life is just too damned short to not eat the damned cake. I also know that when I put on my bathing suit this summer, people are going to be too busy staring at my chest to notice whether I have a six pack or not.

Speaking of that, I am adjusting to my new, albeit temporary, shape. Because I can't exercise, I am losing weight I'm trying to stick to my clean eating (other than the occasional bite), so I hope I'm losing more fat than muscle. Truthfully, I'd would have to lose some anyway when I started to cut before a show. Now that my old boobs are out of the way, I had some epiphanies.

They were a little (ahem) long in the tooth.

My foobs (fake boobs = foobs) are placed where they are supposed to be. Who knew there was an actual formula for that? Post babies, that isn't where they were living, and without them, I have discovered that...I...have...actual....abs. I just couldn't see them.

And those nighties that just wouldn't fit right because the tops were never in the right place? (Even if they were, my body wouldn't stay in that place. Visual.....visual..) They fit perfectly now. Bathing suits are different, too. When I tie them behind my neck, I no longer feel like the straps are fishing wire trying to cut into the back of my neck because of the weight of my... endowments.

That being said (if I didn't have to wear this damn surgical garment.. built like chain mail, it's an extreme runner's exercise bra), I could respectfully go braless...because skin expanders don't move. Not even a jiggle. It's like I have two stones strapped to my chest. I haven't been able to do that since...well, never.

I have a few more surgeries to go. The next one is tentatively in August, when they will exchange the expanders for implants. When that happens I'll adjust again, and gratefully accept my cancer cakes and adjust, because that is what he have to do to keep living and loving, adjust. But in the meantime, I think I'm going to give button down shirts another go. Previously, they didn't work for me too well. Buttons would always gape open. Ladies, I know you will get it.


Kimyatta Walker said…
You rock!!! Loving these posts!
You are amazing.
Marisa Readus said…
Wow what a testimony! !

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