I got an email from one of my friend’s mom’s. I’ve known this friend since nursery school and now call her mom my friend too. Being around people, and families, from my past that are still intact, still living in the homes where I have memories of growing up is comforting and healing. Her message was so on point with what I hoped and wanted to happen after my surgery that I’m going to share it.
Dear Kristen, I heard everything went well with your surgery. So happy to hear that! So now the healing begins and the new girl emerges. The one who is unfettered by the burden shes been carrying. Who on this journey has learned so much. About her friends, about her family, about herself. And the learning doesn’t stop there because there is a deeper understanding of almost everything now. So proud of how you let yourself be vulnerable even though you’re not comfortable with it. I love when fear doesn’t stop us. Wow so proud of you!
Heal fast and get strong and come spend some time with us this summer!
Big hugs ( but not too hard) 😉
I’m inspired by the thoughtful and generous words, gifts, and outpouring of support. You have all changed me and touched my heart deeply. Again, thank you so much.
I’m behind in updating the blog, but have been doing very well. Much better than I expected. I had follow-ups with Dr. Hazen and Dr. Axelrod last week. I’m healing nicely and even had the first fill of my expanders. My mobility is great, better than they or I thought it would be at this point. My right expander is in a slightly bothersome position- a little too high and close to my armpit. It gets swollen and interferes with my ability to fully move that arm. Dr. Hazen said this will not affect the end result, but thinks that I should move along with the process more quickly than I had originally planned.
The second fill of my expanders is May 8 and my exchange surgery (where they swap out the expanders for implants) is May 28. This second surgery is much easier, I should be back up to 100% a few days later. I’ll have more details on that surgery soon!
At my appointment with Dr. Axelrod she asked if I had any regret about having the surgery. I remain 100% behind my decision. I’ve had barely any pain and haven’t felt a single moment of mourning for the loss of my breasts. I am confident that I am in good hands- the gentle, thoughtful, skilled hands of Dr. Hazen- and will be happy with my end results.
I do, however, still mourn the loss of my mother. All of this love and this newfound mental freedom are bittersweet. We are drawn to people for different reasons, bound to some by common experience by an unspoken understanding. Many, too many, of my friends and loved ones have lost a parent and relate to the sadness that I feel. I am working on letting go of my heartache. I sent an email about my mixed feelings- happily counting my blessings and still, with all my good fortune, being sad- to a friend who sent a touching reply. Since I’m in a sharing mood, I’m putting this one out there too:
“You are a walking/living dedication to your Mom. You’re actions are the inevitable embodiment of what she would have wanted for you. By taking the steps you have – you have guaranteed that she, in a very real way, lives on.”
I can only hope that this is true.
Also, I want to thank everyone who has come and helped take care of Liam and Sylvia. They spent almost two weeks with their grandparents, which I can honestly say everyone enjoyed greatly. So many others have helped too- my Aunt Pam, Uncle Chev, Aunt Sheila, cousin Rachel, Lindsay…and more to come. My children are just as lucky as I am. They are especially lucky for their Dad who has been taking extra good care of them while I’m healing (and always). And for their Auntie Megan; I couldn’t ask for a better sister or friend.
And, I owe many additional thanks to those that have taken such good care of me. I am especially thankful to my Aunt Edie for caring for me during the first few days after surgery. I love you so very much. Nicole, thanks to you for bringing me back from NYC to Providence. I am so lucky to have you in my life. And, I’m grateful to Abby for hosting me so many times during trips to the city, bringing me to the hospital, driving me back to New York for my follow-ups and being a constant source of support. And Michael, thank you for swooping into my life and quickly becoming a friend who likes driving me around and offers a fresh and joyful perspective on my situation. And lastly, thank you to Chris for generously letting me recuperate in the extra bedroom in his apartment (the one above mine). I appreciate the quiet place to rest and your friendship.