It's been two days since my visit to the plastic surgeon on Friday. They were a good two days and it was a good appointment. He was amazed that the breast looked as good as it did and if all looks the same on next Tuesday, then I am "home-free" from needing the skin graft! It was a happy moment and I could feel the doctor breathing a sigh of relief also. To celebrate, my husband and I went to lunch nearby and a store to get some needed items for home. It's funny how being in a different place (rather than a doctor's office or home) makes you feel a little "fuzzy-headed" when it is your first time after surgery. I was glad to be trying to maneuver around a place that was familiar, yet busy and noisy. It felt like one step closer to getting back to the world again.
Then, the next day we were invited to a BBQ at a friend's house just down the street. We debated about going, but then realized I would be sitting there just as I was sitting at home and we could leave as soon as I was tired. It was so great to see our friends once again and they were all so caring and concerned and asking "how I felt." Someone said to me, "You must hate answering that question over and over." But I did not hate it at all. I was too overcome by gratitude to have so many people take the time to see how I was doing. These were the same people who had supported me and carried me through this very difficult year. It was a chance for me to thank all of them.
We left after a couple hours and I did find myself exhausted. It was probably because my husband and I also had done some walking that morning. Maybe too much in one day? I was so exhausted that I found it hard to sleep last night, so I am paying for all I did yesterday today. I've got to learn to take it slow. But it was a great two days.
It has been a difficult year. I still can't quite get my head around all that I have been through. The terror of the "red devil"; feeling sick and tired (literally); the pains in legs, head and now breast; losing hair all over my body; the numbness in my fingers and toes; the scares of heart problems; the difficulties of decisions that would impact me forever; dealing with "normal life" at the same time as these serious issues; and now recovering from the breast surgery and awaiting all the changes that reconstruction will bring; I have been told by the plastic surgeon that this also will be a slow process. I know that I am a strong person; but if it weren't for a strong faith, I would have given in to despair a long time ago. That does not mean there have not been times of many tears and feeling sorry for myself. It does not mean that I have not been angry that this happened to me. But it does mean that I could deflect these feelings knowing that God was taking the next step with me and wanted me to come out on the other side whole and new.
So it was indeed "the best of times and the worst of times". Finding out more about myself and my own inner strength and what is really important to me at the same time as the daily struggle and the daily renewal. A see-saw of emotions accompanying an unfolding journey that will impact my life forever. And somehow, I do think it is making me a better person.