Thank you all for your kind and loving comments. I'm doing much, much better. The first surgery is done and now the temporary implant is in. It's just called an expander and is slowly filled with saline in order for the remaining skin to stretch. I'm going to show a picture of the initial operation at the bottom of this post, so consider yourself forewarned. If you are squeamish then look away before you get to the last photo. I will eliminate it in a couple of days because, well, it's a bit icky. But I think it is a good thing for people to see what actually happens to a woman when she is faced with a mastectomy. That's such a vague word, it really doesn't convey the impact. It's a medical term that distances. I think perhaps we should just say amputation. Now that I know what happens, I am shocked that there isn't more empathy and real understanding of this process. It is a complicated surgery involving 2 surgeons and months of healing. My heart goes out to all the women who go through this with little support or understanding. I've had great support, I'm a lucky one, from my daughter, my dear friend and my sister - which I desperately needed when I got home. You can not even lift yourself up from the bed to get to the loo.
Anyway, now there will be a second surgery in about mid March to reconstruct the amputated breast (yes, I'm going for an implant) and to redesign the other in order to give balance, otherwise I would be listing to the left for the rest of my life. Because this one will, obviously, involve both sides, the recovery time will be longer so I don't expect to be back to my regular slightly annoying self until mid April. I have become a very quiet and lazy person these last few weeks. I think it's due to the anesthesia and it's impact on the brain. And, fuck it all, I didn't lose one single pound!!
So now I'm going to show you two decoupaged Retablos that I did just before this all happened. Pretty damn sure I haven't done that yet, but things are still a bit foggy. They both represent strength and courage of women to look above and beyond the immediate and to compassionately guide humanity. But I don't hold fast and tight to any interpretation, even my own. So feel free to find your own.
This second on is done on a background of pages from a book called "The Life's of Women". I love that part of it. Something hidden that is only revealed on close inspection. There are lots of them in both pieces.
So now............................................................................the reveal.
You'd think I would be shy about this whole thing, but I'm not. It's just a body. We all have them. This is about a week after the surgery so the bruises are just about gone. The temporary implant is in and that is the bulge at the top and believe me, that sucker hurts. It feels like it has a metal rim that is pressing against your ribs, but it's only a soft plastic pouch. I have the good old phantom pain, it comes from a nerve that was cut and it keeps screaming "what the fuck!" all day, everyday. My plastic surgeon assures me that the big scar will go away after the next operation and there will eventually only be a faint white line. I don't really care. All I want is something that will make a shirt look normal, and no, I won't be showing the final product! I do have a limit.
Again, thank you all for your kind and caring words, you make my life so much richer.