Tuesday, February 26, 2019

I did some work-art-work ----- and a reveal

Hello friends  and lovers.

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.

Love
Liv




18 comments:

  1. You've been through so much, Liv, and your post is heart-rending and brave. It sounds like you are well on your way to healing. I have several friends who've been through the process, and they are each out on the other side. Continued strength and courage to you!

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    1. Your words are always so warm and helpful to me, Elizabeth. Can't wait till I am 'out and on the other side' too.

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  2. Liv, glad to hear you are recovering and have people supporting you. I enjoy your artworks. Continue to get better and creating art.
    Linda

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    1. Thank you, Linda. Creativity is healing in itself. I appreciate your words.

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  3. What a journey! I admire your honesty and your strength.
    Your artwork is gorgeous.

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    1. Right back at ya', sister. You've always inspired me: courage, honesty and intellect.
      And thanks for the like on the art work. It's mesmerizing once I get started. Really glad you like it.

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  4. I like the artwork, they're both beautiful. Hope everything goes well with your reconstructive surgery. You're a braver woman than I am. I hate pain and discomfort.

    Wishing you continued healing.

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    1. I'm glad you like it, Deb. I tried to be good about the pain and discomfort, but believe me, I didn't get any gold stars!

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  5. I just found you through 'ellen's head'. When I was young, 10 or 11 (and I am 62 now), my mother had her left breast taken off. She had no implant, only an indentation of where it was. She was given this thing she called a fish that was to be worn in her bra. And you could tell something was not right. She was told she had breast cancer and that they got it all. A few years later that was not the case and it metastasized. I cannot imagine what she went through, nor anyone who has had to go through this. I had a scare a couple years ago and if it had turned out that indeed I had cancer, I would have had a double mastectomy with reconstruction. I find it odd though that out of all of us girls (5) that no one, nor any of the grands have had breast cancer........yet. Needless to say, only with you and others like you telling us how it is, is the only way we know what the real deal is. Thank you for that.

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    1. Thank you for popping over. I'm so very sorry for what your mother had to go through, but I would imagine that with 5 girls, she was very brave. So glad none of the rest of your family have had to suffer the same. Sometimes it seems to work that way, just one per family. That's the way it is in mine. Stay healthy!!

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  6. what an ordeal but you are making it through. love the two collages.

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    1. Thank you, Ellen. That's great praise coming from a fellow artist!

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  7. Stunning art, liv! Your creative efforts always astound me and life me up. As for the bottom photo, it just makes me love you even more.

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    1. Thank you, Colette. You are a dear friend. How I would love to meet you!

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  8. Your art work is beautiful, and your body work is brave. May you continue to flow through this experience with art and courage on your side. Hugs.

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    1. It's hard to get inspired during this adventure, but thanks for the encouragement, Angela. Hugs to you, too!

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  9. It has been months since I have blogged but I was thinking of you just last night. Wow, woman! You have gone through some serious shit. I am glad you seem to be on the other side of it.

    Love your artwork. You should sell it,

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    1. Well you know why you thought of me?.........Cause I WAS THINKING OF YOU!!!
      Just read that last post of yours about three days ago. Only post I've read on here for about 5 months (?)
      I'll send an email soon, but I am sooooo glad for you. We really are connected xoxoxo

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