Mastectomy is Life Changing/Visit from the Wolfman

Mastectomy is Life Changing/Visit from the Wolfman

I had a bilateral mastectomy. Both my breasts have been removed. I have said here before that the decision to reconstruct your breasts is as unique as the women who fight cancer. The great thing is studies show that after the decision is made, women were very happy and satisfied with the decision they made. I absolutely fit into that category. I’m trying to live the examined life as I journey through this strange landscape of post chemotherapy and post mastectomy. I expected to be bereft after having a huge part of my physical indication of womanhood removed, but I think my decision to have the two stage reconstruction mitigated that response. When I came out of surgery, I had two bumps on my chest. For those of you who breastfed, it feels like my milk came in and I’m two hours past feeding time. I am a bit funny looking, and the scarring is somewhat grotesque, but I don’t feel horrifically disfigured. Maybe the past half year has been enough time to process the fact that I will be physically changed forever. I know that Easter took on a whole new meaning when I thought about the wounds I have and the wounds that Christ suffered. “By his wounds we are healed” nearly brought me to my knees with thankfulness. I actually feel grateful to God to be alive and thankful to have a little something to break up the flat landscape, so to speak.

So what has happened since surgery, and what have I learned? Here’s the practical stuff:  I’m allergic to surgical glue, so my surgical wounds have not healed as quickly as we had hoped they would. I suspected an allergy to the surgical glue, but we did a skin test before surgery and after 48 hours I had no reaction. Apparently it takes about 5 days for that allergy to present itself. I thought it might have been an issue before, but now we are certain it’s the culprit. We had to remove the glue and let my body continue to heal without anything but the stitches.  I’m getting that process monitored today. Hopefully all will be well.  I’m not in pain and it looks pretty good.

Another lesson I have been taught is to be careful what you pray for. My hair is growing back nicely. I prayed for that, and God listened. He is such a good father. I should have asked for all the hair to grow back on my head, eyebrows, eyelashes only!  Today I have an appointment with my plastic surgeon. I know it’s vain, but I like to take a little extra effort for those appointments.  It’s plastic surgery, for crying out loud!! These folks are in the beauty business.  So I sat in front of the 5x to fill in my eyebrows and I noticed that Wolfman Jack was standing in front of me! Or is that my great aunt? How??? Then I looked in my normal mirror, and I could STILL see the hair growing from my CHEEKS!! Oh. My. Gosh.  I grabbed my yellow ladies’ ‘eyebrow razor’. Yeah, right. As if I was about to trim the very things I’ve been waiting to grow. Next thing I know, I’m mimicking what I’ve seen my dad and my husband do. You know, that lean the head to the side to stretch the skin for a flat surface while removing the fur from your face? That was me. When Stuart came in to check on my progress, I yelled out, “I’m almost ready, but I’m shaving.” I knew he wouldn’t believe me, so I saved the hair for him to see. It was a lot of fuzzy hair. Then I showed him the side of my face I hadn’t yet shaved.  His response? “It’s very thin and fuzzy, sweetheart.” Busted. I knew it could be seen by the casual observer! I finished shaving and vowed to just quit faking it and grab a razor next time. I quickly used my alcohol free witch hazel to slap my cheeks (like the aftershave commercial) and applied my moisturizer. Now, I’m ready to walk into the beauty expert’s office. Laugh if you like, but I will not be mistaken for a werewolf… or my great aunt.

Until next time.

12 Replies to “Mastectomy is Life Changing/Visit from the Wolfman”

  1. I’m so happy all is going well. You are beautiful, funny and such a positive influence to all. And……. I’ve always had a soft spot for Wolfman and wondered why we never heard about a Wolfwoman!

  2. I so love your stories:) You should have considered a prayer chain for your hair re-growth! Some of us have some live long experience “fur”! Hugs

  3. You are marvelous. Marvelous. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your journey with all of us. You are teaching me. I am worshiping our Jesus over you right now, beautiful Yo!

  4. Still praying for you lady!!! You are a warrior and very inspiring. Keep your sense of humor through this. ❤️

  5. Yolanda, You are the best! Your faith (and sense of humor) throughout your journey
    has been an inspiration. May God, in His great love, continue to bless you. Love, love,
    love you, sweet sister.

  6. I, thank God for allowing you to share this miracle of life with us. My family will continue to pray with you along this journey. Yolanda we love you. Your faith, strength, and the love for Christ will keep you in perfect peace, Amen Very proud to apart of this HEALING MIRACLE!! Watch GOD .

  7. I love your updates! You are so descriptive and I can visualize you and Wolfman …and the hair. I have one (just one so far!) whisker and it gets plucked as soon as I know that little beastie is growing back in. Larry asks the same thing…why can he grow hair in his ears, for Pete’s sake, and not on his head? One of the great mysteries of aging…..

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