It’s been about a week since I’ve been able to gather my thoughts enough to compose a blog post.  Basically, my “free time” during the past seven-ish days have been this frothy mixture of crazy and pure lunacy:

  1. Read pre-surgery paperwork for the one-millionth + x time.
  2. Freak out about the lack of useful information on these worksheets.
  3. Continue freaking out, but switch subject matter to the closeness of my meetings with the surgical team to my actual surgery date (2 weeks’ time).
  4. Conclude paperwork related freak out by repeating, several times, “I can’t have coffee or chocolate for two weeks before or SIX WEEKS AFTER surgery!”
  5. Have minor aneurism; take 20 – 45 minute panic induced nap.
  6. ~ MOTHERHOOD INTERMISSION~
  7. Watch too many videos of mastectomy and DIEP reconstruction surgery online.
  8. Bore my husband talking about all of the universities that have videos of the surgery.
  9. Walk into the bathroom, take off my shirt, and look at my boobs for 5 to 30 minutes in various poses and postures.  Realize that I appreciated them more in our “heyday”.
  10. Return to bedroom and lay on the complete opposite side of the bed from my husband lest he get any ideas about touching these precious little time bombs.
  11. Roll around in bed for what feels like an eternity trying to decide if choosing to have reconstruction with implants will make me feel any less like Frankenstein’s Monster than having the DIEP reconstruction.
  12. Fall asleep and dream about all of these things in some foggy, subconscious context.

Despite this insane ritual I’ve developed as of late, every morning I wake up and know that DIEP reconstruction is the one for me.  It was an adventure in researching reconstruction photos, videos, and recovery timelines online.  I got more than an eyeful and I, somewhat, sanely reached this decision on my own.

Truth be told, I like the aesthetic of the reconstructed breast with an implant better than the DIEP reconstruction.  I like the aesthetic of the nipple-sparing mastectomy than the DIEP.  I also like the look of my natural breasts better than the DIEP.  But with each of these alternatives, there is increased risk.

With the implant reconstruction, there is increased risk because it is referred to as a “life long” surgery.  As anyone with implants will tell you, the implants can fail and have to be checked and/or replaced every 10 years (some with more or less frequency).  And still, even in this day of advancing technology and medicine, every time you replace an implant you are running the same risks of when you first receive the implants.  Being that I’m 31 now, that leaves a lot of potential replacement surgeries, risks, and the recovery times.  I am not interested in repeating that cycle of hardships several times over my lifetime.

I also have a very scary, not-so-little secret that I’m looking forward to being rid of, courtesy of this unfortunate situation.  Not just my risk for breast cancer, but what is commonly known on T H E G O O G L E as “twin skin” (Note, that is not my belly; if only!).  This may come as new to you, (because I’m sure I never mentioned it one or a billion times already) but I have the world’s most wonderfully amazing twin daughters.  They are the highlights of my life.  They are also the reason I have so much skin to spare for this surgery.

When I was trying to get pregnant, I looked like this.

On our way to the opera.

When I got pregnant, I looked like this.

Starting to show

When I was REALLY pregnant, I looked like this and everyone that saw me in public openly wept and pitied me.

While my pregnancy weight gain was not at all the norm (I gained just under 70 lbs during my pregnancy), I certainly didn’t just let everything go to hell and eat any and everything.  I couldn’t because my pregnancy was high risk, or else I would’ve probably tried.  I worked out three times a week with a trainer, and then when I couldn’t anymore I still swam.  But, alas, here I am now in the not so glorious “twin skin.”  But, I digress.

Out of all of this, I am glad to be a) reducing my risk of breast cancer, and b) ditching this scary ass “twin skin” belly of mine.  See.  There’s some light at the end of this bat shit crazy tunnel of mine.  Now, if you’ll please excuse me, I have to go put some lotion in a basket for a special house guest of mine.