It’s hard to believe my surgery was three weeks ago. In some ways, it feels like it’s been three years. I remember very little about that day and the days immediately following.
There is a part of me that wants to invite my surgeons to lunch and pepper them with questions about what happened in the operating room. I’m so curious to know what they talked about or if they ran into any complications. Do you think they listened to music while they worked on me?
My neighbor across the street is a nurse at the hospital. Her father told James that she checked in on me a few times while I was in recovery and ICU, but I have no memory of her being there. I’d like to talk to her, too, find out what my nurses might have shared with her.
I don’t have any idea how long my recovery is supposed to take. Some days I feel exceptionally good and strong and ready to take on more, but then there are also those days — days like yesterday — when I just can’t get comfortable and everything is a struggle.
I’m starting to get some feeling back in my breasts. My discomfort yesterday was, in part, due to the fact that I could not stand anything touching my skin. Even the soft fleecy fabric of my shirt was annoying. I’m glad the numbness is wearing off, but I don’t ever remember my skin being so sensitive. It’s early days, still, and maybe this will also fade, maybe I will wake up one day and feel entirely normal, as though the surgery never happened. Dr. F keeps promising this will happen. “When you are entirely healed, no one — not even you — will be able to tell you’ve had breast surgery.”
The thing is, I will always be able to tell. I’m sure of that. It’s kind of like childbirth. I know it happened, my body bears witness to it, but the memory is a little blurred, the edges are no longer sharp. It’s my history, a part of my story, and sometimes I wish I could go back and read it from the beginning — feel it all over again. But I can’t. And if I am being totally honest, I have to admit I am grateful for that.
Memory is a slippery thing. There is so much I wish I could hold on to and yet maybe I let go for a reason. Maybe we all let go for a reason. Perhaps we aren’t meant to feel things over and over again, to relive the stuff that is hard.
Three weeks. Such a short period of time. And yet already it begins to fade.