It is seven weeks since my preventative double mastectomy and my recovery continues. I would say that I have most of my range of motion back and the scars are almost completely healed. I have had allergic reaction to something that we still haven’t figured out. One of the problems is the surgeon felt it was not their area of expertise. Sent me back to my General Practitioner, which then sent me to my OB/GYN who sent me to the Dermatologist. I am better now, starting to feel like myself now that the medication is correct.
This recovery is harder than the previous surgery. I think it is a cumulative effect between the two surgeries. They say that it can take up to a year to recover from one surgery. In less than a year I will have three. Patience is not one of my strongest virtues and I have not had very much of it during this process. I am learning to find it though, I don’t have much choice. My body is forcing me to take the time to heal.
There is something that I have not see much written about this BRCA2 journey and that is the physical toll it takes on your body, mind and soul. There are a lot of things that can go wrong in this journey, things that are in your control and out of your control. It doesn’t get easier the older you get. So many of the women I have meet were in their 20/30’s when they did this. I am 53 and it is taking longer than they have experienced. It was almost six weeks before I could drive without agony. I would beat myself up because there were other women having the same procedure driving 10 days after. The thing is that I paid attention to all the stories from others but none of the problems they experienced were what I did. I needed to learn to trust myself and how to listen to my body.
As I learned to trust myself, it became easier and right now I am happier because I am finding the way to peace. Writing about this journey helps me, and it is my hope that my experiences will help others as they navigate through this maze of options. The most important lesson I have learned is that there is not a one size fits all solution.