Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Drain gain. What's Pain?

Well fuck me it's hot! The amount of sweaty crotches circumnavigating the UK right now aren't the only thing on the rise. As the temperature hits 33 (my age) and our eyes are awarded a Buffett of naked flesh ranging from rare to extremely over cooked, I have become aware that I can now say 'flipping heck my tit is sweaty'. Along with 'you are getting right on my tit'. 
Scouse and I were shopping a while back and we saw some 'Hooters' t.shirts and he remarked I should buy one and cross off the 's'. I think this is brilliant so if any of you make t.shirts....send me a 'Hooter' top.

Anyway, I now have one boob. I'm not guna lie, it's a bit weird. Especially when its a 36H. Can you imagine what that looks like in a top? I feel like I'm walking around leading with the boob, trying to even myself out a bit. 
The foam dome (fake stuffed booby thing) I've got isn't the same size as my real boob. This is because you'd need the entire contents of a sofa to stuff that bad boy. 
It kind of does the job for now, It's just my chest looks on the piss, squwhiff like. 

So how did this all happen then?

Well I've hoped the big slice and dice was coming for a long time... It's a positive to reach surgery my friends.
At Christmas it was looking like it wasn't going to happen. Voldertit was fiercely unbridled at that point. 
When you have a mastectomy for IBC (Inflammtory breast cancer) you need to be sure you won't leave anything behind on the chest. So there needs to be a gap (margin) between the good and the Badlands. 
At Christmas, there was no gap. 
The chemo and other drugs I have had this year, created that gap, allowing for the boob to be removed. 

So, I was given a date for surgery and then got myself prepared.
How did I do this? 
Well I wrote and rehearsed a speech for my cousins wedding (click here for the Bristolian version of Warren G Regulate) and delivered it 3 days before the chop. 
I also jumped out of a plane, took the kids on a tractor ride and attended a Fair-well party for the hunk of flesh that had been trying to kill me for a year.

How did I prepare mentally? Well I didn't need to. I'm all good with it. Do you know why? Because physical pain is just physical pain. It can be managed with a pill. There is no pill to deal with the pain I feel every day at the loss of Ally. If there was, I'd be gobbling them by the handful. 
I feel pretty equipped to deal with pain, losing a boob, looking different, because I don't care. Mentally, it's nothing comparatively for me.
I was emotional about my friends and family though. I cried about how brilliant they've been. I know they are going through hell with me, not just alongside me. 
That kind of shit really overwhelms me. 
Every time someone writes a message on my blog, i get a feeling of kindness and love. Those feelings are being sent from people I'm close with to people I will never know. Remarkable and hugely appreciated. 

Anyway, I'm waffling on....'get to the juicy bits' I hear you cry.

So I rocked up at 7am and was shipped into my little pre-op room. A lovely nurse went through the forms with me. I basically signed to say I'm all good with complete removal of my right breast, the tissue, the nipple, the skin and the lymph-nodes. The operation would take 2 hours and then I'd be 'out of it' for a while afterwards. The nurse then gave me a bag with these minging socks in that I needed to wear to prevent DVT. (Deep vein thrombosis) They were pre-sealed. I opened the pack to try them on and then became confused 'excuse me but I've got a problem....(as I waved Nora Battys footwear in the air).... Two legs, one sock'.... 
There was only one sock. 
Oh shit!!!! 
Have I just signed a form that said 'removal of right leg' not breast??? Oh no!!!
'Oh that's unusual. I'll go get another pack' says the nurse. I think 'welcome to Heidi land. Nothing usual happens around me.' Thankfully one becomes two and I'm able to live out my dream of becoming fashion forward.... 
It takes effort to look this good.

It's time to go. 
Scouse announces he's off for a bacon sandwich at Costa (looser, I'd have gone with Tiffin, yes even in the morning, don't you judge me) and I walk down to the theatre. 
I've always thought theatre was an odd name for a room of surgical shenanigans. I start picturing the nurses dressed as jesters and Elizabethan town folk, and the surgeon dressed up as a King shouting 'off with her breast' whilst weilding a sword above his head. Someone is playing a flute in the corner while others are drinking mead and eating chicken legs. 
But this was no Shakespearian tragedy.  
This was little old me. 
This was my drama. 

I lie on the bed and look up at the big silver circle thing that looks like a spaceship (I think it's a light). The anaesthetist is trying to get a Cannula into my ever-decreasing veins. Chemo has knackered them so they are flat. I stare up at the spaceship and think about the last time I was in a very similar position ....Ally's birth.
 I was very scared then. I didn't know what would happen when she was born, I hoped she would cry, she did, I hoped she would know me, she did, I hoped for her to have an amazing long life, she didn't. Things don't always go how they should. 
Was I scared now? No. Of course I hoped to wake up. I thought of my boys and I hoped to wake up. But I wasn't scared for the boob. It's just a boob. I said goodbye in my mind and i drifted off to sleep. 

Not unlike apparating in at Hogwarts, I went from one room with one set of people, to another room with another set of people. It's kind of cool. 
As I came around I used my left hand to feel across my chest, my eyes were firmly closed, and sure enough, where Mt Snowdon used to be, was now that famous square on the ordinance survey map of north Lincolsnshire....a whole lot of nothing. 

My right hand then reached out and found Scouse's. I knew it was his because all the fingernails had been bitten off. Not unlike a 13 year old dumped by her first boyfriend; Scouse eats his feelings. We've had a lot happen in the last 10 months ergo what were once fingers are now a palm surrounded by five stumps. 

I wake up fully and am instantly introduced to my two boob-juice collectors who I quickly name Drain and Drainetta Slob. Their jobs are to collect all the fluid around the surgery site. They are stitched into my side. I have a bag to carry them in when I'm mobile. What if shop security asks to look in the bag? They'd get a right shock! Actually that would be brilliant!!! (Must look dodgy at next trip to Primark.)
Lincolnshire 
Drain and Drainetta Slob.
Rocking my drains. 
I'm out of hospital the next day after a night of playing cards and eating pizza. When I get home the first thing Noah asks is to see my poorly boob. I show him and he says 'wow' and then goes back to picking his nose. (And wiping it in my mums couch) 
Tait comes up for a cuddle and then actually head butts me right in the shark bite. You couldn't make it up right. 

I spend the next few days chilling out and emptying Drainetta. (Drain was taken out before I left hospital) I notice that the contents goes from Strawberry Daiquiri to medium white wine. I'm sure it doesn't taste as good but I did enjoy looking at it though...I'm gross like that.
Drains poking out, me breathing in. Showing off my lovely drain bag.
It's the first time I've really stopped since all this started and I can confirm that time in my own head isn't the best. I'm defiantly a person that needs to be kept busy. I've felt petty sad over the last two weeks. I miss her. I'm angry she's not here. She would be 7 months old now. I can see how she would be, what she'd be wearing, what she'd be doing. Now that hurts. 

With the weather being the way it is, I have the window open at night and I can see the stars. I wonder, can they see me? 

The weather is cold. Then it is hot. Then it rains. Then there's a storm. Then there's a rainbow. How primitive. How raw. How symbolic.

Covet your heart...a tit is just a tit. 

16 comments:

  1. Holy Cow Heidi, you are a trooper. I tip my metaphorical hat to you. Love the pictures of drain and drainetta! Keep on keeping on! Hugs x

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  2. Heidi- u are amazing in every sense u make me laugh make me cry! I empathise with u through ally! She would be so proud of you!
    Outstanding! X x x much love x

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  3. Hope your healing up good Heidi. Noah, Tait and Ally have a truly amazing mummy. You are an inspiration to so many people. Your a super stars so you keep doing what your doing which is just being your crazy ass self xxx

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  5. u have such talent writing!!

    I can't believe it's been 7 months since Ally passed. So so sad. crushing.

    Well done for getting thru the Op, fighting hard as always :) xx

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  6. Heidi I like you a lot!! As a fellow Bristolian I so enjoyed your wedding speech!! You are a breath of fresh air in a situation that can be so, so daunting....Both mine are gone and I have Tilly Tit-in-a-box in the drawer...Never wear her, just stay flat and give the nosy neighbour something to wonder about when he sees me topless in the garden!

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  7. I love your pictures! You sound in good spirits, keep it up. We are so proud of you x

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  8. I was introduced to your blog by a mutual friend and I find your strength and 'matter-of-factness' so inspiring. All the best for the recovery and sending you best wishes x

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  9. Heidi - hope you are recovering well from your op.
    I have been reading your blogs since the New Year. Your writings are absolutely hilarious to read and I love checking your site to find there is a new one to read!

    I too am going through cancer treatment at the minute. Had surgery in January and currently half way through chemo (bile duct cancer).
    It gives me such joy to read your blogs and see how things are going with you. There are many things I can relate to being a fellow "sufferer" (I so HATE that term!!!) so please don't stop your updates :)

    All the best for whatever life throws at you next - you are ace!

    Ang xxxx

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  10. Heidi my luvver. I have enjoyed reading your blog. It has kept me informed without me having to pester you.

    I am glad all went well with the removal people and soo happy you still here to keep me entertained. You sense of humour is infectious.

    I know that this is more than I usually write, but it still won't convey how highly I think of you and how privileged I feel to know you.

    You are a massive massive star. You're an inspiration. You're a top top girl. BUT... you sound like a country bumpkin and you're an illiterate buffoon 😅 I wouldn't change you for the world. I love you as you are, you gorgeous Bristolian bombshell.

    I shall now return to my usual short comments, and hopefully I've conveyed a little of what I think of you.

    Bless you xx

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  11. Heidi my luvver. I have enjoyed reading your blog. It has kept me informed without me having to pester you.

    I am glad all went well with the removal people and soo happy you still here to keep me entertained. You sense of humour is infectious.

    I know that this is more than I usually write, but it still won't convey how highly I think of you and how privileged I feel to know you.

    You are a massive massive star. You're an inspiration. You're a top top girl. BUT... you sound like a country bumpkin and you're an illiterate buffoon 😅 I wouldn't change you for the world. I love you as you are, you gorgeous Bristolian bombshell.

    I shall now return to my usual short comments, and hopefully I've conveyed a little of what I think of you.

    Bless you xx

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  12. Heidi, what can I say...another cracking blog delivered with your indomitable sense of humour and absurdity! You inspire me to keep facing my own challenges....I only hope I can do it with as much style as you. Lucinda xxxx

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  13. Heidi, I love to read your writing. I have not walked in your shoes. I haven't lost a child, haven't had cancer. But I do know as women, we are meant to inspire, and to lift each other. And you are doing just that. Your boys are very blessed to have such an amazing mom.

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  14. You are brave. Thank you for sharing.

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  15. Hi Heidi
    I'm so glad you are finally rid of that nasty boob that was making you poorly. You are a brave woman. I love your re write of the gruffalo story. I was on the March bc board with you and I always come here to check how you arr doing, as I imagine many bc ladies do. Take care, read you soon
    Xx

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