I spent that year bald, sick, broke, and frustrated. However, once I finished recovering from chemo and radiation, I had hope for new beginnings with breast reconstruction surgery and a diagnosis of Cancer Remission (It was gone!). The procedure meant I wouldn’t have to look at myself with one beautiful natural breast and one ugly pit in my chest. It meant I could get something back that was taken from me (no more socks…woohoo). Because the cancer was so aggressive, the surgeons did the other mastectomy with immediate reconstruction along with reconstructing the missing breast. I’m sure it’s easy to imagine my excitement at the time.
The surgery lasted 8 hours and consisted of the second mastectomy and reconstruction of the breasts using my stomach tissue. So, hell yeah, a tummy tuck and new boobies made me feel like a rejuvenated woman! I had a second revisional surgery, which is completely required and expected for all patients. My recovery was going well until one December day when all of the sudden I felt the worst pain of my life (and yes, I had 2 children naturally.). It was an intense stabbing pain in my right breast (the one that had the cancer before). My blood pressure and pulse spiked to crisis levels. I was tremoring uncontrollably and sobbing. The family took me to the ER, and I was admitted for eleven days as the doctors worked tirelessly to manage my pain and determine the cause. Five years later, the pain is just as bad today as it was that day.
Hundreds of tests, scans, labs, and medical experts all concluded my pain is due to post-surgical nerve damage and trauma. The years of intense constant pain has put my body through unimaginable stress, and as a result, I have had a Seizure Disorder, Dysautonomia, Depression, Anxiety, High Blood Pressure, Anemia, Migraines, PTSD, and numerous other ailments. At one point in time I was taking over 30 prescriptions per day (woah!). Numerous physicians were working with me to try to restore my health. The human body is an amazing machine; but it can only handle so much. A breakdown of mind and body was bound to happen.
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