The next morning I was finally able to eat solid food. My body was so tired and sore. I managed to get up (with help) and get myself together. I struggled to pull on my shirt because I couldn’t lift my arms. When I finally looked in the mirror, my clothes looked so funny. I had bandages wrapped around my chest which were covered by a bra provided by my surgeon.
Under each arm I had drains. The nurse had given my mom instructions on how to care for them. She was to dump out the drainage and record the amount every few hours.
“Wow”, I said to myself as I stood in front of the mirror.
It didn’t feel real. Did I really just have my breasts removed? The plastic surgeon had placed tissue expanders where my breasts once were, following my mastectomy so I figured when I finally mustered up the courage to look underneath the bandages it wouldn’t look too bad (I hoped).
At the time I don’t think I fully realized all that my body had gone through. I was grateful that the surgery had gone well and I was cleared for discharge.
I was so excited to see the nurse rolling the wheelchair around the corner and my parents loading up my bag and flowers. It was time to go home.
I was ready to get back to my boys. My boys had come to the hospital following my surgery to see me. Jaylen (my oldest) handled it well. He came over and held my hand and had a bunch of questions. It was my baby boy who didn’t handle seeing mommy laying in the hospital well at all.
He started crying as soon as he saw me. It broke my heart. I couldn’t comfort him because I could barely move. My mom held him and kept asking him what was wrong. In between crying his little eyes out he was able to mumble “mommy,” as he pointed at me lying in bed. I tried to assure him that I was ok.
I knew I wasn’t going to be able to handle my boys alone so my parents had already set up their guest bedroom for me and the boys. I was anxious to get home and get better.
In my mind this was going to be a quick recovery, but I was wrong…
I've always believed that we tend to be the most effective in areas where we have been the most affected. It's often our deepest pains that draw us closer to our purpose. Those words never really hit home until I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at the age of 28. I had watched both my mother and grandmother battle the disease, but never thought I would find myself in the same battle, especially not so young. I've learned through this journey that it's not what you go through, but how you go through it. I wanted to share my story in hopes that it will inspire someone to keep fighting, keep the faith and live on purpose.