The Dark at 1am

So, things are pretty good… but I was freaking out a little.  I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at reconstructed breasts and what the hell all of this involves.  And it’s freaking me out a little.  In NOT-unexpected keystone-cop-style awesomeness, the VA lost the consult to finish my genetic testing.  It’s going to take about a month to get results and I have to start over.  The office that recommends where to get the test is overwhelmed and can’t recommend where I need to go.  So I spent a bunch of today looking at websites for genetic testing centers and oncology departments and trying to figure out how to gauge such things.  Then I spent a bunch of time last night and tonight looking at reconstructed breasts and procedures.  I had been laughing and amusing myself with the idea of perkier, bigger augmented breasts as a reward for all of this BRCA gene bullshit.  But that’s not really accurate is it?  I might end up with breasts that don’t have nipples.. or surgeries that remove muscle and fat from my stomach to make new breasts, or weeks of inflating tissue expanders under my “breasts” to make room for implants under my chest wall to make new breasts, AFTER mastectomy and a surgery to preserve nipples, if I’m lucky.  Is it just me or does all of that sound like a horror show?

And the pictures.  They are freaking me out a little.  I don’t like getting fillings in my TEETH because I hate being vulnerable.  What the fuck am I going to do if I have to spend months removing and making new breasts??!?  Deep breath.  I’d live.  And I gotta admit the idea of the following surgery (if needed) freaks me out even more.  What would it be like to not have ovaries?  Menopause at 40?  Can I take hormones?  Should I? Fuck.  Fuck.

And what would this mean?  I just keep saying that.  What would this mean?  What would this mean?  What would it mean to my sex drive?  What would it mean to me as a woman?  As an independent person?  As a partner?  I have finally learned to accept my imperfect body and to love living in it.  I am literally gushing with pleasure.  What will this mean?!!?  And I can’t even really worry about it because I don’t even know what will happen.  I mean, lets be real.  I will almost certainly have the mastectomies with a  risk of cancer at 65-89%.  What vanity would make me keep breasts with those odds?  Shit.  I don’t even like my breasts that much.  I never did.  I always thought they were too small and not the right shape.  I wouldn’t keep them so they could kill me.  And if I think mastectomies sound bad?  Try cancer.

So.. okay.  I think about the recovery. I think about AGAIN needing help, likely worse than now.  I look at pictures and read and read and read.  I keep reading things about BRCA and women’s stories and tales of what happens if I don’t make decisions I don’t want to make.  Because cancer is even worse than this.

I’m not alone.  I’m not at all alone, but I’m not really partnered either, am I?  Who would love me with my giant scars?  Who would love me during all of that?  After?  Who would touch me?  I hate asking myself.. will my loves withstand this?  I mean.. this could be huge and tough.  What about that?  What will I lose?  I’m not entertaining these fears right now because I can’t.

They’re making my risk of DEATH by horrific cancers decrease as much as 90%.  And what the fuck are breasts or ovaries or orgasms or any of this compared to death?  Ahh.. but what is life without passion?  Without desire?  Without connection or the physical?  Stop Stop.  You would not be fucking neutered.

It’s starting to sink in.  Stuff is changed and will change more.  I’ll be living with a ticking or living with scars.  It’s here.  I gotta wait another month or so.. maybe more to really have the facts and really make decisions.  But yeah.. I’m starting to understand what’s up here.  It’s 1am and I’m not as light.  The things that nipped at my heels are biting.  I wish I could call and that I was selfish enough to wake him and hear his deep and calm and soothing voice.  I wish he would just hold me and tell me he’ll love me no matter what.  Lie to me.  I promise I’ll believe.  I wish he knew how much I needed him to lie.  I wish he would just give me the words and throw me this rope.  I need them echoing in my head.  I smell his pillow and I use all the things that help at times like this and I do feel better.  And okay, yeah, sometimes it’s overwhelming and cry myself to sleep, maybe that just once, okay twice.  So fucking sadly, I’m good at comforting myself at times like these.

It’s a curse to be a realist, but a blessing too.  Because I know, even last night at 1 am… sad and tired and alone that this is just the dark. I’ll get answers and I’ll make decisions.  And I’m not, even a little, even if it feels like it at times like these.. I’m not alone.  Quinky said it out loud.  She told me the things I needed to hear, that I didn’t even dare to hope to hear and meant them.  I AM loved exactly as I want and need to be.  My family that’s bonded by love and care and fun and connection has maybe the hope of tougher stuff for real.  Hell.. even where it won’t get voiced I know it.  I know he won’t usually SAY the things I need to hear, but I’m not deaf and dumb and blind.  I see them.  And aside from that, I know that this is life and we find a way.  This is simply the dark that comes with the light.  I’ve been through this.  I mean I haven’t been through this, but I’ve been through enough to know I’ll be okay.

And I’ve been through enough now to get how this works.  I have evidence and proof and experience that tells me I will be okay.  I’ll think too much and flail and feel it and express it and release it.  I’ll figure it out.  Maybe I’ll have a *bunch* of surgeries and maybe it’ll be as horrible as anything I can imagine, and even then I’ll be okay.  They’ll happen one at a time.  I KNOW how this works.  You suffer and it passes and time is there to wear it all smooth again.  Even if I have the worst, I WILL find a way and I’ll ask for help, like I hate to do, and then it will be over.  My experience tells me this.  So on the dark nights I do the stuff that helps, and every now and then, I lose the battle and let it out.  That’s good for the soul too.  But I wake up and breathe in and out and put one foot in front of the other over and over and it passes.  And I’m okay here and I’m going to be okay.  And whatever you have going on too.. it’s the same.  Even if it’s not okay, everything changes and it will be again.

8 Comments

  1. First off, my mother had a hysterectomy at 39. She didn’t take hormones by choice, she was afraid of breast cancer (not going to have to worry about that). Her sex drive did suffer BUT she didn’t take the hormones and she even now still has sex. Scarring from her hysterectomy was not obvious and now they can do them laproscopically.

    As for your breast I am honestly unsure how it works but I know the scarring will be under your arms. You are doing this preventively. I think they maybe able to save the nipple since this is preventively. Talk to a plastic surgeon before getting worried.

    As for your lovers, Quinky has already stated she will be there. This is not going to be easy but it will be easier than fighting cancer. You are being very brave. They love you.

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  2. Hey. I know a broken foot is nowhere near this in magnitude, but think of all the things you couldn’t do for yourself, and how helpless you were in a lot of ways for weeks because of it? The recovery from this is shit, but you’ll be on your feet and able to move around in short order. You saw your people will be there for you for that, and they’ll be here for this too.

    For those 1 am times – if you haven’t, you should check with your partners if it’s OK to call if you need, with them and their households. Your metamours may or may not be glad you feel safe enough to reach out, or grumpy and sleep deprived, or both, but if you know if it’s an option, and you ask a couple friends if you can reach out too if you need it — just the knowing you can reach out can help. If you *do* end up calling for support in the wee hours, it’s a chance for you to be vulnerable and trusting, and see that you really aren’t alone, even if your apartment is empty that night.

    And you know scars are sexy. Fingers just gravitate towards them, to trace and stroke them. They call to be kissed and licked and tickled and soothed. I don’t think you have to worry about not being loved because of them.

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  3. My mother had a radical mastectomy and stage 4 breast cancer at age 33. My dad’s joke was “good thing I’ve always been a leg man.” 🙂 Your fears are so real and reasonable, but so is your rationale. Your boobs do not define you – your LIFE being LIVED does. (Decide about the ovaries later after you have researched more!)

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  4. (1) I stay up reasonably late and I get up a lot throughout the night. Text me, and if/when I’m up, we’ll talk. Or you can talk and I will listen. Or I will talk and put you to sleep. Or something. 🙂 And if you need a snuggle partner, I can do that too. But I warn you – I have roving hands and I snore (in a snarfly delicate lady-like fashion). 😉

    (2) My medical situation is different than yours, but I’m quite familiar with the crappy-wappy early-onset menopause-y stuff. Been there, been doing that. For more years than I care to count. It’s not so scary. Just… Sometimes people mistake me for a Valkyrie. (Not the motorcycle.) Or the Wicked Witch of The Northwest. It happens.

    (3) I didn’t have any fillings in my teeth (cavity free, yo!) for like a gazillion years. Then one day… https://mrsfever.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/my-first-time/. I miss having Indestructible Teeth.

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  5. I fooled around with a woman who had the most gorgeous reconstructed breasts, with soft tattooed nipples. She didn’t have feeling, but god they were gorgeous.

    I love my boobs, but then I also see these crazy amazing badass masectomy tattoos and think…whoa, that is so hot.

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