Week 1 Post Mastectomy-Still Waiting on Fluffy Kitten and Unicorn

In recovery room.
In recovery room.

When I planned for the seven weeks of leave that my bilateral mastectomy would require, I made a list of things I hoped to accomplish during this time. Here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Watch the first three seasons of the show everyone is talking about, Downtown Abbey
  2. Learn the words to every John Mayer song
  3. Finish writing my current Work in Progress
  4. Finish final edits on my debut novel, and seek out beta readers
  5. Receive fluffy kitten and a unicorn

What I didn’t count on was the reality of the toll such a major surgery would take on my body.

And why would I? I mean, I do cross-fit twice a week, I run and do yoga. I’d bounce back from this quickly, right?

Um, yeah, about that.

What I didn’t count on was the pain that redefined the 1 through 10 pain scale. What I used to think of a 7 or 8 now has new perspective. On day 2 I felt pain that was off the charts even after an injection of Dilaudid and two tablets of Percocet.

Another thing I didn’t count on was the emotional outbursts. On Day 5, over a bowl of Greek yogurt and fruit I began to sob for no apparent reason. I’ve had several of these crying jags and now no longer question them.

Maybe it’s all just a part of the process of accepting that my life has been forever changed. And so has my body.

One day soon, after a second surgery, I’ll have beautiful, perky breasts but right now I have lumpy, bumpy bruised clumps where my breasts used to be. Touching them freaks me out. Looking at them makes me cry again.

And the last thing I hadn’t counted on was being possessed by Zombies. They let you think you’re in control but I’m on to them now. They’re sneaky little devils who turn your mind to mush, make you drool and cause you to wreak untold havoc on the world when you’re asleep. And despite the fact that I’ve been off the narcotic since Day 5, they’re still working their evil.

At home watching the first episode of Downtown Abbey. Again.
At home watching the first episode of Downtown Abbey. Again.

For example, I’ve watched the first episode of Downtown Abbey no less than seven times. The first three times was because I didn’t remember having watched it already. The next four times was because the characters, the setting and the storyline changed every single time I watched it. I’m SERIOUS!

What has helped is the love and support from all of you. I cannot express how much it helps to know that there are people out there—plenty of whom I’ve never even met—who have stopped by my website or sent a Tweet or FB Message to let me know they are thinking about me. *being crying jag* Please, keep them coming. My husband and my sister, Pamela, have done a wonderful job caring for me, and I love them dearly for it. But your messages mean a lot. Especially since it doesn’t seem that I’m going to receive my fluffy kitten or a unicorn. *resuming crying jag*

Update: This is a repost from 2013. I’m happy to report that I did in fact receive an ample supply of unicorns and one fluffy kitten.

17 comments on… “Week 1 Post Mastectomy-Still Waiting on Fluffy Kitten and Unicorn”

  1. Hang in there, Suzanne. My best friend went through the same experience two years ago. She is healthy and fit now and happy and productive. I am praying for you and know that the worst is over and every day, you will feel a little better. “When you’re going through hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill

  2. I’ve been praying each night for you, Suzanne. Your honesty resonates to all of us who work out, try to keep on top of our health, and then have to deal with the reality that we are mere mortals. I have a close friend who has been battling breast cancer for the past 15 years. She has taught me many things. I think one of the hardest thing she’s had to do is exit the tornado of the “to do” list and just focus on what’s in front of her. When you’re a driven person, that is very hard to do. From my vantage point, the silver lining is that evil health issues often provide the platform for people to offer direct care and love that they normally don’t get to offer a healthy person. It’s wonderful you have your husband, sister and others to show you how much love there is out there for you!! Enjoy that part of your recovery and know that many people (like me) think and pray for you daily 🙂

  3. SO HAPPY to know you came through the surgery and are on the road to recovery!

    Zombies, huh? Sounds like as good an explanation as any. I do know that any time I’ve had general anesthesia, I have very weird and vivid dreams for about two weeks after, whether I’m on other meds or not. Maybe your zombies will start to disappear in another week or so, and the fluffy kitten and unicorn will take their place. 😉

    Gentle HUGS!

  4. Hey girlfriend! Just a reminder that you’re STILL a vibrant, intelligent, awesome woman – that part hasn’t changed and it NEVER ever will! I expect that shortly you’ll be able to educate all of us on how to slay zombies – a useful skill to have if the zombie apocalypse ever strikes! Sending you unicorns – along with lots of hugs!!! Yvonne

  5. Gentle huggles, Suzanne. Hoping those kittens and unicorns visit soon. You are definitely much loved and have lots of friends pulling for you to be well soon.


  6. Tom Headley


    Just to let you know that I hadn’t fotgotten about you. Heal up soon so that you can get busy on your writing.. Once you said that one of your characters was going to resemble me. I hope its a good guy. In the meantime take care and keep letting us know how you are progressing. Prayers. HBB


  7. Melissa Lewicki


    I am so glad you are on the mend. The worst nightmares I have ever had were in the hospital after a lot of heavy pain medication. My mom always said the best thing about her mastectomy was that she never had to wear a bra again! I will be thinking about you–as will all of your WANA friends, I am sure.

  8. Get back on the meds and the kittens will come. I’ll bring you a unicorn. He’s been in my yard every night for six weeks now and it’s time for him to move on. You probably won’t be able to see him, but trust me, he’ll be there.

    So glad you’re home and resting comfortably and have a wonderful support system. There’s nothing in this world that will heal a body faster than love and time.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


  9. Linda Harrel


    Hi Suzanne,
    I don’t know about kittens, and unicorns, but I know about pain, and what it puts you through!
    Stay strong, and realize each day, whether you feel it, or not, your body is recovering.
    We need you back, so focus on getting better, and see yourself surrounded by a healing spirit, and know that all of your friends, and family are collectively pulling, and praying for you.
    I have great faith in you!!
    Linda

  10. You are so inspiring, girl. I don’t know…you may just get that unicorn after all. Or at least that kitten. If/when I ever have to go through what you’re going through, I’ll know who to turn to.


  11. Debbie Putnam w/a P.D. Hurst


    Suzanne – You are so strong and such a role model and inspiration. I know you will heal up all beautiful, but I’m sorry this is so hard. Just know you have friends who are here for you, ready to bring unicorns and kittens and whatever else you need. Take loving care of yourself. You’re in my prayers.

  12. *Hugs* and more *Hugs* to you! I’m actually extremely impressed you have any energy to post on your blog considering what you’re going through. Best of luck and I’m sending my witchcraft your way.

  13. I’m feeling so hard for you. How awful about the severe pain. The crying…totally understandable. Major life changes affect us all differently, and girl, this is a MAJOR life change. It’s all at once something brave and smart and terrible. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    • Thanks, Jessi. It was a hard time for sure. I’m thankful to be on the other side of it now, with plenty of unicorns to keep me company 🙂

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