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Mar 14

Risk Management

I hate the way my body looks now. It is riddled with scars, disfigured, mangled. I close my eyes when I walk into the bathroom, shower with my eyes shut and don’t open them until after I’ve at least put on a shirt. When I met Dr. Movie Star in January and he told me I could in fact get the DIEP reconstruction, I allowed myself to imagine my body without all the scars. I looked at endless before and after pictures of women who had similar surgeries. I let myself ‘go there’, imagine what I might look like….

What was I thinking? I mean, this is ME we are talking about. Things don’t work out for me. We are the people who have to have our kids’ birthday parties during Shivas or at the palliative care center. We are the people where one person is home post-surgery with her arms pinned to her sides and drains in her abdomen while the other finds himself with pneumonia in the hospital during Passover. We are not the people who can have the fancy surgeries with bonus tummy tucks.

This is what is going on: my husband is having some pretty serious complications from his lung transplant. Serious enough that we have to start managing risks. Serious enough that for me to have a 12 hour surgery and an 8 week recovery period is not an option. I’m not talking about making lunches and driving kids to lessons, I know we can hire/get help. I’m talking about making sure that one parent is alive.

So I cancelled the big fancy surgery. It makes me very sad. I’m upset with myself for letting me thing I could have it in the first place.

 

PS: the first person that tells me that scars tell a story or that I am beautiful on the inside etc gets punched in the face. just so we are clear on this.

8 comments

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  1. Liz

    Fuck.

    I hope Jay comes through OK. I know you will, because boobs are not necessary to life so you can wait. Lungs are not on the “optional body parts” list.

    I will, in the spirit of infertility sisterhood, not mention hope or any bullshit like that. It’s a very dirty word in my book, the worst there is in many cases.

    I will just say that you guys have come through a lot of shit, and I hope that a year from now this is just one more little pile of it.

    I really hope Jay is OK, and soon.

  2. Sarah in Ottawa

    Oh fuck, V. You know I’m a pray-er, and I will be praying for you and Jay and the girls. May this pass quickly and may Jay feel better ASAP.

  3. Jennye

    I know that any comments here are just a giant steaming pile of platitudes in the end, but there is no way I wouldn’t comment and tell you how sad I am for you and how bad this sucks. And you know what? It does suck that you can’t have the surgery that might help you look in the mirror and see a bit more you again. Can you still have it someday? Or does putting it off mean you have to start from scratch again and risk it being less effective? Honestly, between all you have endured with your mom’s cancer, and Jay’s transplant and then your cancer, you have enough emotional scars that you deserve the opportunity to have fewer physical ones.

    I hope that he responds positively to treatment and your reconstruction is simply briefly postponed and then your family life finds some sort of blissful boringness that all 4 of you deeply deserve.

  4. Anna in Turin

    WTF V, I had no idea! FTW….ok so the”lets call it cosmetic surgery” isn’t an option now…but can you not put it on hold for a while until Jay gets better (sending prayers your way)..You have been through hell and are still there….wish I could hug you (lightly, you’re still in pain, I still have pain from cracked ribs), and help you out somehow…words just fail me…and fuck everyone else who trys to paint a pretty picture…it’s not pretty, it sucks the big one…and I’m surprised you are not angrier at the world or the gods that be…you have every right to rant and be Queen Bitch…fuck no one else I know has been through so much in so little time…ok ’nuff …luv yr way.
    Let me know if I can do something from here..anything at all..

  5. outrunningthecloud

    Some things I didn’t mention:
    I could wait 6 months. except that a) I don’t see the risk/reward formula changing. Jay will always be a transplant patient with high risks. Mostely though, I am in agony. The Expanders and I are a very bad match. they hurt. all the time. I can’t get back to moving and getting in shape with them in. It hurts to give a hug. So they have to come out ASAP.

  6. JoAnn in NJ

    I am so sorry. I hope Jay comes through this problem quickly and gets back to a reasonable health. Your family has been through too much – you all deserve to have some happiness now.

  7. Doris

    That really fuckin’ sucks! I hope Jay is going to be okay. Wish I could do more.

  8. Steph

    The implant recovery is pretty quick… I guess that is not an option, though? With the DIEP option, they can’t do it years from now if you decided then? I don’t know much about the non-implant side of things. But there are always new types of reconstruction and I’d hope that down the road, you can still find one that works for you and that you can do, even if you have to delay it for awhile.

    Sorry to hear about your husband, I’ll be keeping you both in my thoughts. Really sorry you have to deal with all this BS and hope things start to turn around soon.

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