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65. Can I still do that?

Posted Jun 16 2009 7:53pm
Three months ago I thought there were things that I would never do again or do them weakly, yet here I sit and ponder the obstacles I have overcome, all the small ones and the bigger ones, and I marvel. The power of the human body to heal. It's survival instinct. And on the bare face of what I chose to do to my body was my instinct to live, to survive.

Daily life loads up some new physical and mental challenges as time goes by. So the repeated question is: "Can I still do that?"

Drive? Yes, fully functioning packed with pillow for added comfy.

Sleep? Yes, despite the initial challenges of front and back wounds, I now sleep normally and sleep is the best time for your body to sort itself out pretty pain free. Good physio, without the effort.

Dress? Yes, fully but struggle with tighter tops - getting out of them can be hard work but new techniques develop and you adapt.

Gardening? Yes, gently, then medium flow, then with gusto (involving lifting, wheelbarrowing and pruning shrubs and trees - which I am not at just yet). Medium flow involves cutting the lawn, digging in by spade and trowel small plants. Just one or two at a time, anything more is considered with gusto (see above).

Loving? Yes, hugging my amazing husband, family and my stepson (who has been amazing in understanding my pain and listening to me and for gently hugging my head for the first 6 weeks). Head Hug works a treat although can mess up your hair a lot but hey, a hug is a hug!

Sport? Yes, a few days ago I remembered my mountain bike has full suspension so should be comfy over bumps. A successful short but invigorating cycle with my stepson. Lovely! Other recent sport - moor walking (not a pavement in sight!) and a spot of light paddling in the double kayak.

Shopping? Yes, carrying bags is very much a NO NO NO in the beginning but light bags and great assistance is required once you get back into things. Lifting is the problem, carrying is less stressful and just use more bags than you normally would. The staff in Tesco were amazingly helpful at the til but it takes a little explaining what you need. I just said I'd had major surgery and was not to carry heavy objects yet. They understand completely.

All good - I sometimes think this is quite nice now, do I want more surgery yet? I think I might wait a while longer, maybe even next year for tweaks and nipples. Maybe I should give myself this timeout on surgery, just wait a while longer and let my body settle down even more. I am worn out so far, it's been tough.

Emotionally, I am feeling so much better - the ups and downs you see are real, this is my life living BRCA1 positive. The self-esteem has been boosted recently, learning to overcome some old feelings and adapting to my new body. It's nearly time to put it into a dress.
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