I Am Really Maleficent!
As many of you have followed my journey, I have had a love-affair with with breast reconstruction after a heart felt love letter from my pathologist in December 2013. I had some insights I wanted to share after my last fat grafting this week.
A little juicy back history for those just tuning in. I was not a candidate for breast implants because my body likes to create a lovely web-like scar tissue around areas it is wounded. So— I started the journey of reconstruction a year ago after a double-flap mastectomy June of 2014. Months and months of physical therapy, massage, exercise, consultations with the lovely Dr. F and a LOT of #life in between– I am feeling like there is light at the end of my tunnel. I want to go on record that #fat grafting is NOT glamorous and in no way shape or form #savvy. I tell Dr. F all the time that it is “fat-embalming” to which she retorts, “IF I was embalming you– that would be correct! BUT…. I am simply grafting fat from here to there and inject it, not embalm it!” Fat grafting is also known as “fat transfer”, to which they still use an “embalming” machine to transfer, or graft, the fat into it’s new home– your breasts or buttocks. Long story short, this procedure is liposuction, fat-transfer and recovery times you have to put up with are long and arduous. Each procedure needs 3-4 months in between to keep the new tissue healthy. YIPPY! I have had 5- of these episodes and let me tell you. I am grateful for good staff and a sound mind.
As I prepped for surgery, one of the nurses came in and asked me if she could use lidocaine to numb the area where she was going to put the IV in. This is an expensive way to just dig for veins. I was so dehydrated my veins were not cooperating. Let me count for you how many times it took BEFORE they got the IV in? 1, 2, 3, 4. Yes– four times, leaving a bloody trail behind them. It was not their fault at all, my body was tired and simply did not have enough fluid in it to give up the blood. The third nurse got lucky on her second dig. The other nurse came around my back to listen to my lungs and she found my “shark bites”.
“What are those scars from?” asked the nurse.
“Oh…. I am actually Maleficent. Someone has my wings in a cage right now. I am learning to fly again”, I replied.
They stopped what they were doing and began to laugh, but I sat and thought about what had come out of my mouth. The sassy retort was an inner voice for me. One that stopped to ask the question— “Did you really forget to fly?” As I sat ignoring the IV pain, I thought to myself. I have never played small, but I does that mean this is small stuff? No, not at all. Self-doubt is the first tool used in betrayal. However, during this past 18-months, I feel I have found inner strength to keep some normalcy in my life, yet I wondered how I was showing up for MYSELF? Did I cage my wings? Did someone else? For myself, I am in rest mode, healing from a life of telling my body what SHE had to do, rather than negotiating lovingly and seeing what we can come up to TOGETHER. I just need time to heal. I need time to be kind to myself. I need time to allow others to nurture me as I find my next pair of wings.
The thing I have come to know for myself through these experiences is this. We all have wings to show us what we can become. We have ROOTS to show us where we came from. Roots can be difficult for some. It is either a place of love and acceptance, or criticism, failure, abuse and disfunction. Sometimes, it is a mix of both. One thing is for certain— we can fly and use the roots we came from to work together. Think about it, there is so much symbolism here for our lives. A tree is ABUNDANT. Deep rooted trees give shelter, food and a place to rest from the heat of the sun. During each season, the tree has a purpose….. even after it has been taken from and pulled from it’s grounding place, there are STILL roots binding it’s system to the tree that once stood in it’s place. Truly– a #givingtree, full of things to offer those who will but seek shelter there until they are able to fly again. Life is abundant and full of goodness. I have had to learn to alway seek the goodness when the season is calling for something different, finding light for my soul
My wings are the flowers upon my tree, there are many different sizes, yet they really are not caged, just waiting until their season of departure……. I am ready. Will you join me?