I remember when my children each turned “Four Months Old.” I took pictures of them at each month of their lives, and I still remember the way that they looked, felt, and even smelled at that age (I mean the cute baby powder smell, not the poopy-spit-milk smell).
Prior to the birth of each child, I had the same conversation with my husband: “What will life be like with this new baby in our family?”
And, of course, after the birth of each child, I find it impossible to imagine life without her and him. Within days, it felt like that child belonged in our lives forever. As we approach my son’s 2nd birthday this week (two years old, already??), I can’t remember my life without him in it.
This week, my mastectomy and silicone breasts turned 4 months old. It’s hard to believe, but I have no idea what my breasts used to feel like or what they used to look like. They look so completely normal to me — their 16-inches of football like stitches now faded to a dull red — and yet they are such strangers to my life. My body is still trying to adjust to the tension in my chest, the limited range of motion, and the sensation of numbness from armpit to armpit. At one point, I tried on Tattooed Nipples (a fantastic product, BTW) and had a much needed cathartic laughter. Having colored circles on my breasts looked so, well, silly. Unnatural. Though the sight of my breasts after surgery was difficult, four months into recovery, I feel like my mastectomy freed me to have the body that feels right.
I feel whole.
The weight of breast cancer has been, of course, lifted off my chest. And while I’m beginning the process of managing my risk of ovarian cancer (I have a 60% chance of developing this silent killer), my body is beginning to feel like my own. I no longer live at the mercy of breast cancer.
My silicone mounds make me feel stronger, empowered, and confident. I feel beautiful, powerful, and wise.
At four months old, babies
- will develop the ability to make some vocal sounds
- can anticipate the direction you’re pulling her
While I’m still trying to figure out the direction I’m going, it’s been a blessing to be able to write and talk about this journey.
Rock on, Four Month Olds. Rock on.
Peace, love and living a life of no regrets,