I had my drains removed today. And after I was no longer shackled to my lymph tissue I slipped into my sweatshirt and … zipped it up. I zipped it up past my non existent breasts. Zip straight up to the top. I have never been able to do that. I always had to stop half way and push and shift and struggle to get the zipper to go up over my boobs. Now it just went up. I thought it was funny and so did Ruthie. We laughed.

So awake I am handling this loss much better than in my sleep. Each night my dreams are filled with anxious searches in which I utter out loud “I feel like I am forgetting something”. I am constantly searching for things or forgetting things. I lose keys. I forget where I am. Sometimes I am frantic other times melancholy. Once I saw a box at the bedside table. I did not open it but I knew my “breasts” were in there. I was relieved to “find” them but then said they are not real. I have forgotten my children places in these dreams. I get lost in others. I awake exhausted and sad. My dreams are vivid. I feel like this is the process my unconscious mind is struggling with. Where did my body go? So I feel lost and disoriented as I dream about the amputation. I miss my breasts.

I miss them but I know that the surgery saved my life. I don’t miss my cancer breasts. I miss my healthy breasts. I am sad they got sick. I am sad they had to go. I do not want new ones. I just miss my old ones. No kind words extend to my dreams. This is about me and healing and change and acceptance. This is my story with my unconscious. I feel lost, alone, and confused….at least while I sleep.

But awake I find some of this interesting. Like you know that sensation when you are cold and nipples get erect? I get that feeling but I have no nipples. Kelly said I have phantom nipples. That’s hot. And I am not shuffling around saying poor me. I am mostly saying ok..this sucks…moving on. I pray a lot. I pray and cry. I pray and take deep breaths. Sometimes I laugh. I enjoy all the things I can. Today I enjoyed the company of my good friend Ruthie..who always makes me laugh. I enjoyed seeing Kelly at work. I enjoyed bumping into JoG..it was nice to see her smile. I realized that her boobs are now bigger than mine…so are Kelly’s. Oh well.

4 Responses to “Lost”

  1. amie says:

    Many, many prayers for you. Every day, many times.

  2. Wendy says:

    Warning to Bill: This may be a bit much for you…When I was pregnant with Dante I thought my boobs were HUGE. I went up to a C cup. From my little As. The Cs were always in my way. Even reaching across my body felt strange. I’m so happy to have my little As, even though my Cs looked quite impressive. Just think how much easier it will be to reach across your body and do things like zip up your clothes! LOL.

    The dreams while distressing are probably very healthy. Your subconscious, your soul, is processing the loss. You had very impressive boobs. They were a part of your identity; how you dressed, how you carried yourself, how others viewed you, your memories of nursing your kids. You are reestablishing your identity without them. I will pray for healing while you sleep and that while your soul works out what it needs to work out that you will wake up rested and refreshed. Love you.

  3. amanda says:

    I feel so far from all of this, being away for so long. I haven’t even seen you once since you were diagnosed. I’m away from a computer so long, and when i come back, so much has happened in your life. I think about you so much. I sent you a letter. Did you get it?
    This summer I was having really bad dreams every night- horrifying, murderous dreams that seize my whole body; my own shouting wakes me up. My mom said that I need to go back into the dream and make it better. She said that she learned to do that after much practice so that now, when she wakes up from a nightmare, she forces herself to continue the dream and take control, turn the tables or something. It seems really tough to do, but it’s helped her tremendously in overcoming some things in her life that no doubt were causing the dreams.
    Anyway, I pray for you. I send you my love. I will be home in one week, with tons of free time. I hope to see you. I hope you are still getting brownies by then so that you can share one with me.
    peace and love to you and your family.
    amanda s

  4. Arleen Gottesman says:

    Dear Andrea,

    I am a dear friend of your mom. I have only met you once at her 60th birthday party and I was left with quite an impression of what kind of person you were, but after reading your blog, I can not express enough just how you have gotten into my heart. I just lost my husband of 43 years of marriage due to lung and liver cancer. He was ill for one and a half years. I thought he was strong but reading what I did you have such a wonderful strength and way of expressing your heart felt feelings of what you are going through. There is no way I could feel what you feel, but I want you to know you will always be in my heart and prayers forever. If I could give you some of my strength to help you get through this it is yours. Please be strong and never give up. You have six wonderful children who love you and need you. Never forget that. If you need anything even just to talk, please feel free to contact me. I am a good listener from my own experiences. God bless you with love and strength.

    Your New But Lifelong Friend,

    Arleen Gottesman