Shopping for a Mastectomy: Part 2

Welcome to the latest installment in the series, ‘Shopping for a Mastectomy: Part 2.’ Otherwise known as my way of asserting some sort of control over my situation through the process of buying things. Now I’m no expert on shopping for a mastectomy, not having had one yet, but I have gained inspiration from my blogging friends laurennicole333 and Mogatos, and I have read A LOT of sources. So whilst some of these items are, I’m sure, very useful for someone undergoing a mastectomy, some may be a little frivolous and nice to haves, not need to haves.

Detachable shower head

Whilst my boyfriend has very kindly offered to hose me down in the garden, I think the best way for me to wash, without getting my bandages and dressings wet, is with this nifty, hand-held device. To be used in the comfort, and privacy of my indoor bathroom.

Check out the picture of someone washing their dog in a bowl. Comforting image for things to come…

Shower

Facial wipes

Before the hosing, I’ll be washed with the help of the nurses, a sponge bath and what is also known as a Glastonbury shower.

wipes

Dry shampoo

And without the ability to wash, my hair may become increasingly shiny, but I’m afraid that will be down to grease, not healthy vitality.

Dry Shampoo

Instant hand sanitizer

Infection is a real risk me for post-operation so I will be uncharacteristically particular and insist that any visitors, as well as Mr F, sanitize before enjoying my post-operative, drugged up, yet stimulating company.

sanitizer

Digital thermometer

On the subject of infection, chief temperature taker, Mr F, will make sure all is well and I am hopefully staying well within room temperature.

Termometer

Comfy pants!

I don’t know why, but I am keen to wear brand new knickers, each day, during my stay in hospital. So I have bought 8 pairs of comfy and brightly coloured Bonds underwear for every night I’m in hospital, to brighten up my day.

Pants1

Ugly pajamas

It makes sense that I’ll need button up pajamas when I’m in hospital as I’m unlikely to be able to lift my arms over my head. However, the majority of button down PJs are toweling  and believe it or not, Australia has a tendency to be hot so toweling is definitely not an option! Outside of that, my options were pretty slim.  None the less, I did find these relatively lightweight, yet ugly pajamasfor just $15 from our trusty Kmart. I have supplemented them with 2 singlets with big arm holes, in case I feel like I need to break out.

However, on first viewing of my night-time apparel, Mr F has insisted I spend a decent amount of money to get real silk pajamas that may stand more chance of a) looking OK and b) letting my skin breathe.

PJs

AMAZING slippers of love

Look! They have hearts on them! Something for me to spread the love as I escape from my hospital ward to the posh coffee shops in the private hospital on Level 9. A mere $8 from Target.

Slippers

Adult sippy cup

This one’s amazing. I don’t even have to tip it and it’s got a special little gizmo in it that cools the water as you drink. Oh, and it’s pink.

Sippy

So I think I’m pretty much sorted. What’s more, I even managed to tick off another item on my ‘Mastectomy To Do List’, with a fabulous new haircut. Yey me!  I’m going into hospital, not hiding, after all!

 Me

The Luckiest Girl in the World


Lucky3

I have been overwhelmed by the support I’ve received over the past few months and am incredibly grateful for it. Friends old and new have really touched me with their generosity and kindness.

The more people who know what’s happening, the more I get asked how I’m feeling. The most common thing I hear when I tell people what I’m about to do is how brave I am.  These words are of course, very kind. It’s just, I don’t ever really feel brave.

For me, taking the test was brave. Especially, as from my Dad’s side of the family, I have inherited the Ostrich gene. Symptoms include putting things off and not wanting to deal with overly hard situations. Side effects vary from unopened letters from the bank, overdue visits to the dentist and to late tax returns. So for me, taking the test was huge.  Besides, I’d always assumed I’d die at the age of 40 anyway, so what difference did a piece of paper make?

OK, so my life probably would have rolled out quite differently to how it is today – or somewhat like it had in my 20s. Moving from job or location every two years, drinking more than a healthy amount, exercising within an inch of my life, unable to sustain a decent relationship for any notable period of time and carrying round a massive chip on my shoulder.  Yes, it doesn’t sound much fun, BUT, it was familiar, so again, for me, the test was the brave part.

So now, the best descriptor for how I feel moving into the operation, is incredibly lucky.

I’m lucky to have had the most inspirational woman for a mother, albeit for too short a time, who was honest enough to speak to me about my risk.

I’m incredibly lucky that my late uncle was selfless enough to take a test that has given me information that may dramatically prolong my life, whilst he was coming to the end of his.

I’m lucky to have a supportive father and stepmother who financially and emotionally have enabled me to get to this point, from way across the pond.

And I can’t believe my luck to be with someone who, both emotionally and physically, is supporting and enabling me to take the most life changing step of my adult life.

I’ll never forget a conversation I’d had with a neighbour not long after my mun had died. My mum had always found her a bit tactless, but with a good heart so had formed a polite, location based friendship with her. Having gone over to tell her about my mum, she said, “Trisha, don’t you worry. By the time you get to your mum’s age, there will have been all sorts of medical advances, I’m sure you won’t have to suffer the same fate.”

I wanted to smack her in the face . Of course I wouldn’t suffer the same fate, I was 21 years of age and invincible!

The funny thing is, she was right. And as a result I have the power to change my fate. So maybe I don’t have the opportunity to feel brave. I’m too busy feeling grateful for being one of the luckiest girl’s in the world.

   Lucky lucky2

lucky4