Cancer Journey Women's Health

Shoulders Back: Double Mastectomy Recovery

August 14, 2022

Hey Guys,

One of the earliest things I can remember when growing up was how my grandmother, father, mother and almost every grown up would tell me to put my shoulders back and keep my head up. I mean this was even in casual conversation, they’d stop mid-sentence and correct my posture. To them it was a reminder to walk with pride, look where you are going and not be distracted.

This was such a simple thing that I learned but it was drilled into me to the point it has stuck with me throughout life. I’ll be sitting slouched or holding my head down and i’ll hear a voice “Chel, hold up yuh head nuh man”. Sometimes in a room of people, or in a room alone i’ll automatically adjust my posture and smile. Since doing my double mastectomy I’ve had to remember to stay focused and not be distracted. As discussed in my last vlog after the surgery putting your shoulders back is not so easy, the discomfort compared to the lumpectomy sure is.. different.

I will honestly say it is way more painful than the lumpectomy and though it was discussed and expected I still cannot get used to sleeping on my back. However, what I want to talk about is the feeling of being in reverse, the medications – again, the pain – again, the drains- again, the inability to raise my arms above my head- again and so much more-again.

There is a mental strength that is needed to repeat these things and remain positive. Though I know it’s for my own good, I can’t help but be annoyed with having to stop the gym and be “weak” again. But WE MOVE.
Nevertheless, negativity is never the way, this thing literally feeds off stress and negativity so I focus on the positives and that is almost always LOVE.

Major shout outs to Keri who flew from NYC to stay with me for two weeks just to ensure I had help after the surgery and my other friends Shani and Sanya who provided my convoy to the surgery , VIP style ( lolol) and any other help after the operation. The people who stuck through Chemo, where present once again (no surprise there) Tara, Davina, Bran, Trev, Kimmie, Renee, Yan, Charms, Dre and without any hesitation MY FAMILY <3 . Anyone else I forgot to mention, I know I’ve thanked you personally. My heart swells every time I think of how my team just doesn’t play about me.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again my friends are top notch. There were those who came and watched tv with me on Sundays after Keri left to ensure I didn’t feel alone and prayed for me before and after the surgery . My family, who picked me up and mom who came by and wiped out the house because I was going crazy with not being able to clean (how the turn tables lol). The prayer warriors who lifted me up, the clients who knew and were understanding and every single person that sent me flowers. There was and continues to be so much love. It is this bubble of love that allows me to be vulnerable with no shame while being stronger than ever before.

So, no matter how stressed out I might feel and annoyed I am with having to push through yet another hard segment in this fight I am once again reminded by my friends and family to put my shoulders back, hold my head up, walk with pride and never get distracted.

Faith & Love,

Chelan

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