I am experiencing some insomnia tonight. It is 3:48 am, and I’ve been up since 2 am or so. I probably should just pop a Xanax and get back to it, but I fell asleep at 7 pm or so, before my 6 year old, so I’m feeling a bit wired. Sleep is for quitters, right?
Before I passed out last night, I excitedly posted on Facebook that I had scheduled what I think will be my last procedure. I didn’t think much of the post, didn’t want to go in to what the last procedure entailed, just wanted to let the folks that care know that I’m almost done with this leg of my reconstruction journey. When I woke, I checked my Facebook (because, magically, it will put me back to sleep), I had several comments from loved ones–not just ‘Facebook friends’ that I hadn’t seen in years (OK, some of them I haven’t seen in years, but I still love them like it was yesterday), but people who really know me. Although worded differently, the comments primarily asked, “What on earth could you have to do now?” So, I’ll tell you. I have to earn my nipples.
Like becoming an Eagle Scout, not everyone who has breast reconstruction chooses to earn their nipples. It is a daunting challenge. First, I must arm wrestle all the plastic surgeon residents in the department. Once I have proven my strength in the arm wrestling arena, I can move to the next feat of strength–a relay race. I must prove that I can outrun Cancer. Finally, when the relay race is completed, I can move on to the vat of Jello. I can’t tell you what I must do to complete the Jello challenge–well, I could, but only if you are on the Breast Cancer journey like me. Suffice to say, it will be squishy and sticky and probably orange. Once all three parts of the Nipple Challenge are complete, then and only then will I have earned my nipples.
Will I be up to the challenge? That remains to be seen. I have until March 2, 2012 to train for the Earning of the Nipples. If I can keep my new implants in place without risk of infection or hematoma or seroma, if I can wrestle the residents, and if I can do that secret Jello ritual, I should be fine. It will take dedicated training on my part, the love of close friends, and the skill of a good surgeon to put my Humpty Dumpty Barbie Boobies back together again. However, as much as I’d like to sell my timeshare in CancerLand and just get the hell out of here, I’m not leaving without my nipples! Like an Israeli solider, I don’t leave my fallen comrades behind. So, say what you will. Tell me how I don’t need nipples to be happy and how I am beautiful inside and out. I will thank you, listen politely, then go back for my nipples. When you have breast cancer and write your blog, you can do it your way. But for me, I look forward to the Feats of Strength I need to conquer in order to be whole. Bring it on–my nipples are waiting!