:hug letitia. I can relate to everything you are saying. That too is also my biggest reason for not having reconstruction - I cannot deal with more surgeries and more pain and more risks. I talked it over with my surgeon, who knows me well, and she agreed. She also said that she would likely never chose it for herself if she had to make that choice. I am quite enjoying being flat - it beats being one-breasted for the 9 months that I was. And I like not having to wear a bra (and I worry about having to wear one with the nerve pain and whatnot) and I like my scars enough. They're flat and nice - for incisions, you know?
And the nursing. I was really open about my weaning even though my DS was 3.5 yo. Four months he asked to nurse at night and he finally stopped. When I went in for my most recent surgery, he said, "But how will I fall asleep at night if you have no more nurse?" even though it had been 6 months since he had last nursed. He's well over 4 now and still wants that comfort and I can't give it to him. And that makes me cry.
And no one tells you that even after treatment is done, you still have to pick and chose what you can do in a day and then crawl into bed and wait for the next day and a new round of energy so that you can try and make up for the day before (but usually end up doing the things that need immediate attention again - just like you had done the day before - and many things still fall behind). Now that I've asked about this, they tell me it could be 6 months to a year before I start feeling like I am healing from the treatments.
And yes, aside from my new surgery site, the old pain that's there daily is just sort of a poke/ to remind you that's where the cancer was. The pain killers I'm taking for the new surgery site don't really help with nerve pain so I never get a break without pain until I'm laying in bed and not moving at all (and only on good days even).
Kathy, I haven't tried much for the chronic pain yet because I've always been dealing with immense pain from immediate treatments. I haven't gotten to a place where I can take a breath and say, "Okay, let's move on.". I do see a chiropractor which helps immensely and I have just picked up doing my physio exercises again and am starting to see some improvement. I hate that I got to a good point with my arm, had radiation, and then took like 5 steps back. I lost mobility, I have increased nerve pain ever since and it just sucks. Sometimes I don't want to do anything about it because I'm so mad it's there. I know that's a bad attitude and I usually get over it, but yeah, it's still there.
I think worse than the pain is when I get an itch in the part of my skin under the numb part. That can bug me for hours because no matter how much I try to scratch it, it never goes away. A lot of times, if DH is around, I will get him to rub my entire back and generally overstimulating those nerves helps my mind to stop focusing on the itchy nerves.
So it's hard. Just because treatment is over doesn't mean that I feel great and am ready to join the world and be who I once was. I never will be that person again and now I'm just learning it. And I think it's okay to take some time out to grieve that.