I’ve had plenty of things to blog about in the last few weeks this new thing I’m doing called “work” has prevented me from posting. I started the job 6 weeks behind everyone else and it shows. I’m the new person starting a new career and as can be expected in my profession there is more work to be done than can be done in a typical workday. It makes it even harder that I’ve been in Cancerland for the last few months. It is a good job but a big adjustment.
I walk into my first day of work wearing my ruffly blouse and belted cardigan and I realize that all I have is a desk and a pencil. I ask the secretary about a computer and she says she doesn’t know and I need to contact my department. I call my department and leave a message. While waiting for a call back I dig though files and see what kind of materials I have. I have a surprisingly large amount to use so that is great. My department calls back and says I need to call someone else. The someone else finally calls me back and has a laptop for me. I just need to go pick it up. I go get the laptop come back to work and try to figure out how to connect to everything. I realize I don’t have access to the data logs that I need so I call track down a help desk phone number and call it only to find out I need to call a different help desk phone number. I’m given access but I find out later that it’s just to half of the stuff that I need.
This kind of thing has gone on everyday for the last 3 weeks. Essentially, I was told, “this is where you work, go figure out how to do your job”. Not helpful. I just want to be a speech therapist not play figure out the next clue on how to do my job.
It’s been awkward at times. Someone asked me how my baby was. She thought I was on maternity leave. I told her my baby was fine. To everyone else I just had some kind of mysterious illness or needed an unnamed but not serious surgery. I’m sure people would be more understanding (patient, accommodating) if they knew the truth but it’s been nice not being the girl who has cancer. Plus, I’d have to tell everyone that I had breast cancer and that would be awkward too. So, I just go with the saying that I was out on “medical leave”. No one has asked what the cause was.
I feel like I should be fully recovered from surgery by now but I’m not. I could go into the reasons but I’ll save it for my therapist. Obviously, starting a new job has set me back. I’m exhausted by the end of the day and have to make myself do the things at home that moms are supposed to do. I’m waiting for some kind of routine to find us but I’ll probably have to put some kind of effort into that.
I haven’t really had a grieving process over the loss of my breasts but for the first time at work I actually missed having them. Not that I need breasts at work. I can’t think of any way in which they would help me. But in this environment where I’m just a normal person (as opposed to a cancer person) I realized that just having breasts would make me feel more normal. I know that it’s not over since I still have to do more surgeries and I’m not back to what I was before. I think finishing the surgeries will help me get to that point. I did try wearing a bra with padding one day but I ended up in pain from the pressure. I called at one point about getting prosthesis but insurance won’t cover since I’m having reconstruction. My options are pay out of pocket for the $700 for prosthesis that I only need temporarily or get by with strategically purchased clothing to conceal the chest area. I’ve been inflated so far up to about a B cup in measurement but the shape is so wonky that they don’t pass for breasts. Another young post-mastectomy person I met called them “Spongebob Square Boobs”. That is a fairly accurate description.
Speaking of spongebob boobs… I should really post about the SCAR project show. That will have to be another night.