The Boob Report – Waiting for Release

I want to go outside and play

Do you remember being grounded? You pressed your nose against the window and watched your neighborhood friends play. Time slowed. I’ve been out for seven months. My clock is full of spider webs and the windows need washing.

Looking back, much of it’s a blur. I can’t believe it’s November! I’m so far out of the loop, I’m orbiting another galaxy. Much of my social life revolves around tennis. Being sidelined since April has been isolating. Instead of organizing social events, I’ve focused on my health and writing since my double mastectomy in May. I’ve heard from a few people, but most have been sucked into the vortex of their own fast-paced lives. Mine has rolled along at the speed of a snail.

I’ve counted the weeks. At eight after my last reconstructive surgery, my doctor released me to running and biking. My first ride lasted ten minutes. I came in the door soaking wet and out of breath. A few days later, I ran (alternating between shuffling and walking), with Roxy. She walked alongside me with 4 inch legs! Yep. I started out slow.

When I hit ten weeks, I got antsy.  Breckenridge Ski Resort opened November 7th. I’ve always asked about tennis. With all the upper body movement, I knew it would be a while, but what about skiing? I made a phone call. My surgeon wasn’t in that Friday, but my question was relayed to a nurse. I waited on hold. Then the receptionist said, “Absolutely……….(what seemed like minutes)……….not.” I was still grounded. Dang it! We stayed home.

lets go skiing

Ski dreams.

At eleven weeks last Wednesday, I had an appointment with my surgeon.  We chatted for a few minutes. I asked about skiing and held my breath.

“No restrictions,” he said.

“What? I don’t have any restrictions?”

“None. Your restrictions have been lifted, but you can’t fall.”

My heart leapt! “Really? I can do anything?” I asked in a high-pitched squeaky voice like a little kid in disbelief that she’s been released to play outside again.

“You’ve been released to do anything, but fall.”

**note to self** I’ll stick to blue runs.

“How long until I completely heal?”

“That’ll take a year.” He looked at my bionic boobs. “I know you’re done with surgery, but a year from now, please get the fat transfer.”

“Maybe.” My boobs stick out like a cartoon character’s, but he’s right. I am done.

While floating out of the examining room, I remembered. “What about tennis?”

“No restrictions. Swing away!” He swung an imaginary tennis racket.

The nurse gave me a hug since I won’t see them again until after the holidays. I danced out to the car. I couldn’t believe it. For seven long months I’ve been grounded. Now I can do anything. Freedom! Woohoo!

I felt like doing this!

The Wild Child

I passed along the good news to my family on the way home and then jumped on my bike.  I rode a few miles and came up a hill on the way back. This time, I didn’t experience the same huffing or puffing. I stretched and scheduled a thirty minute court time.

Last Friday, I drove to my tennis club. There had been some damage due to the floods and the weight room is under renovation. I stepped onto the courts. They had been painted bright purple and green like the ones at the US Open. I played mini tennis from the service line with the pro. The first three balls went into the net. At first it felt strange since I’d been away for so long. Then muscle memory kicked in and my shoulders relaxed. I waved to friends on an adjacent court. It felt good to be back in Earth’s orbit.

I’ve been released into the wild! Now I can start on those windows…

Have you ever been grounded?

The Boob Report – Roadblocks and U-Turns

Breast Reconstruction after Mastectomy

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126 Comments

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126 responses to “The Boob Report – Waiting for Release

  1. Hi Susie, Reading this a bit late (I have been grounded for the last 2 weeks after knee surgery so catching up on your blog!)…
    Congrats! Hope you are doing well…

    • Thanks so much for thinking of me! I hope you are on the mend. Knee surgery can be very painful. I wish you a quick recovery!
      I’m finally feeling like I can do anything I want! Yay! :)

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  4. I can’t believe I missed this happy news. Congratulations! I couldn’t be more pleased for you. Being grounded can be difficult for most people but for someone with your energy and zest for life I imagine it must have been near impossible at times. Kudos to you for sticking to the restrictions so there were no repercussions. Now…just don’t fall.

  5. For the first three months after my stroke, okay four, I was limited. I could exercise – I had rehab – I could go places – I had rehab – I could do anything – that’s a lie. Anyway, I had to live with Mom and Dad (God love em) for several months. Going back to my own home was my tennis and skiing. I always played volleyball – I doubt that ever happens, but we will see. So, yes, I was grounded.
    Scott

  6. Best wishes Susie. No abrupt moves, ok?! Pls take care. Praying for you.

  7. Congratulations! So glad to hear you’re getting back into your groove. (Of course, now I feel a bit guilty that I’ve never had such restrictions, yet I’m sitting on my butt needing to exercise. :p)

    You continue to be in our hearts and prayers! Best wishes, Susie.

    • I’m easing into it. I skied on Wednesday and played 30 minutes of tennis yesterday, so I opted not to ski toay. It’s snowing and crowded and didn’t want to take ANY chances!!!
      Thanks Julie! I really appreciate that!

  8. Yay!!!!!!!!! Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah! Yippee! Yes, I’ve been grounded. More times than I care to say. So I understand being set free. I am so happy for you Susie! You’ve been through the dark and are now seeing the light. This is fantastic news! Now remember, think round green or blue square. No black diamonds for you unless you wear them on your finger. :) {{Hugs!}}

    • Hey Karen! Great to see you! How are you and your husband? What a heck of a year!!!
      Thanks so much. I just got back from another 30 minute court time and II can see where it is going to take me a while to get back in the swing of things, literally!!! ((hugs)) :)

      • Yes, I hear ya Susie. It’s been a heck of a year. To answer your question, we are hanging in there. I wish hubby’s recovery was as successful as yours. He is still in a lot of pain. As you can imagine, it’s been exhausting. So we are on a wild ride, that’s for sure, but keeping our chins up as we search for alternative therapies. One day at a time Susie. Sometimes that’s all we can do. Because is does take time to get back into the swing of things when you’ve been forced to fight for your life and well being. Baby steps my friend. As long as we are moving forward, we are moving in the right direction. So be careful not to overdue and become frustrated. You’re doing fantastic! :)

        • Thanks Karen! I have a friend who was going through chronic pain and went to the Mayo Clinic for nerve surgery. I saw her out running! I will say a prayer for your husband. Thanks for all your support! Happy Thanksgiving!

  9. Oh Susie, I am so very happy to hear you’ve progressed so well. Congratulations and have a great time on the slopes, trails and courts. :-)

  10. You’re a marvel. I’m rapt for you Susie. Fantastic.

  11. Firstly, I’m STILL being grounded. By all the adults in the room. Am I EVER gonna learn? Nope, probably not.
    And lastly? Love you mama. Keep on kicking it. You’re my good place, and thank you for it.

    • Thanks Cayman and for all the boob support! You were one of the few people I talked to back when it was shocking and terrifying. Glad it’s in the rear view mirror.

      Grounded again? What did you do this time????

      • I remember the talks, and I’m glad I was there for you. Not to mention how you’ve always been there for me, so there’s that.
        Yes, I was grounded. I swear I didn’t do anything wrong! No one believes me! And yanno . . I can’t says I blame ‘em.

  12. Only when I was a kid, but the Roxster pretty much summed up the feeling. Actually, now that I think about it… I have been kind of grounded. Due to business… too much! No writing for ages. Very little time for reading. The over-long season is over and I am back. So like you, Susie, I’m back in action too. I waved to friends on an adjacent court… I’ll bet that was so thrilling and such a good feeling. I know they were glad to see you, because the grey months are starting… and you are a ray of sunshine.

    • Awww! Great to see you Ted! I finally made it down the mountain. 3 jack-knifed trucks and a pile up in a snow storm.
      Thanks so much. Read and write when you can. I’ll be here waiting!

  13. Hooray for being un-grounded. Enjoy!!

  14. Look out, here she comes! :) Funnily enough, I was never grounded, because we lived too far from civilisation to get into trouble. Kind of an effective child proofing mechanism, it occurs to me now. Enjoy your freedom (but remember not to fall!)

  15. This is some rocking good news! The Bionic Boobs lady is free to roam!

    Just take it slow getting back into the swing of things. We don’t want to read about your trip to the ER as your next post!

  16. Enjoy the great outdoors – again – Susie! I hope you and your bionic boobs have a great time!

  17. Woohoo!!! Not get out there and get after it to your giant heart’s content!

  18. Reblogged this on and commented:
    This woman is an inspiration for us all!

  19. Great news Susie (our windows are filthy!) – delighted for you and the family

  20. Windows – schmindows … they just get dirty again … get out and play!

  21. So happy for you, Susie! You go girl! I am grounded often but the worse is after surgeries (like you). It takes sooooo long to heal! There are only so many jigsaw puzzles one can do. Glad you get to enjoy your outdoor activities.

    • I was so happy when the fog finally lifted and I started obsessing about stats again and could work on my book. Thank God for computers and the blogging community. I never felt completely cut off!
      Thanks Maria! I’ll be taking it easy….

  22. Congratulations! Here’s to staying upright!

  23. Blues to be sure you don’t fall? You’re way ahead of me. Blues are my challenge. I don’t even think about blacks.

    I’ll be getting a little taste of being grounded. I’m having surgery on my left shoulder (I’m left-handed), and I have no idea what that’s going to prevent me from doing or for how long. I’m pretty sure pounding a keyboard will be off limits for awhile. I’m also pretty sure sky-diving and climbing Mt Everest will be out.

  24. Oh Susie, I know just what you mean! I feel I fell asleep for two months and summer was over. Now it’s Christmastime already. It seems so surreal. So after my implant surgery (Jan 22) I’ll be grounded for another couple of months, huh? Congrats on being released to “do anything but fall.”

    • I was lucky to go to Europe for three weeks between surgeries. Walking was encouraged so away I went!
      Yep. You’ll be grounded, but there is a lot less pain compared to the mastectomy and you there are no reaching restrictions. My doctor didn’t like the look of my pockets after the first surgery so he reopened one of them. I would suspect that is why I had a longer restriction period. You’ll be fine! The healing process is worth it to make sure I don’t have one boob that slides under my arm!!
      Also when you have the second reconstruction, do those push together boob exercises after three weeks of healing. They aren’t tacked down and slip to the side when sleeping. Totally freaked me out the first time I noticed! I thought I had torn something!!!
      Thanks Suzanne!

  25. I got grounded for stealing a pack of cigarettes from my dad’s carton. I evened up the end so he world believe he’d been shorted (no planning ahead). I got caught and spent three months restricted to my room. One thing, glad you can take the girls, bionic as they are, out to play.

  26. Look out world she’s back….with a vengeance!

  27. Woohoo for freedom to move! (Except for falling) Enjoy the slopes :)

  28. That is certainly amazing progress – back to all those sorts of activities!
    Trouble is, if you worry about falling it spoils your confidence making you more likely to fall, but if you don’t worry about falling it might make you careless …. Oh, wow!

  29. NaNoWriMo feels like being grounded sometimes–but I’m such a bad kid, I actually goof off MORE when I’m grounded than when I’m not!
    Congratulations on being set free! And DON’T FALL!

    • I know what you mean! I think I’ll be polishing my manuscript until the day I send it out! It is easy to dink around.
      Thanks so much. I’ll be careful!
      Good luck with your book!

  30. Yay!!! I’m singing in my head right now and this is the how the song goes: “Ding dong the witch (grounded) is dead, the wicked witch . . .”

    Get out there my friend. Go, Susie, go!

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

  31. Nothing like your grounding Susie, but I was high-risk when I was pregnant and I wasn’t even supposed to walk, my body hurt from inactivity…if that makes sense…

    • Was it a previa? That is so hard when you are already miserable. I had to go to be hospitalized when I was pregnant with Courtney. I call her my finger nail baby!
      Thanks so much Diana!

      • I don’t know what it was. I had a still birth previously at 31 weeks. For some reason my body did not carry full term. So when I became pregnant with my daughter, I had 2 stress tests and 1 ultra sound every week. They induced labour at 37 weeks and thankfully my beautiful daughter resulted. But during my entire pregnancy I was too keep my feet up. It was a restless/stressful time for me, especially since I usually deal with stress through physical activity. :)

  32. This is fabulous Susie! Go kick butt!!

  33. Melissa Lewicki

    Congratulations on your release from grounding.
    I was also grounded for close to a year. I tripped over a toy in my son’s room and broke both bones in my lower leg and egg-shell crushed my ankle. I was in a cast up to my ass for four months. When the cast finally came off, my leg was still not fully healed and I couldn’t walk for almost a year. Oh, did I mention I was pregnant at the time?

    • Oh my God!!! That is horrible!!! I don’t know how you did it. And you left out the part that you were taking care of another child at the time. Doesn’t it seem like you can handle almost anything after that? It’s the gift from those setbacks… :)
      Thanks Melissa!

  34. Wonderful news! Now remember, no face plants on the runs.

  35. I was never grounded as a kid. I either got smacked or was warned I was going to get smacked or I was ordered to shut the hell up. Now that you know how I was disciplined, back to you, Susie, that’s great news. I’m glad that you’re recovery is going so well. But one criticism: if I recall correctly Wimbledon’s colors are green and purple.

    • That may be true, but the pro said they used the same exact colors as the US Open. The blue looked like purple to me. It was super bright and took some getting used to, but the ball really popped in contrast to the court. I love it!
      I remember the spanking days too,

      I can’t wait to get out on the slopes. I am dressed and ready to go on another shuffle or bike ride. We’ll see!
      Thanks V!

  36. That’s fabulous news, Susie! Enjoy!

  37. Awesome! Where have you been????? You are so active and I love it. I used to be that way but with 3 teens and no one driving, I’m grounded. But you know what? I started reading in the car waiting on them for hours, then I started writing and now I can’t stop. But when they start driving, I’ll probably get out there and go golfing and fishing and whatever! Maybe even travel. It’s coming soon, but I’ve been grounded now for quite awhile. I’ve loved it for a long time but am getting a bit restless. Writing helps this wanting.

    Maybe we’ll get a dance video from you. ;)
    Don’t pop the top!

    I’m excited for the holidays this year as I’m going to do those grounded mom-type things like cook and cook and decorate and ring in the new year … cheers!

    • I can feel your energy! I am really looking forward to the holidays too!
      I remember those days, but I felt like I had an Important job and the social contact with other moms was great. It was when Courtney was a junior in high school that I really felt like I was spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. A couple years later, I discovered writing. Sheesh! Took long enough! My contact with all of you online really helped me through the months!

      I’ve been posting. Haven’t they been showing up in your reader or in email alerts? Unfollow me and follow again. That’s happened to me before.
      Great to see you!!!

      Thanks so much!!!

  38. So glad to know you’re feeling good, Susie. But with your strength and spirit, I wouldn’t expect any less. I guess the most recent thing that grounded me was a knee injury. Nothing compared to yours, but it took a while to heal and when I could do again, boy did I! Here’s to all your future wild adventures!

  39. That first swing must have felt as good as diving into cool water on a hot day. YEA YOU!
    (And puffy down ski jackets are always popular on the slopes – you can easily wear two and no one would notice)
    Each day an adventure given – go for it!

    • Thanks Phil!
      It felt great to swing and even better to run for the ball! I think it has to do with my brain protecting me from hurting my upper body, but says run girl run!
      Love the puffy coat idea! That’s me. Once again going for adventure!

  40. Welcome back to the world!
    I’m hoping to go skiing for a few days in December. Hope I can…

  41. My little two months being “grounded” with a fracture and ankle sprain just don’t seem as impactful when I think of what you went through with the mastectomy and reconstruction. I can relate to how it feels though being told you can’t do the things that bring you joy so I’m rejoicing with you as you have the green light to resume your adventures. I agree with the doctor though, whole-heartedly – let’s not have any falls, okay?

  42. Freddie Mercury sang it best: “YOU ARE A CHAMPION!” Salute with smiles!
    Raye

  43. Be careful but ENJOY!!!! As for fat transfer, in time you may change your mind as it does help. Just saying…from one who knows…

  44. Congrats Susie. I am really happy for you. You go!!!!!!!

  45. You know I don’t do the things u do so I can well imagine you. I am just worried now that you might fall. Happy yes for u but still worried..;)

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