I had a lump in my breast and I was scheduled to have surgery at 8 AM. My best friend in the whole world was staying over, and skipping school to walk me through my surgery.
At 3:30 AM we were woke up, my mom and step dad had made an amazing breakfast. Everything I could have wanted. Hashbrowns. Over-easy eggs. Sausage links. Biscuits and gravy. I was not allowed to eat any of it because I had to fast until after surgery. As I sat there watching them eat I just remember being so angry. Why would they wake me up to watch them eat? Why couldn’t I just sleep longer while they ate?
At 4:30 we were finally in the van and on our way. I had to be at the hospital by 5, and get prepped. The ride was mostly silent. I worried…about death…disfigurement…you know…normal fears for any 16 year old going under surgery on her already-too-small-boobs.
The next few hours were a bit of a blur…questions, measuring, explaining, and then they began to put me under. I remember them telling me to count backwards from 100 as they wheeled me down the hall. The lights above me turned into a streak of rainbows, a good sign I told myself. 100..99..98…
Then it was 12:30, a nurse was trying to wake me up and I was fighting her.
“I have to be asleep for surgery” I snapped through my fog
“Sweetie, surgery is over, you are in recovery” she informed me softly.
“Are you sure? I was just in the hall” I said confused.
“Yes, you are all bandaged up” She said
I looked down, and saw the bandage wrapped around my breast. I made it! I survived surgery. I was wheeled back into the room. I can tell you that I was still very drugged. When I got to the room, the nurse said my family had stepped out and they would be back shortly. I fell back asleep.
I woke up a while later to their voices talking about lunch. They had stopped and gotten another one of my favorites, Chinese food.
“Will you get me some when I get released?”-I asked
“No, I will make you something when we get home”-My mom replied
I closed my eyes again and went back to sleep. I felt a little bit of betrayal. I was the one in surgery, why didn’t I get good food, for you know, living through it. The doctor came in eventually.
‘The sample will be sent back for testing and we will call you with the results, there is a possibility of another lump forming, if that happens, come back for an appointment.’ He said matter-of-factly.
“How big was it?” I inquired
“It was about an inch wide and two inches long. We had to sever your nipple tissue and cut it out, and then reattach it. There will be a significant breast size difference and breastfeeding in the future from the affected breast will probably not be successful” he informed me.
With that, I was released.
I had been made a promise, that I could adopt a cat from the shelter when I woke up. So we went to the shelter and got a cat. She was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen. She was a golden yellow, and had abnormal paws, instead of 4 little fingers, she had 5. I named her MnM and little did I know how much she would help me cope over the next year.
We drove back home, the car ride is blurry. I don’t remember much. I was still feeling the effects of the anesthesia. My mom had me lay in her bed, so I could watch TV and she could take care of me. She heated me up a can of soup and I mostly slept. We changed my bandage around 6. After that I fell back asleep…
At some point my step dad climbed into bed with me. I didn’t think anything of it, in our house it was normal for me to lay in their bed when I was sick, and he had laid next to me many times. He was my dad. Through the fog of the medicine, I remember feeling him grab my ass.
I pushed his hand away, confused, and drifted back to sleep, I woke up to him massaging the breast that had not had surgery.
“What are you doing” I mumbled
“Helping the pain” he said
“Stop it” I said
“Don’t talk to me like that, you’re the child I am the adult, I tell you what to do remember?” He seethed
I rolled onto my stomach and bit back the tears from the pain of laying on my open wound. I closed my eyes and just counted.
1…..2…..3….his hand slapped my ass…4…..5….6….7…he began massaging it….9….10….11….12..his hand slipped between my legs and I felt him rub my thighs..13..14..15..16—
“MINDI” my mom yelled from the kitchen. His hand went back to his side, he stopped touching me.
“Yes mom”-I replied, my voice weak and quivering. She came running in the room, as I was sitting up. My bandages were soaked in blood, I had ripped the wound open by laying on it.
“Ohmygod, how did that happen!?” she shouted
“She must have slept on her stomach” he offered before I could say anything.
“Mom, I am fine, Ill change it myself”. I said quickly. I grabbed all my supplies and left. I went into my bedroom and changed the bandage. MnM was curled up on my bed, so I laid by her.
“It was the medicine, you’re hallucinating, he’s your dad, he would never do that to you” I kept telling myself as I drifted off to sleep. I had to be back at school tomorrow, and all I wanted to do was forget the day I had surgery. I wanted it to go back to being my Cousin’s birthday, and absolutely nothing more, but little did I know it never would.