do it again, for the first time

yesterday i went running for the first time since my mastectomy. i was told by my plastic surgeon that i could have gone about 2 weeks ago, but i just didn’t feel up to it. technically i had full permission to do as i pleased, but when i tried to lift weights again i could feel this sickening tightening against the hard tissue expander in my chest and a faint ripping sensation and when i walked too fast, i could feel the muscles tightening against a mass that would not give.

so i waited. i worked with a 2 pound weight. i walked for miles. i became convinced that this was my new state of being, no more 9 mile runs, no more weight machines. i’m kinda funny about physical ability and illness. i’m often convinced that my malady is mentally construed, that my inability is me not trying hard enough. throwing up my own barriers and refusing to jump over them. this became most clear to me the morning after my 4th surgery, after i got the morphine drip i was told i wouldn’t need and i was in so much pain i couldn’t see straight. when my plastic surgeon came in at 6am the next morning, i asked her if it was supposed to hurt this much. i was again convinced i was making it up, but she reassured me that she had cut clean through my muscle – it was no minor surgery.

fortunately i was wrong about the running. i always hate the first half mile, but this time it really hurt like a bitch and it did the whole way. not only were my underused muscles protesting their return to activity, but only one breast bounced, the other felt like it was going to rip through my muscle with every step. but i did it anyway. for 2.5 miles. and i’m pretty happy about that.

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