“We don’t know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have” ~unkown
So…..I decidided to have the double mastectomy. My surgery is set up for Sept. 30, 2013. WOW…things are starting to move fast. Until now it is test test test…hurry up and wait. test test…hurry up and wait…wait wait wait….
I feel good in my decision. I understand that for me, and in general, there have been a lot of advances and the difference in survival rates and reoccurance rates aren’t that different whether you chose lumpectomy or mastectomy. However, as both my doctors and others have reassured me it is my decision and peace of mind is heavy on my plate. There is no real wrong decision. I think long and hard. While I get that the mastectomy esp. the double mastectomy is pretty huge ….. I am young and plan on living many more years. I know me and I am already having sympathy pains in my left breast for my right. I know that having the double mastectomy doesn’t guarantee that the cancer won’t return. But physically, one side of my mind says “well how can it, you don’t have boobs?” …the other side says yes it can come back. BUT NO BOOBS NO CANCER wins overall (in my mind) and it will give me the peace of mind that everyone keeps telling me to find. I will worry enough day to day a little consciously and unconsciously that it will return at some point. But, hopefully not. I make up my mind the double mastectomy it is and I WILL NOT LET CANCER RUIN MY LIFE. I will think about it but not dwell on it.
The day of my surgery I have to be at the hospital by 830a. I am surrounded by my family..we take up a whole section of the surgery waiting room…..thank you. I am wheeled over to the breast care center where they poke me 7 times it stings like a bee is poking me. I am then wheeled over to nuclear medicine for more pictures. I lay on the table very still …almost fall asleep but she warns me if I move we have to start over…ugh!!! Just get on with it already……. Finally at 11a I say a prayer and off to surgery I go. It is 1735 when I wake up being rolled into my room on the hospital floor. In my hazy post op fog I try to calculate…..geez I have been out for at least 6 hours. I have no boobs….my GOD I feel great! Well, other than the post anestheasia….ugh my stomach feels nasty. My blood pressure is way down. I’m tired but where is my family, someone??? Here they come, my mom, my daughters, James. My girls have on their pink ribbon breast cancer awareness gear and beautiful pink flowers. My nieces and nephew along with their mom and dad arrive. So much love. Sean comes in, he is nervous I can tell. He is so scared for me. I feel so loved. My mom stays with me. I have water, ice and two grape popsicles. I missed dinner…dang! I don’t have much pain but the nurse gives me a little more morphine. I don’t like it. I feel more nausea. Finally that evening a have a huge vomiting episode…there goes my popsicle dinner….but I fell SOOOOOOO much better. By Tuesday morning I am up a bit. I feel good. I don’t want anymore pain meds. My doctor asks if I want to go home. I do but I feel very dizzy. They can’t seem to get my blood pressure up. I ask to stay one more night. I still have two drains on my right side and one drain on the left. These are weird…they are like little grenades attached to tubes hanging from my sides. I feel like some alien…I pin them to my night shirt so they don’t dangle. yuck. I have to drain them twice a day and record the amount of fluid. fun. I am bound with a super thick ace bandage around what used to be my breasts. It feels good though. My mom stays with me the first night and my Sean the next. Wed. I wait all day to be discharged. Dr. Bleza comes in. I am good to go. He is happy with everything. You see,they believe they got all the cancer. I am going to have to wait for the results from the four lymphnodes they removed from my right underarm area.
I am sore but home. It feels good to be home. Lots of phone calls and well wishes. Now it is time for recovery. Lots of rest. My mom teaches me how to crochet. My cat won’t leave me alone. Pawkitty hasn’t had this much laptime in years. I can tell he is concerned too, he has become my personal stalker….lol. After the first week my mom returns home she has been wonderful caring for me and my family while I am unable. The next week my dad flys in. He too is very attentive and takes care of my family while I cannot. Running errands and Kalea to and from school. Sean is working but he is relieved they have both been there to help. He feels helpless. Things are strained between he and I. The time we need to be talking the most we are silent. He is afraid and can’t talk…I am afraid and need to talk. This is difficult. I am strong for all of us as is my role in our family. It is ok. Seans mom wants to be here too. I am thankful so many people want to help.
I finally got the call from the biopsy results from surgery. It was a Thursday. No cancer. No cancer in the chest wall and no cancer in the lymphnodes. I am so happy I call my mom to tell her. I cry as I tell her the good news. This is the first time I have cried since I found out on Sept. 12 that I had breast cancer in the first place. As I pick up my daughter from school Katy Perry’s song “Roar” is on the radio –I adopt this as my new theme song. Look up the lyrics….great song!
“I have the eye of the tiger, a fighter, a champion, and your gonna hear me roar!”