It is quickly closing on the midnight hour the night before my surgery. Which if I have not been specific enough about now is a double mastectomy and an attempt at reconstruction, first surgery in a possible series. The past month has been surreal for both my family and I. Surreal because as those of you who know who might occasionally follow this blog, is another major step, or should a I say a “side bar” of sorts to an already complicated and sometimes challenging daily health puzzle.
The long appointments, the research, the shopping for the right items is one thing, which has been both time consuming and strange. Getting used to the idea is the big part. When my doctor first told me I needed to have this done to save my life, she wanted to do it “in the next few weeks”. But I made the call. No. It would be a little later than that. I needed time. Not just to get organized…but to properly absorb best I could the adventure I was about to embark on. Work, both in my studio and at the natural healing office I work at a few hours a week, was my solace. As was spending time with my family; my husband, my parents, a lovely lunch with close friends. With fibro, a lot of “me” time had to be factored in as usual. Rest. Eat right. Take care. Enjoy the fall weather and walks with my sweet dog. Peace. Live in the present. I am not saying it was all calm and serene. Not by a long shot. I had a few meltdowns. And I’ll have a few more I am certain of that.
The lovely lady who phoned Wednesday from TOSH confided in me she had had the same procedure a while back and I could ask her any questions I wanted to. Thanking her I asked the big question…the one I had read so much about. Tell me, I said, just how bad is the pain. Please be honest. Without hesitating she said she was a pretty tough cookie..but the two nights she was to be in the hospital turned into four because frankly..the pain was pretty bad. And she could not get a handle on it and needed the morphine pump longer. I appreciated her being so candid. I am not the type of person who goes by what the doctor says about pain. They usually underwrite it. This was not to scare myself, but to give myself a possible picture of reality so I would know what was not right pain wise to go home, and what was. My items arrived yesterday from the American Cancer Society. Beautiful camisoles with drain pockets. And a patient’s right sheet…that I had the power to do the best by me. That is what I and my family will try to do. I am not scared of pain. Not that I am looking forward to it, mind, but I know…I know pain. I know it passes. I know the body, despite my condition, will heal. I know my doctors are good. I know I am going to an excellent place. It may take three times longer than the average woman with my medical condition, but I’ll get there. One more season of patience while I do what is best for me-as best I can.
But my main reason for writing this little blog tonight before a sign off for a while is to thank and give my love to all of you who have been so supportive through this process. My not being able to have the time to return notes and phone calls the past week has been bothering me-but I really have had zero time to return the lovely gestures and words I have received from not just my amazing close family and friends, but childhood friends who took the time to contact me to give me their love and best wishes and prayers and people who do not even know me. I am the type of person who when I phone someone, I want to give them my full attention and enjoy speaking with them without the distraction of multitasking because that is just who I am. I feel very, very lucky and honored to have such an incredible support system. I even have a candle now all the way from Bosnia via a family through her family in my honor and prayer. A lovely Faithful Angels pocket token arrived from a dear friend via mail today who I have not even had a chance to visit with in over a year. And the comforting things from those close to me...soft blanket, new robe, things to read. Emails, texts, messages of support and love on my phone, in my email box, on FB, and my voice mail. Forgive me for not being able to reach back out to every single one of you, but I will in time, I promise. It is something I look forward to doing. Just know I love you all back. And I love life. And I plan on hanging around a long time.
My hope is the little girls I know now…Sydney, Juliette, Samantha, Maddie, Holly-all of them out there…when they get old enough…they will never have to worry about having such as surgery. That the burden of breast cancer will be greatly lowered. That the discomfort and major life transition that saves your life will be so much less invasive and simple and kind. That is my wish. From the bottom of my heart…my blessings and prayers and love back to all of you.
I’ll write soon….♥