How on earth did we get here? “Here” being just 2 weeks away from my mastectomy and reconstruction. My last 2 weeks with my breasts. My last 2 weeks with nipples. My last 2 weeks of weight lifting, sleeping on my side/tummy, rough playing and lifting my child for the next couple of months.
The past couple of months have gone by so quickly. The calendar is inching toward April. It’s time for me to climb out of my hole of denial.
I haven’t been in the greatest place mentally lately. My anxiety has been sky high, my sleep has been crappy, and I’m really quick to get bent out of shape about the littlest things. I’ve been trying to control what I can, but there is so much that is out of my control right now and it terrifies me.
It’s physically hard to be sitting here right now trying to write about how I’m feeling because it hurts to look at all the fear and sadness that is there behind the barely functional exterior. I know I’m making the right choice by having this surgery, but it just feels like there are so many barriers to overcome in order for it to all be ok.
I’m confident in my surgical team, but things still haven’t been straightened out with my insurance and I am afraid of getting hit with an enormous bill. I’m afraid of the difficult recovery. I’m afraid of being under anesthesia for so long. I’m afraid of them finding cancer. I’m afraid of dying on the operating table. I’m afraid of how my body might look after surgery. I’m afraid that I’ll hate to look at myself, or my spouse will hate to look at me, or my child will be freaked out by my scars. I’m afraid of how my patients will manage with me out of work for 6-8 weeks and how it will feel when I do head back to the office. Basically I’m afraid of how completely and utterly unknown the future is right now.
But now, at just 2 weeks away from the big day, I’m officially in surgery prep mode. As of today I have pre-surgery restrictions placed on me like no taking ibuprofen or aspirin, no fish oil supplements, or herbal remedies, etc. Next Monday I have my official pre-surgery medical clearance appointment, and next Wednesday is my last day at work because Thurs and Fri are holidays for me (perks of working for Catholics), I’m taking a vacation day Monday, and my leave officially starts Tuesday when I have my pre-op marking appointment with my surgeon and we head up to Connecticut because I have to be at the hospital at 6AM on surgery day. I thought about planning some sort of Bye Bye Boobies party (thanks internet, for making me aware that this is a thing)…but I’ve just been too overwhelmed to get it together. Plus my 12 week long kitchen renovation still isn’t done…6 months later.
So in short, I’m overwhelmed, anxious, and scared. But I’m trying to get the most out of every day leading up to surgery, be present with my family, at work, and with my feelings. It’s certainly not easy though.