I wasn’t afraid of getting it done until about a week before the surgery. I started to get really anxious and aggravated. I guess I was scared. Would the surgery go ok? Would it be painful? What will it look like? Will I freak out when I see what I look like after having a breast removed? All these thoughts were swirling around in my head. I was trying my best to keep positive but it was really tough.
To try and break up the fear I did yoga, exercised , went for walks, took Rescue Remedy, tried to surround myself with friends and good conversation and hugged my kids so much I think they thought I was crazy! It all helped but I was still nervous. However when I finally got to the hospital and got prepped I suddenly felt very calm and very ready. While waiting to go into surgery I just kept doing deep breathing for about and hour. Whenever I stopped I could feel the twinges of anxiety coming back – but as soon as I started deep breathing again they went away. I reminded myself why the surgery was so important and that people have successful surgeries every day and that I would soon be one of them. But I was still nervous. Once I saw my surgeon and chatted with her I felt better. Her sense of calm and confidence that all would go well really helped. She is a wonderful surgeon and I was lucky to have her.
The surgery was successful and I only spent one night in the hospital. I’m home now and the nurse took my bandages off today. It was the first time I saw the incision. The first time I saw my chest sans boob. It was weird but not as bad as I thought. The cancer is taken out of my body, gone, and if this is the trade off then I’ll take it. It will take getting used to and I’m sure I will have all kinds of different emotional responses to it over the next few weeks. But right now I am happy to be home with my family, a successful surgery behind me, regaining strength and having come one step closer to kicking cancer in the ass. It might have taken my boob but it ain’t taking anything else! I’m on the road to a speedy and complete recovery. I still have radiation to go through but I’m tackling one treatment at a time. I’ll update you as I go.
If any of you are going through this or supporting someone who is I’d love to hear from you and hear your story if you feel like sharing. Creating community and supporting each other are such an important part of getting through this. Please feel free to leave a comment below.
I’ll leave you with some general cancer and breast cancer resources that I found helpful, each for different reasons.
- General info on breast cancer in Canada as well as ways to fundraise for the cause The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
- Info and support programs for young women diagnosed with breast cancer Rethink Breast Cancer
- How to research and get more information about your type of cancer Cancer Guide: Researching Your Options
- Info for people going through chemo. Self care, managing side effects etc. Chemocare
- Mastectomy and reconstruction Breastreconstruction.org