Well, we’re down to the wire, folks. For the past two weeks, I’ve been preparing myself for tomorrow’s surgery.
I’ve read more information about breast cancer in the past two weeks than I ever thought was possible to read. In fact, I’m pretty sure I could pass a medical exam on the subject by now…
I’ve surfed online for pictures of what a mastectomy looks like, to help shield myself from the absolute shock of seeing what it will look like. It ain’t pretty, but at least I know what I’m in for…
I’ve read countless survivor’s stories and have laughed and cried along with them…
I’ve read each and every comment and thoughts from friends and people I’ve never met, which has helped enormously. Man, I can’t tell you how good it is to know I’m not doing this alone…
I’ve studied pretty much every type of alternative treatment and natural remedy there is so I can be prepared for what happens next…
I’ve even started shopping for wigs, prosthetics, and special clothing. (See, there’s always a bright side! Now I have a really good excuse to shop)…
And you know what…?
I’m still not ready for this, dammit.
If truth be told, I woke up this morning and checked myself, hoping beyond hope that this would have all been just a dream and that I was actually just fine. Or that a miracle had happened overnight and I could excitedly call my doctor and say “Hey doc! Guess what! I’m fine, really. Cancer’s all gone, and you get some time off tomorrow”
(Gee, does anyone else recognize a stage of grief here called “Denial”?)
Alas, my breast was as lumpy as ever. No last minute reprieve. No governor’s pardon. Just reality rearing its ugly head again.
Tomorrow morning, bright and way too early, we have to wake up and call in to find out what time I need to be there. I then have to shower with a special antiseptic soap (comes with its own skin abrading scrubbers) and for the second time since our wedding, remove my wedding and engagement rings and give them to my husband for safekeeping.
Then we drive to the hospital where my husband isn’t allowed to come in with me, drop me off to the surgical assembly line, and I will have a variety of people examine me, poke me with needles, and put me to sleep.
When I wake up, I will be the newest One Boob Wonder Woman, and the cancer that is trying to destroy me will be destroyed.
Tomorrow evening, my husband will be allowed to come visit me for just a couple of hours before he’s shipped home to wait until morning. First thing on Tuesday morning, he will be able to pick me up and we can come home to start our healing journey.
So I have no major plans for the coming week. All my calls have been cancelled. I bought a portable DVD player so I can watch all the episodes of Lost I never had the chance to see. I plan to sleep a whole lot and not feel guilty about spontaneous napping.
And in a few days, we’ll have another appointment with the oncologist who will hopefully have finished his tests on the breast tissue and be able to tell us just how severe the cancer WAS.
From there, we will be able to start living again, planning the next few months of our lives. We’ll know what kind of treatments I will be undergoing, and how often I can expect to be “under the weather”.
The biggest lesson I’m learning out of all this so far is that it’s OK for me to let people take care of me for a change. My wonderful husband has been going out of his way to help me deal with all this emotionally. My fantastic brother has been helping with meals and taking our dog for walks regularly, so I don’t have to worry about the details. My staff have been amazing and handling the business flawlessly. And my kids have been wonderfully supportive, making me laugh and showing me how mature and fabulous they can be.
So many friends have been sending me wonderful messages of hope and total confidence that I will be 100% healthy very soon.
And because of all these wonderful heroes in my life, I am feeling peaceful about tomorrow. I know that I’m in wonderful hands and that everything will be fine.
Thank you all!
See you on the other side…