Thursday, February 13, 2014

The night before surgery

It's the night before surgery.  I'm terrified.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't.  I'm not terrified about the actual surgery, but mostly the aftermath.  Having a double mastectomy is a huge surgery.  With a long recovery. It's going to be painful, frustrating because I won't be able to do much, and hard for me because I hate having to rely on other people to do things for me.  Oh, and I hate giving up control of said things.  I won't be able to take care of the girls for weeks.  I won't get to take them to school because I can't drive for probably about a month.  I won't be able to hold them.  That stings the most.  Part of me is looking forward to having a break from the everyday.  I'm sure I'll get over that in about 2 days.  I am not the type to sit and do nothing. It's not my personality.  At all.  I'm usually always doing something.  This will be a huge challenge for me.  On the positive side, I'll be able to catch up on my DVR and maybe read a book or two!

But I know that this is the right decision for me.  I believe that 100%.  Shaun and I talked and talked about this.  I talked to countless doctors, did so much research and reading, and thought about it until I didn't want to think about it anymore.  This is the right thing to do.  Do I have to do it?  No, I don't.  But meeting four women during the course of my chemo that were on their second round of chemo because their breast cancer had returned either in the same or opposite breast helped convince me that this is what I should do. None of those women did for different reasons but after speaking to all of them, they all wish they would have.  I do not want this cancer to come back.  I do not want to do chemo again.  I will do whatever I can to take my percentage of getting recurring breast cancer down.  The breast surgeon told me that with a lumpectomy and chemo (what I already had done), my chances of recurrence are about 15%.  With double mastectomy, they are .5-1%  I hate percentages.  I was told when I originally found the lump and the radiologist read the ultrasound that typically, these types of things are only cancer about 25% of the time. And unfortunately, mine fell into that percentile.  I know there is no way to prevent my cancer from returning with 100% certainty.  It's just not possible.  But I will do everything possible to reduce the chances and to make sure that I am here for as long as possible.  And so, tomorrow, I will have a double mastectomy.  It almost doesn't feel real.  Like this isn't my life.  It's so bizarre.  It's part of my journey.  And so, I fight on....