Sunday, June 28, 2009

Alive & Well !

Surgery was Thursday morning; the time since has gone so much smoother than I had anticipated. Like so many things in life, our fears are often greater than the reality.

My wonderful surgeon, Dr Thomas Brock, removed both breasts and nine lymph nodes on the left side (one of which was cancerous). No cancer on the right, the left 'was' invasive rather than non-invasive, confirmation that the mastectomy rather than a lumpectomy was absolutely the right decision. I've had no second thoughts about having the right breast removed as a precaution. I feel confident and pro-active, and that's a good feeling.

Overall my pain has been low to moderate, with a few peaks but manageable. Mostly have been able to use less pain medication than I could have had. I'm having spurts of energy where I can do 'normal' activities for a couple of hours and then rest for a while. I'm not happy about not being able to take a shower for a week and a half, but I can manage, I'll be 'clean' . Son & sister are changing my bandage and rewrapping the Ace bandage. When I'm standing, arms stretched out while they are wrapping me, it feels like putting lights on a Christmas tree.

If you are following this blog because you want to keep up with how I'm doing, know that I'm doing great ! If you're here because you're looking for information like I was pre-surgery, I will be happy to give you more details or try to answer your questions; just leave me a note. Women who have been kind enough to share their experiences and offer tips/suggestions have made this so much easier (thank you Deborah). If I can pass that on to someone else, it will make me very happy.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Less than 48 hours

In less than 48 hours, I'll have my mastectomy behind me. I'm finally having moments of 'the jitters'. Last night I fought nausea and it was a very long time before I went to sleep, even with a sleeping pill. Today I had spaces of time my mind just went completely blank. No panic though. I know everything will be fine; it's the 'process' of waiting for my turn in surgery, wondering how I'll feel when I wake up (both emotionally and physically), how much pain will I have, will I be able to sleep in a recliner when I have a hard time sleeping in my own bed.

Odd thing that a bilateral mastectomy is an outpatient procedure. I may be thankful for being home quickly though, in my own comfortable surroundings.

Today I am very thankful my son will be here tomorrow afternoon .. I am stronger when he is near. I am thankful for the kindness and caring of my sister. I am thankful for the strength of my mother. I am thankful for friends who truly do care, who take the time to say a sincere prayer, or light a candle, or chant a blessing.

I've had no inclination to pray for this to simply go away, only that I move through this season of my life with dignity. Father God, please guide my surgeon and caretakers, and grant me a swift recovery. Divine Mother, please grant me grace and a peaceful heart.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Running Out of Time

Spent last week with my son; was a wonderful visit ! He took me to see Carey Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, where the exterior shots of 'Dark Shadows' were filmed back in the late 60's/early 70's. It was sooooo awesome to stand on the lawn of 'Collinwood' !! We also visited 'Old Sturbridge Village', a working 1800's village (very much like Cade's Cove here in Tennessee).

Today was a trip to a different vet in hopes of new ideas to help my kitty, Badajan. Nothing hopeful .. just keep him comfy, try an antibiotic, and maybe he'll stay with me thru my surgery recovery .. maybe.

For the last couple of months I've had this uncanny 'calm' that several people have remarked about. Apparently that 'calm' is disturbing; my son is waiting for a major meltdown. Perhaps I've managed that because surgery has been something 'out in the distance'. Now it's not so far away, just a few days. I feel like I'm running out of time.