I have writer's block. I think it is due to the fact that I am having a hard time putting into words how I am feeling about my mastectomy, to occur next week (April 14).
I have started to prepare. However, I find myself focusing more on family activities and obligations rather than my feelings about the surgery. Maybe this is a good thing.
Typically, this blog has helped me express these feelings. Writing is my outlet. What I am finding is that my feelings about my mastectomy are so personal that I cannot put them into words. Maybe this is a good thing as well.
What I can say is that I have had a wonderful break from cancer treatments. Finishing my sixth chemotherapy treatment was a major accomplishment. Steve and I celebrated at Disneyland, while the kids were visiting Darin and Kelly in Portland.
Recovery from the sixth treatment is still in process. My taste buds are still off and my mouth is still healing from the dozen or more mouth sores that got me in the end. (A very common side affect of Adriamycin, I successfully avoided getting mouth sores through treatment five thanks to my vitamin regimen of lysine and folic acid.) I am still tired and a little bit anemic. Naps are helpful.
Tomorrow, I will complete the pre-testing for surgery, which is mainly blood work and an EKG. Monday, we will meet with a plastic surgeon. Other than that, I am waiting for an exact surgery time. I should know early next week. I believe the surgery will occur on Wednesday afternoon. I will stay the night and return home on Thursday.
I have heard all kinds of accounts as to how easy and hard the surgery has been for others. I have heard everything - not all are completely relevant due to when surgeries were performed and/or the fact that they were not all radical mastectomies, meaning there was no lymph node involvement. People mean well, however. So I do not mind hearing the stories, I just can't say that they do much to alleviate my concerns.
Mostly, I am worried about the emotions involved in losing such a personal part of my body. I am also worried I could end up with lyphedema in my right arm when they take out my lymph nodes, though I know chances are slight. I am worried that the pathology report after the surgery will determine I need more chemo. I am worried that my body is a bit weak and this weakness may delay my recovery. I am worried about losing feeling in my arm once when they sacrifice the nerve necessary to remove my lymph nodes. This list could go on and on, but this is where my writer's block impedes my ability to share. It is just too personal.
Despite my concerns, last night, it occurred to me that I ought to focus on the fact that they are removing my cancer next week. After watching Crazy Sexy Cancer this weekend (see previous post), I appreciate that they can remove my tumors and I am hopeful that the only existing cancer is that which they have seen in scans. I am more than ready to give these tumors the boot and get on with my life. Can I keep my focus here? Maybe not, but I am sure going to try.