UPDATE: They called at 1:15.
My breast surgeon said they would call me today to tell me what time to report to the hospital. It’s nearly noon, and I haven’t heard from them. I assume my surgery is still on for tomorrow. I hope it is, even as much as I do not want to have it. My emotions can’t keep handling the roller coaster the last two days have been.
I saw my plastic surgeon yesterday, and he reviewed the procedure with me, the time, and told me that for the first night after the surgery, I will have to stay in the ICU so they can monitor the flaps and make sure the blood flow is working the way it’s supposed to because if it doesn’t, the flaps will die, which means another surgery.
I saw Dr. O on Friday. She cleared me for surgery and talked to me about what to expect and when I’ll see her again. I still have another 17 Herceptin treatments, so it’s not like I’m done when this surgery is done. It’s not like I’m going to stop worrying when this surgery is done. My type of cancer is aggressive. It’s always going to be a shadow on my life, and today, that shadow looms large.
I really wish my surgeon’s office would call…(Hey, L, why don’t YOU call them? Well, because they’re at lunch, and my plan is to call them if I haven’t heard from them by the time school releases today.)
I’m really tired today. I didn’t sleep much last night. I couldn’t turn my mind off, and I couldn’t get comfortable. I tried sleeping on the couch, in our new recliner, anywhere I wouldn’t disturb A because he didn’t sleep much the night before. This morning, he told me he slept well…until 3:30 am, which coincides with when I gave up and went to try and sleep in our bed.
I think I slept about an hour.
I know I need to sleep, but I can’t. I’m too worried and scared about the surgery. I’m never going to be me again, or that’s how it feels. I told A that, and he told me I will always be me, just with relocated parts. I know he’s right. My breasts do not define me. I know I am more than secondary sex characteristics. And, yet…I feel like I’m losing a part of who I am.
Cancer took that from me…my sense of well-being. I don’t know if I’ll ever get that back. Cancer has always been a fear for me. I lost my grandmother to it. I lost my grandfather to it. I lost my great-grandfather to it. I’ve lost coworkers to it. I’ve lost friends to it. Still, even when it happens to someone you love, while it destroys some of your stability, it doesn’t always take the stability from you. I feel like my stability is gone. My well-being is gone. Is my self-esteem going to be another victim? Will I ever feel attractive again? Am I ever going to feel like me again? Will I ever stop worrying about the cancer coming back? And, again…why me? Why so young? Why am I one of the 1 in 200 women who will develop breast cancer in their 30s? Just why?
I know there are no answers to my questions. I know the only one that can change the way I feel is me, but I’m swimming in emotions right now, both negative and positive.
I feel like a failure. I failed my health. I failed my sense of well-being. I’m the one who developed cancer. I’m the one whose cells went crazy. So, in a sense, is it my fault? I feel like it is.
I tell A all the time that I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. And, he gets mad when I apologize. He tells me that I didn’t do this to myself. But, I feel like I did. Maybe I could have done something differently. But, I didn’t, so here I am…
…waiting for a doctor to call and tell me when to report to the hospital so I can submit to a disfiguring surgery that might save my life.