Last week, I had a nightmare and woke up sobbing. The nightmare was about surgery. In the nightmare, they started the surgery, opened me up, and found the cancer was everywhere. They closed me back up and said “There’s nothing more we can do.”
Yesterday, some of that nightmare came true. The cancer was found in my sentinel nodes on the left side, and that necessitated an auxiliary node removal of all lymph nodes from my left arm. It also killed the reconstructive surgery I was slated to have, so another part of my nightmare came true. I woke up breast-less with tissue expanders.
There have been hours since I woke up and realized surgery did not go the way we expected where I have been absolutely, utterly inconsolable. I sob. Hard. My chest, which already hurts, hurts worse, but I can’t stop the tears. I can’t stop the hurt. When I was first diagnosed, I told A that I feared I would look like Frankenstein’s monster from this…and my fears have come true. My nightmares are becoming reality. I am breast-less. I am hairless. The cancer wasn’t gone. I’ve been through hellish treatment since September, and for what? The cancer wasn’t gone like everyone thought it was.
And now, we wait for the pathology report. An endless wait.
My breast surgeon came in to see me this morning before she went to her office, and I sobbed. She sat with me, holding my hand, and told me there’s still so much we can and will do. She told me she still has hope, but she understands completely why I have none, and she’s right. I have no hope right now. I am hopeless. I am scared. I am angry. But, above it all, I’m just hopeless.
Dr. H told me that was normal, and I’m allowed to feel this way. For a few days. Then, I have to stop feeling hopeless, but I don’t know how to find hope again. I told her I feel like this really is my death sentence, and she squeezed my hand telling me it’s not. But it could be, or that’s how I see it.
I blame myself so much for all of this now. If I’d gone to the doctor when I first found the lump. If I hadn’t been scared it would be breast cancer. We could have found it earlier. But I was scared. And I waited. And waited. So, is this it? Didn’t I do this to myself?
This is my nightmare become reality.