"Don't spend time worrying about how you are going to die. Worry about how you are going to live today"

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This is really going to happen, isn't it?

Today I got the call from the surgeon's office with a surgery date.  My surgery for bilateral mastectomy and immediate reconstruction is scheduled for Thursday, January 27th.  After I hung up the phone, I just cried.  It is really going to happen.  It is making something that seems so unbelievable, believable and real.  I would be lying if I said I wasn't scared to death because I am scared to death.  I feel nothing but fear, anxiety, stress, sadness and at a loss for what things will really be like after all of this.  I just don't know how I will hold it together the night before surgery and the morning of surgery.  How will I hold it together to say goodbye to my sweet little boy that morning?  I just can't picture myself going through all of this, but I don't have a choice. 

Last night I talked to my "breast cancer mentor", a woman that introduced herself to me at the cancer center last week.  She saw me and the look on my face and could relate all too well as she went through the same thing at this time last year.  She asked me to call her if I wanted to talk because she wanted me to know there was life after breast cancer.  We spoke for almost an hour last night and she really amazed me with her encouragement.  The encouragement seems so much more believable from someone you know has actually gone through all of this.

Her name is Kathy.  She is 63 and had a similar diagnosis.  She opted for the same surgery I did.  She said it really wasn't that bad and she was amazed at just how good she felt even when she came home from the hospital.  She was back to work in 13 days after surgery.  She gave me hope and support.  She listened to my fears.  She answered my questions.  She made me laugh.  I feel so incredibly touched by a complete stranger.  What an amazing gift.  I have never had a complete stranger do something so incredibly compassionate and kind for me before.  I only hope one day I can pay it forward to someone else in need that is going through this horrible journey.

Kathy is full of life and energy one year after going through all of this.  She has the most positive attitude about everything.  Right now I am just not there yet.  I am still so scared and skeptical of everything.  I keep praying each day that I can have a sign from God to let me know everything will be all right.  I keep waiting for that one thing that just makes me believe with every ounce of my soul that I will beat this completely.  Maybe it's just the fear right now that is holding me back or maybe it's because it has only been a few weeks since getting diagnosed and all of this is still so raw. 

For now, I count down the days until my life-changing surgery and continue to pray to God for faith in all of this.  I will try to enjoy the next few weeks doing things that make me happy and spend lots of time with my family.  I will try to lose my fears and sadness by looking into my son's happy, innocent face.  I will cherish crawling into bed with my son each morning and talking to him softly while I wake him up.  I will think about the most powerful words I hear each day from my son, "I love you mommy" and know that I am doing the right thing. 

Please God, send me a sign to give me complete faith in all of this.  That would give me a little peace. 

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