No matter the amount of yoga, meditation, exercise, nor the twenty packets of calming tea, chamomile, herbal anxiety sprays, rescue remedy etc that I use... I can't sleep. This time next week I will be on my way to Sunshine Coast Private hospital. Although I have come to terms with my decision to have a double mastectomy and I am at peace with this decision, it doesn't stop the anxiety that comes with it. This isn't my first surgery, and working in the medical industry have also seen a number of surgeries as well. But there is always that "What if". I am nervous about the entire experience. I am nervous about waking up with no breast tissue and what that is going to look like. I am nervous about the pain of the expanders. I am most nervous about the result of histology when they hookwire my (newly named) fishy blob. The result of which determines if when I wake up I proceed with further needed treatments.
I have had to seek medical help to assist me in sleeping. Last night although I kept waking up the difference was I fell back to sleep very quickly. Didn't even hear Brindy Bear wake up this morning (sorry Rod!).
Sadly I am not coping well with expressing my anxiety over this matter. I have been brought up (like my beautiful sisters) to be strong. The three Allcorn girls put on a brave face, suck it up (for a better expression), and get on with it! My sister showed so much strength and determination throughout her breast cancer journey, and my older sister has stood by and watched both of us go through trauma and stood by supporting us the best she can. However to actually talk about what is going on in emotional terms is not our strong point!! Hence one of the reasons this blog was started. Prior to this blog I was keeping too much inside. Poor Rod experienced an explosion of emotion when I just couldn't take it any more and I blurted out everything going through my head in a mess of tears. In fact I asked Rod to read everything above this paragraph and he told me I was only scratching the surface and to go back and write more!
My biggest anxiety is how I am going to look. I understand the scars, I have seen so many photos of post op, I have seen the implants and expanders, but it will be so different when I see them on myself. There are words from my surgeon that keep repeating themselves... "You are going from having amazing boobs, too good boobs". This is a hard visualisation for me to accept. I am dreading the day we take the bandages off and I see myself in the mirror. I know Rod will always love me and be here for me but will I still be attractive to him also plays my mind.
I have seen first hand the problems that can occur with implants and having repeated surgeries to fix implants scares me. On this note I am scared about future surgeries regarding these implants. At my age it is a guarantee that they will have to be replaced down the track.
The unknown of if my daughter has the gene as well haunts me. I can only hope that by the time she is 18 and if she chooses to have the test done, they have a simpler method for dealing with this.
The one topic that I have not mentioned yet is how I feel at this exact moment in time about my breasts. I am at a point where I do not want to look at myself in the mirror. I do not want to acknowledge my breasts in away way. I am even in a scary frame of mind that makes me not want to be intimate at fear of knowing I will not feel those sensations post surgery. You'd think I would be trying to make the most of it whilst I still had them??
Ok... so this is clearly for me the hardest blog post I have written. It is now late afternoon. Due to my inability to effectively communicate my emotions on this subject, this blog has taken me literally all day to write. I do hope that this insight into how I am coping does help others. Both people who are also going through this and to those trying to understand and appreciate this journey.
With over 2500 views on the blog I am so overwhelmed with the support. Please keep sharing as if I can help just one person then this process will be worth it.
I'd love to hear your comments and stories.
One week till surgery