I was standing in the check-out line at a clothing store this morning buying a new shirt and it hit me that this could possibly be the last time I get to shop for this body as I know it, in this size and shape. My surgery of radical mastectomy/bi-lateral mastectomy/hysterectomy has been scheduled for October 2nd, 2009 which is less than a month away and I think I am just beginning to realize what this means. Since my diagnosis in April ’09 I have been consumed with staying positive in the midst of all the IBC negativity, having chemotherapy and a mirage of new drugs along with it, trying to be a normal mom to my 2 year old and now 4 year old and a decently normal wife to my husband. I thought I was doing a good job of it all, including truly facing what I’m dealing with, except I don’t think I really knew what the surgery meant. I think most women on this site have had a mastectomy, so I know it is fairly common and that’s what I focused on. But the new reality of not having my breasts anymore is surreal and terrifying. My body is going to change. I don’t know that I am mentally or emotionally prepared for that change yet. I admit it. I know that I need to focus on the purpose of the surgery- to make me cancer free- and I will do that but I can’t help but be saddened at the forced changes. I do take comfort in knowing I will have reconstruction at some point, for IBCers it isn’t right away usually and I am expecting it to be about a year out from what my doctors tell me. I have read most of the stories on here about ‘foobs’ and the different choices everyone has made with fascination, but I realize also with distance. I didn’t relate to it so it was easy to read. I am blessed to have ‘met’ amazingly strong women on this site and in person who have done it before me, and it’s your stories that give me strength to at least try not to focus on my fears and instead think about the future. I want other newbies to know that it’s OK to acknowledge our fears-and this surgery is just as scary as IBC istelf to me- but we have to try not to let them take over. I keep picturing this time next year when reconstruction is done, when I will hopefully be finished with Herceptin every 3 weeks, and my son will be starting kindergarten. My daughter will be 3 and a half and it will be just us at home for the first time- now that’s exciting stuff I want to be around for, and thinking of these things makes the surgery worth it. I have 3 more chemos to go, I was supposed to have it this week but the kids got me sick and I was unable to. Then I consider myself halfway done with treatment, which sounds pretty awesome when taking it one day at a time.
(ps I don’t know if this post makes any sense, my brain is so weird from the new drug doc put me on last week to help with the hysterectomy hormone issues but I tried:)