I remember the day my surgery was scheduled I thought it would be interesting to see when 100 days out would be… made a mental (okay calendar) note to make a blog post… and I remember how far away the end of April seemed. All of the sudden it’s here, and it brings along some new feelings. Also I love my countdown app. Seriously my “numbers obsession” is a running joke at work… along with my love for spreadsheets. But hey at least I own my nerd-dom! And yes I know my blog countdown is off… I also know I’m not smart enough to figure out why.
This blog has been quiet lately, I know… I’m kind of at a point where the newness of everything has worn off and I don’t have any “new” news, but at the same time the surgery date is still a ways off. Though that’s not entirely true, the way time is flying by lately. The last 8 weeks have been a complete blur… 3 work trips and a fun trip (love love love Seattle!) have made the time go even faster… now for 3 weeks at home before another group of trips. The way they are spread out it mentally feels like once this next bunch start then the surgery is the last of the “events” currently in my calendar. But processing has definitely been occurring. It’s difficult to describe… there are times when I’m 100% confident in everything, and other times, generally around 2 am, when I wake up and it’s like “what the **** am I doing?!” Though it’s mostly the former, thankfully! Rational thoughts are the majority, for sure. Adamant feelings of not ever having cancer… always there.
I had a good friend straight up ask me the other day “are you nervous?” That’s hard to answer at this point. I’m not sure really what I feel right now… it’s like I’m so ready for this surgery in a way I wish I could do it now. But then I know the timing that is planned is essentially perfect for me. So I’m trying to be patient but at the same time am ready to get this over with and move on with my life. I’m part of a Facebook group of previvors my age and it always resonates with me how people say that once the 6 months or so from initially surgery to reconstruction and exchange, healing, etc are over it’s all a blur and all you feel is relief. While I have anticipation for everything now, I just know that this is all going to be that well-described blur this time next year. One of the reasons I’ve already been grateful so far to have this blog… I vaguely remember that week of first appointments! Though then I read back about how I felt that week and that I was making the right decision and any doubts are erased.
It’s been really fascinating to not only self-examine my processing, but also of the people around me. Some people are so serious they don’t quite know how to take me making light of the situation, and then there’s the many others that join in right along with the jokes (of which there are many… I mean really, we’re talking boobs here). I have no reason to make this depressing, and at the same time I know just how serious it is that I don’t need to make it any worse. It’s amazing to me how many times a week I get asked how I’m doing, “when is that date again?!’ and the like… if I haven’t reiterated it enough already, get ready for my gratefulness ad nauseum. My family and friends are ah.maze.ing. Though I have to say it’s especially fun when the guys get involved… poor things manage to show up in the worst (best?) parts of conversations… many a time it’s a “yeah, boob talk over here!” warning. And then there’s those good friends who have volunteered to chair and be part of the “size committee.” LOL. I just have to laugh and be grateful for all the support – the entire range from serious to ridiculous (yet awesome).
It really wasn’t a difficult choice for me to decide to be so open about all of this, and I’m already grateful that I have been. I feel like I’ve certainly spread awareness about cancer genetics, and of course especially BRCA mutations. To the point that already I’ve had people tell me about their own family histories and begin taking steps to consider being tested. I always said that it’s all worth it if I even help one person, and to feel like I’ve already done that even at this point in my journey reiterates that feeling.
So here I am. 100 days out. Ironically, exactly 100 days ago was the first day I met Amy and Eryn. In a weird way I feel like I’ve known these 2 amazing ladies forever, but then it feels like we literally just met. Our initial brunch certainly does not seem long ago at all, so in that sense August 6 will be here so incredibly soon. I’m definitely ready. I’ve got plans in place for being out of work, or as much as you can plan… it seems that everyone’s recovery from PBMs are so individualized. I’m not really scared, but more have a fear of the unknown, of the pain post-op. I’m not looking forward to not having independence for a few weeks… shocker I know! I’m curious how the drains will feel. I’m also curious about the expanders and all they entail. I’m excited that the (final) implants my plastic surgeon prefers were approved in the size I will need last month. I struggle with whether or not I will feel like I “lost” a part of my body, or if I will be simply overwhelmed with relief… I imagine it will be a combination. Oh and I really want to know if I’ll ever be able to sleep on my stomach again… it’s the little things, you know? I guess it’s safe to say, it’s a bunch of mixed emotions at this point in the game, but overwhelmingly my attitude remains: Let’s do this.
I plan to make these next 100 days count. I’ve been making it a point to put my phone down and really “be” with whoever I’m with and enjoy my family and friends for the incredible people they are. I’m trying hard (trying be the operative word) to be as healthy as possible so I go into this surgery physically, as well as mentally, prepared. It seems rather hypocritical to be eating crap and not exercising when the whole reason I’m having this surgery is to remain healthy! So there. Now I’m publicly accountable in that regard. I’m striving to be as “ahead” as possible as work and minimize the effects of my being gone (I know how ridiculously self-centered that sounds but if you know what I do, you understand entirely where I’m coming from). I’ve started gathering good post-op lounge clothes and scarves. Many scarves. For when I return to work with expanders. And lastly, I’m just trying to be “me” so I can go into this surgery confident in who I am, and come out even stronger.
Thanks again for being along for the ride… updates will probably remain sparse for the next couple months, but I will check in time to time. Mid to late July things will pick up and then it’s go-time. Until later…