It’s that time again, the time when I gear up for another life altering surgery. Well, 2 surgeries actually.
I guess before I go much further I should clarify, I am still cancer free at the moment. When I had my mastectomy in September and a follow up surgery 2 weeks later, they were able to get all of the cancer and I am currently cancer free. I am in the recovery and reconstruction process, which can take a while.
I said goodbye to 2017 thrilled and relieved to be cancer free and I said hello to 2018 knowing that I still have a long road ahead of me, knowing that this year would be a year of surgeries, scans and recovery. I have time this year, while I wait, time while I’m healing and having surgeries, tests and scans. These things can be looked at as a weight holding me down or a gift and opportunity.
I began 2018 looking at it as opportunity, I am in transition, limbo even. Limbo is a period of waiting, I particularly like the synonym unfinished. I love the idea that I am unfinished, there is so much more for me to do, to be, to become, to share and to experience. So, 2018 is my blank canvas of sorts, It’s not a completely blank canvas exactly, its more of a framed canvas, it has borders and definition, there are parts that are rigid and unmovable, (my surgeries for example). But in the center its wide open space, where I can color and paint whatever I desire, whatever it is that I see as beautiful. I can use broad brush strokes or tiny intricate details, I can use bold bright colors or muted tones or all of the above. I can pursue new dreams, I can write, I can make new friends, I can read and learn and grow. I can use this time of limbo to become a better me.
While I have a positive perspective it doesn’t change the weight of the year. It doesn’t change that the word cancer is weaved throughout each and every day. Some days are mostly normal, only a hint of cancer and other days are heavy and weighed down with cancer. As I get closer to my next surgery, the reality seems to permeate every nook and cranny of my life, my thoughts, my conversations, my obsessive need to have my entire house cleaned and organized, the plans that I make, even my skin care.
In some respects this next surgery (March 7) will be easier, I’ve already had 2 other breast surgeries, so I have some idea what to expect with my recovery. I’m sure there will be some differences and I’m really dreading not being able to put my arms up, but I’ve done it before and I’ve made it through. The difference this time is the second surgery. Along with the breast surgery I will also be having a radical hysterectomy, the removal of my ovaries, tubes and uterus. Which is necessary with my BRCA genetic mutation. As my doctor said right now there is no sign of cancer, however if I do not have my ovaries and tubes removed I am essentially playing Russian roulette. Due to some other factors and the chances of problems and complications my doctors have also determined that removing my uterus as well is the best course for me. This will be a laparoscopic surgery and will be an easier recovery, I will only need about a week before I’m up and around. However it will take about 12 weeks to recover internally.
As big as this sounds, and I’m sure this will all come with its own set of new challenges and changes, I am so glad to be looking at a easier recovery. I am so blessed by this time, by the opportunities before me, to be able to write about my experiences, my hopes and my sorrows, to reach out and share with you my friends and champions. To be blessed by your friendship, your love, and your prayers.