Monday, September 5, 2011

Two Weeks

Two weeks from today, I will've kissed my daughter goodbye at 6 a.m., knowing I probably won't see her for over 24 hours. Two weeks from today, I'll be hooked up to an IV, getting fluids, clad in an unflattering johnny, probably freezing cold. Two weeks from today, at this time, it'll be about 2 hours until I have my breasts amputated in order to save myself (knock wood) from ever having to deal with breast cancer again. Two weeks from today, my life is going to change, forever, all over again.

As I've told many of you, I'm beyond ready. I was diagnosed June 6. I have known my surgery date since early July. I've had so much time to process and make decisions that I'm completely confident in what I'm doing and where I'm going from here. I'm chomping at the proverbial bit.

But as the date draws near and I check off other milestones (8th birthday celebrations, the start of school), my anxiety is amping up. As my "Mastectomy September '11" sisters on the board go for their surgeries, week by week, my blood pressure rises. Because even though I'm ready for my turn, I'm still worried, angry, anxious and sad. I do not want to have to do this. In my head, I'm stomping my feet like an angry toddler. Red in the face, crying, sweaty with conviction. If I humor myself, I can envision myself lying on the gurney, yelling all the way down the hall to the OR, "I don't wanna gooooooo!"

I'm consoling myself with the knowledge that there'll be a palpable sense of relief after my surgery is over. A big exhale. When I wake up after 6 hours of removing and replacing parts, I will finally have the golden opportunity to JUST. MOVE. FORWARD. instead of treading water in the "what might be." I've been treading water for 3 whole months. I'm pooped.

A friend described this time as "preparing for a long trip that you don't want to go on." She nailed it. I've been preparing for months for a forced march through cancerland. I hated it the first time around and the trip so far has sucked just as badly. But I'm also reminding myself that I'm lucky enough to get to come home after this trip. I know that each week after surgery, I'll get closer and closer to home: the place I find comfort, joy, hope and peace.

And I know that you can't come home if you don't go away. So away, I'll go.




  1. I wish that I could take away this two weeks of no-man's land. But more than that, I wish I could take that huge hunk of anxiety, anger, and sorrow and parcel it out to all of your friends so we could each carry a piece and you could have none. Until someone figures that out, know that we are carrying your hurt figuratively and wishing we could take it on for real. Because any of us would do that for you. In the meantime, xo's.

  2. I am there holding hands with you stomping my feet by your side going "Don't Wanna! Don't Wanna! Don't Wanna!!" But do it we must - and it is true there is a comfort in thinking it is almost over and a nauseating gut wrenching knot that it is almost here. It makes you feel like a crazy person!! But I feel less crazy with you - so know that we are here with you stomping and cheering and crying and laughing and holding your hand through the journey. Love you SISTER, T.

  3. I'm counting down the days and hours with you - trying (like Amy and Tina said) to hold some of your anxiety so you'll be more at peace. Not sure if it's helping - but I hope you know that you are so NOT alone on this trip.

    I found myself laughing out loud as Little Miss Aspen had herself a genuine 3-year-old temper tantrum this evening. I just saw your face on her little, stomping, angry body and it was funny!! Have yourself a "fit" seemed to make her feel a whole lot better after a while! :-)

    Hugs and healing,

  4. I loved your Twitter about insurance covering 4 bras per year. (seriously...who knew??) HOWEVER, I don't think I've purchased 4 bras since my BMX (and that was nearly 10 years ago). No need with these little, perky FLOOBS. (except where white shirts are involved.) Hopefully you'll take advantage of the benefit more than I have! :-)

  5. When I was going through treatment, in addition to the board, I frequented the WebMD dicussion board. One of the tools that we used at WebMD was the big pink bus. Whenever anyone went for appointments, treatments or surgeries, the big pink bus would take everyone else from the board with them.

    I've never been one to buy in to these sorts of visualization exercises but I must say that when I went for my implant replacement surgery, I imagined the bus was there with me. I actually found it so comforting while I was getting ready, in pre-op, etc.

    I know you're not a big fan of pink, and perhaps we don't need a bus; but maybe you can imagine that we're all there with you in a Thrive green minibus?

  6. In addition to allowing us to come along on this journey with you via this blog, your writing is pure enjoyment: candid, vivid, REAL. Too real, you may feel, too raw -- but for me, at least, hearing that strong voice conjure up the toddler stomping her feet with conviction is a lovely kind of real. Since all the angry toddlers in the world can't make this wait or the operation go away, I wouldn't want your voice to tell us about how it feels any other way. Each entry is like a little giftie that arrives in my inbox!

    P.S. @Jennifer R: love the minibus idea. Or a few completely loaded, luxury hybrid 4x4s playing a coordinated iTunes playlist?!
    P.P.S. @Heidi and @Weeble: I, too, know a toddler who would gladly throw a few daily fits on your behalf...or better yet, join us all in the one you probably haven't actually acted out. It'd probably make us all feel a bit better...after all, this situation is so "NOT FAIR!"