The Journey Continues - Part 3

It Was a Week Filled with Doctor’s Appointments and One Very Important Decision.

Monday was my initial visit with a physical therapist. They were helpful and supportive. When this process started physical therapy didn’t occur to me. I’m so grateful that it is part of my recovery.

I also had a virtual visit with a genetics counselor. At first, I didn’t see the need for genetics counseling, but then they described how they use the resulting data. It helps determine the course of treatment as well as provide information to help family. I chose to receive genetic counseling for my sisters and nieces. May it be of benefit.

At home, things are rolling along. Since our emotional outbursts, my husband and I have been able to communicate more clearly. We started planning for my recovery. So, in addition to the many doctor visits, we’ve been preparing for my surgery and the coming weeks. We are finding our groove.


My Body, My Choice.

Last week I made a very important decision. I decided to have a bi-lateral mastectomy and I decided against reconstruction. It was a decision that I thought my way through and felt my way through.

After I saw the first, and very fast talking, plastic surgeon, I knew I wanted more options. I researched another surgeon who specialized in a different reconstruction option. I was curious to learn what other options I had available to me.

And then, I couldn’t move forward. Anxiety started to creep in, and I knew I had to listen to my body. I paused for an evening to understand what the anxiety was telling me.

I thought about each option available and did more research. I brought awareness to my body and the signals it was sending. Then, I considered my long-term goals and took my history into consideration. My decision became clear. And so, did my head. My anxiety subsided and I felt at peace with my decision.

This was the right decision for me. If you’re facing a similar decision, do what’s right for you, your body, and your long-term goals.


Next Steps.

I have a date for my surgery. It’s Thursday, April 8th, at 10:30 a.m. MST. Please send me some good vibes, I will need them. Send some to my medical team too, they are amazing.  

In the meantime, preparations for surgery and recovery continue. I’ve created several lists, some of them have been completed. I have a hair appointment tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to getting pampered a little.

After surgery, there are a lot of restrictions on my movement. They call it “t-rex arms” because I won’t be able to move my arms much more than a tyrannosaurus rex. We’ve already begun to t-rexify the house and collect pillows needed to maintain a 45-degree angle required during the first week.

Today, I met my Oncology doctor. She was very kind and I’m looking forward to working with her after I recover from surgery. We won’t know what the next course of treatment is until after surgery, so more on that in the coming weeks.  

I also registered for my surgery today. I’m scared, but also ready to get this cancer out of my body. 

As much as possible I’m relaxing into healing. Even with all of the appointments, tests, blood draws, and occasional pain, I breath and relax the tension that resides in my shoulders. Breath and relax is my mantra.


Lessons this Week.

We can listen to our bodies when making decisions. Our bodies send us signals that can help us decide what’s right for us. All we have to do is pause and listen. The decision I made about my surgery and how I wanted to proceed was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made. It was worth the extra time to pause and listen to what my body was telling me. That combined with my history and long-terms goals helped me make the decision.

We must advocate for ourselves. We can sometimes get swept up in the momentum of a situation. Pause and confirm that the direction the situation is going is aligned with our values and long-term goals. It’s worth the time.  

The surgeons and doctors seemed to assume that I would opt for reconstruction. I got caught in that momentum for a little while. When I realized the direction that I wanted to go in, I communicated through my nurse navigator and my medical team honored my decision.

It’s easy to get swept away when things become challenging. Know yourself and advocate for what you want and need to move forward.

Anxiety is a messenger. We can listen to what it’s trying to tell us. Sometimes it means we are going down a path that isn’t aligned with us. When my anxiety started creeping in, I knew I had to listen. It was telling me what I didn’t want to do. I used the information to create a path forward that is aligned with me.

Practice gratitude every day. Whenever things seem challenging, there is always something to be grateful for. Find it, acknowledge it, and feel it. 

To My Husband.

Thank you Chilo for caring for me and keeping me safe. It’s not always easy but we’re finding our groove. I am grateful for you. We got this.

Love you! 

Be well,