How I Feel One Year After a Double Mastectomy

Technically, it’s been more than a year but only by a few weeks. I wanted to do this post nearer to the actual anniversary of my surgery, April 8th, but I was dealing with a stomach virus. Waiting until I healed from that has given me a truer perspective on how I feel body, mind, and soul.



My surgery went very well. We expected more complications from other surgeries I’ve had on my chest, but those were minor. That said, worst part of the entire double mastectomy was the lymph node removal.

The lymphatic system controls the flow of fluids through the body. When lymph nodes are removed, our bodily fluids don’t flow as well. During my surgery I had eight lymph nodes removed from my right under arm which eventually confirmed that my cancer hadn’t spread. Eight of an estimated 20 to 40 total lymph nodes doesn’t seem like much but numerically, but it’s been the hardest part of my bi-lateral mastectomy.

A couple of months ago I woke up with my right arm constricted and swollen. As I stretched, I realized that I was unable to fully straighten my arm. I knew I had slept on it wrong and in a way that didn’t allow the fluid to move normally. It was painful and it took more than four weeks of massage, elevation, and getting my heart rate elevated through exercise to finally get the swelling down. I’ve learned to sleep with my arm elevated and control my sodium intake and lately my arm has been much improved.  

My most recent test results confirm that my immune system is still compromised. I am not well protected against any bacteria or virus. I take care of my body and nourish my immune system and I still wear my mask every time I leave my house. Luckily, I live in true blue Denver. Some people still wear masks and I’ve never been hassled. Some people even give me wide berth when we cross paths. For that, I am truly grateful.

Overall, my energy is getting better. Other than the recent bout of stomach flu, my fatigue is improving. On the days when I’m feeling well, I get out. I walk in my neighborhood or run errands. Those are the best days. Especially now, with spring finally arriving in Denver. The trees are blooming pink and white. Daffodils and tulips are standing proudly, faces to the sun. It’s a good time to be able to get out in nature and it helps me maintain a more positive outlook on my current situation.




When I hear of judges overturning federal mask requirements on public transportation, I get angry. Those of us that are immunocompromised are on our own. If you have a car, your risk is minimized, but I don’t own a car.

Denver has a good public transportation system. It’s been at least fifteen years, or maybe even twenty years, since my husband and I have owned a car. We use public transportation, and the mask requirement has kept us safe through the pandemic.

With the exception of the day of my surgery and the first follow-up appointment after surgery, I rode trains and busses to all of my doctors’ appointments, tests, physical therapy, and even radiation therapy. It helped me to get out of the house during that time. I would put on ear buds, my “happy vibes” playlist, and enjoy the ride with my KN95 tightly strapped to my face.

But now that everyone seems to think the pandemic is over and the mask requirements have been dropped, I no longer feel safe on public transportation. The idea of going back to work surrounded by people that don’t have the same feelings about health and safety scares me.

I can time running errands or going to the grocery store for off peak hours, limiting my contact with people. But to work outside the home, is direct contact with unmasked people for extended periods of time. It scares me. My body doesn’t have the ability to fight as strongly as it would need to for colds and flus, let alone COVID. It’s a scary time to be immunocompromised. I’m lucky that it’s temporary, for so many people it is permanent.

Sending all immunocompromised people my wishes for your best health and best life. May we all get the protection we deserve.

For now, I continue to work from home. My writing has expanded to include screenwriting. It’s been so much fun to learn. In March, I entered one of my screenplays into a screenwriting contest. I love the work. It feeds my soul and feels like I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.



Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was experiencing a challenging spiritual awakening. It didn’t stop for cancer, but it did pause for the pain. As soon as the pain began to fade, the synchronicities started up again. I’m glad for that because I wasn’t ready for it to end.

As my health improved, my awakening quickened. My intuition became stronger. My connection with spirit became stronger, our communications are more immediate. It’s a beautiful time in my life in spite of my physical limitations and the anger I feel occasionally.

Recently, I’ve been clearing karma. The intention I’ve been using to clear karma is, “I clear the karma of (insert lesson here) in all directions of time and in all planes of existence now.” Then, as if to seal the deal, I say, “I receive and integrate these lessons and dissolve the need to repeat them again.” Credit to Christina Lopes on YouTube. She is an experienced spiritual teacher and has helped me throughout my awakening.

Part of me is hoping that my awakening is coming to completion. Another part of me is ready for whatever is next on my spiritual path. Wherever it takes me next, I am ready for anything.

That phrase, “ready for anything”, is my “word” for 2022. Each year I have a word, 2022 wanted a phrase more than a word. I remember when it came to me last December, it scared me. It no longer scares me. Since overcoming cancer, I truly am ready for anything.

The picture today is mine and is a vignette currently on my desk. I found this dusty ten of hearts playing card on the sidewalk during a recent walk in my neighborhood. It stopped me in my tracks and my intuition flared. It was a message from spirit.

The ten of hearts, relates to the ten of cups in tarot. It is one of the most happy and positive cards. Love, abundance, peace, and happiness are the messages it brings. It is what I feel most days. I am grateful.

Be well,