My Little Bs Have the Big C

A Breast Cancer Blog For Young Women

Less Than Two Weeks Until Surgery

7 Comments

today I will live

I mentioned in a post earlier this week that life has pretty much gotten back to normal, as normal as it can be right now.  I was talking to one of my best friends about this yesterday when I casually mentioned that my mastectomy was only two weeks away.  And my throat tightened up.  Tears filled my eyes.  “Oh my God, I think it just hit me.  My surgery is only two weeks away.”

It’s so close yet so far away.  I definitely want this cancer out of my body, STAT!  But I don’t feel ready to go through this process of major surgery and change in my body.  I’m actually terrified.  I ended up making an appointment with my surgeon to discuss my fears and to have her explain in detail what she will be doing in the surgery and what I can expect afterwards.  I’m not very clear on this.  I usually handle stress and fear better when I am informed and educated.  So hopefully this talk with her will help.

In any case, does anyone have any good techniques for handling the stress and fear (that doesn’t include drugs but could include chocolate)?

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7 thoughts on “Less Than Two Weeks Until Surgery

  1. Carrie, you are so strong. I wish that I could conjure some magical words here, but mostly I send to you love, warmth, and energy. I am unfortunately the veteran of many surgeries, but not this kind. I think your pursuit of knowledge is a great first step; I’m having another ankle surgery this week myself, and I couldn’t go in for a pre-op prior to the surgery date, so I’m very apprehensive because I don’t have much info going in. All that being said, I highly endorse chocolate as a stress reducer!! I wish I could bring you over a wickedly rich chocolate tart or something… Have you tried yoga or mindfulness exercises? Yoga has helped me get through some very hard times, and mindfulness can have incredible effects. Good luck to you, my friend.

    • Thanks for all of the well wishes. I’m sorry you are having so many issues with your ankle. It’s no small thing. You need it to stand!!!!!!! Anyway, if I see you when you visit NYC, I’ll take you up on a chocolate tart.

      I’m not much of a yoga person but I might try to sneak something in. I did it during pregnancy and liked it a lot.

  2. Hi Carrie. I love the energy, spirit and courage in your hair dying experience and posting. I am inspired by your orientation toward this challenge in your life. In response to your question about ways to deal with anxiety (so understandable about your upcoming surgery, perhaps some meditation specifically focused on dealing with illness/pain could be useful. Jon Kabat-Zinn is an expert on mindfulness in the medical context. Here is a link to a bio at U Mass Medical School: http://www.umassmed.edu/Content.aspx?id=43102. He has books and CDs that include meditation/mindfulness practices for people dealing with illness and pain. Examples I know of are the book Full Catastrophe Living (not sure if guided meditations are included or not): http://www.audible.com/pd/Self-Development/Full-Catastrophe-Living-Audiobook/B002V0QUP6?source_code=GO1GB909GSH102413&gclid=CP-Ks66gqsACFWoR7Aod7mgAWQ&mkwid=srYHtkaXv_dc&bp_ua=yes&pkw=full+catastrophe+living+download&pmt=b&pcrid=35525670609 and this one about dealing with pain (I have listened to part of this on CD): http://www.audible.com/pd/Self-Development/Meditation-for-Pain-Relief-Audiobook/B0035KSRXE/ref=a_pd_Self-D_c4_1_4_i_pd_sims_1?ie=UTF8&pf_rd_r=07C2JERPMEJRCQ6XCPCZ&pf_rd_m=A2ZO8JX97D5MN9&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_i=detail-page&pf_rd_p=1814839622&pf_rd_s=center-4.

    • Thank you for all of this detailed information, Gabrielle! I will look into it. Anything that will keep me calm (I don’t want to ask for valium, I believe in the power of the mind) is worth investigating.

  3. By the way, “fear into courage” is Gabrielle (Horowitz-Prisco).

  4. Carrie,
    I may have dreamed that I already sent this to you, but the CD I used which was extremely helpful —–

    http://www.amazon.com/A-Meditation-Promote-Successful-Surgery/dp/1881405346/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1408909699&sr=8-6&keywords=belleruth+naparstek

    I listened twice a day the week before surgery (might have been longer than that) and it gave me a method I could use when I started to get stressed about the surgery. Try it. My doctor also prescribed ativan for me, which I took the week before. Don’t be afraid to take a drug to relax you. Relaxation is healing.

    And, as I have said before, I am always here for you if you need to talk.

    Much love,
    Paula

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