Beating Breast Cancer – Weekly Update #4

Beating Breast Cancer as a Thirty Something - Weekly Update #4I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and have decided to blog about my journey.  If you need to catch up on my story, please check out this page for the chronological list of posts.

As expected, this week was pretty slow in the cancer department but the days just FLEW by.  I can’t believe that I will be having a bilateral mastectomy tomorrow.  I spent the week preparing for this surgery and since I don’t know fully what to expect, I’m not 100% sure that I’m actually ready. (But really, can you EVER be ready to have your breasts removed??)

I will be checking into the hospital at 7:00 Monday morning and they will be giving me my injection for the sentinel node biopsy portion of the surgery.  After that, we have been warned that it might be a bit of a wait until my surgery; I am not the first surgery of the day and the other case is pretty complicated, from what I hear.  I will be armed with a good book to pass the time and hopefully distract myself from the fact that I haven’t had anything to eat or drink since midnight the night before.

One thing that I did this week was exercise my arms as much as possible because it will be a while before I have my full range of motion back after the surgery.  Since we are living with my parents, they were able to add us to their family plan at the gym they attend.  This will be very helpful, since exercise is one of the things the doctors recommend to help combat the fatigue of chemo; I will be starting chemo while the weather is still too crummy and unpredictable for consistent outdoor exercise.

I also went shopping for some post-mastectomy clothes: button-up pajamas, zip-up hoodies, sweats, and leggings with loose tops. (I even found a couple of hats on clearance that I will use during my upcoming baldness.) I had read a lot about the special camisoles that have pockets for the drains, but I wasn’t sure how necessary they really are.  After talking with my nurse navigator this week, I decided to order one because she made it sound like most women who try them really like them.

Speaking of my nurse navigator, I took a trip up to the cancer center because she had some information for me to read regarding surgery and recovery.  The main topic of our discussion was JP drains, which I am a little bit nervous about because they sound pretty uncomfortable.  Here is an illustration of drains and some more information about the mastectomy procedure.

(The girls and I are rocking pink toes for this first major step of my fight against cancer.)

I have been keeping myself distracted with preparations and the everyday tasks involved in taking care of my family, but I have still been feeling the emotional toll of this journey.  I think the biggest part for me has been noticing all of the everyday tasks that I soon won’t be able to do, particularly taking care of Ladybug.  As I have held her and rocked her to sleep this week, I have had to fight off the dread that it will be a little while before I am able to do this again.  After I recover from surgery, I will dive right into the fatigue of chemo and the discomfort of tissue expanders.  It will be a while before I arrive at my new “normal” and I have been feeling a little sad and anxious about that.

Even though I have my “moments”, I am feeling at peace with my treatment decisions and will be so grateful to have this tumor out of my body.  I am ready to start the real battle against this stupid cancer; in fact, I have started a playlist on Amazon Music to get myself pumped up to kick cancer’s butt when I am fighting the chemo fatigue with exercise.  I have filled it with fast-paced music with messages of victory and confidence (songs like Gym Class Heroes’ “The Fighter” and Meghan Trainor’s “I Love Me”).

I would love to beef up my playlist a little more before I start chemo.  What songs would you recommend??  I look forward to seeing your suggestions below!

Keep Reading – – > Weekly Update #5 (February 12, 2017) {Mastectomy and Recovery}

7 thoughts on “Beating Breast Cancer – Weekly Update #4”

  1. I’m so happy that you are able to move forward and take action! Two of my favorite songs are nina Simone’s “Feelin’ Good” and ani difranco’s “32 flavors”. i’ll be thinking of you all day tomorrow.

  2. I have really been holding you in my heart this weekenD- and your family. I can tHink of any other situation that better demonstraTes that “you can do hard things”! You need “Fight song” by Rachel Platten on there, and personally I really enjoy Aerosmith and maybe a little Bohemian RHapsody, since it is so fun to sing along to. (Is this all caps? I hope not – sorry if it is!)

  3. I just want to let you know that we are praying for you.
    A FEw years ago, we went through this with my was so sad, but she always laughed. She said that was her best medicine. She is my hero…and so are you! 🙂
    Remember that Heavenly Father will have his hands on the surgical tools. I honestly believe that.
    You are an angel.
    Thank you, for showing me, that if I had to go through this,I could.
    We dearly love you.

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