It’s day 5 after my double mastectomy and I must say I feel pretty darn good. I am on some good pain meds and I know that has a lot to do with it-Lol! I wanted to document how I felt the day leading up to my surgery. But first, I have to write about the Sunday before. It was a great start to my surgery week.
Sunday morning I went to church. I went by myself because Gianna wanted to sleep in with Daddy. I know what some of you are thinking—I can’t believe he didn’t go with her! Especially, right before surgery. Listen, I grew up with my Mom going to church on most Sundays without my Dad. For me, its normal. Would I love for him to go- absolutely! In time, I believe he will make his way to that 3rd to the last pew in the center isle and join me.
Thankfully my Mom and I go to the same church so I knew she’d be there. I sang my heart out to one of my favorite songs, Going Through the Motions by Matthew West. You are missing out if you haven’t heard this song. After church we all went to my parents house for some yummy Spanish food. My Mom loves to cook and it definitely comes through in the food. By the time we got home from my parents it was around 4. My two BFFs were coming over to spend some QT with me before my surgery. Amanda brought Kendal with her so Gianna was happy to have some company too. Jose Cuervo also made a visit, but I didn’t really entertain him much. We talked, ate, chilled, laughed and before leaving Melissa wanted to say a prayer. I didn’t even think about doing that with all of us and I’m so glad we did because it was such an awesome, powerful moment. Melissa led the prayer as we all stood in a circle in the middle of my kitchen holding hands. It was me, Chanty, Kendal, Gianna, Melissa and Amanda. Justin’s not much into prayer (I do believe he will be saved one day) but half-way through the prayer he came over and held mine and Gianna’s hand. After “amen” we all hugged each other and cried. I can’t explain it but what I do know is that God gave me the most amazing friends.
The day before surgery 10/8/13
The day before my surgery (Tuesday) started like every other day. I dropped Gianna off at school and headed to work. The plan was for me to work until 12pm, pick up Gia from school and just spend the afternoon together. She was so excited for our mommy/daughter time. I knew I wouldn’t be carrying any big pumpkins soon so I wanted to take her to the pumpkin patch so she can pick out her pumpkin before things got a little strange for this 4 year old.
Before even making it inside her classroom she was out of her chair telling her friends, “My Mommy is here and I’m going to the pumpkin patch!”. Gianna had been telling her classmates and teacher all day that we were going to the pumpkin patch! Mrs. Ferguson said that she told everyone that Mommy was picking her up early. That seriously made me feel awesome!
At the pumpkin patch she picked out her big pumpkin plus 6 little ones. Afterwards, we went for ice cream at Menchies. She LOVES that place! I didn’t talk to her about what the days ahead were going to be like. That’s not what this time was about. I wanted to make her day and some memories that she would always remember-I mean, how many kids get out of school to go pick out pumpkins and eat ice cream! I don’t really remember much of that evening at home though-I know that’s pretty weird.
On Wednesday (surgery day), we arrived at Moffitt at 7:45am…..15 minutes late. Are you surprised?! The first thing they did was inject me with blue dye. One reason is so the surgeon can see what lymph nodes to take out. Even though my MRI showed no cancer cells there could still be microscopic cancer cells left behind. The surgeon took out 1-2 lymph nodes from each side-they appeared clear of cancer but, we won’t know for sure until I get the pathology report.
After they injected the dye there was nothing left to do but wait. Before going into surgery, my Mom and my best friends Mom Barbara came to see me. We talked a little bit about the stress that Amanda and I put them through during high school. Lets just say we were far from angels. Before going back-we held hands and said one last prayer. Barbara prayed out loud which is a HUGE thing for her. I’m so happy that she did it under these circumstances. Barbie-thank you for being there for my Mom….you are a beautiful person. I know where Manda gets her big heart from.
How to prepare for a double masectomey
- Pick up your kids and hold them often. It will be awhile before you are allowed to lift anything above 5-10lbs
- Make sure you have sports bras that clip in the front. I suggest getting at least 5.
- Get small pillows to support your arms while you lay in bed. These are especially helpful when you sleep. I think long small throw pillows worked best. You can tuck them under your arm and you will find it brings some major relief to the area.
- On the ride home, have a big pillow against your chest. Trust me when I tell you that you feel every single bump on the road.
- Ask for help! This is a hard one for many of us. Just say, “ok” when your friends or family offer to help you.
- Buy some sassy button up pajamas to wear home. I promise that it will lift your spirits during what is already a very difficult time.
- Keep everything that you will need at home below shoulder level. You won’t be able to lift your arms very high for a few days.
- Get some comfy socks or slippers to wear around the hospital
- Mediate, pray, sing, walk – do something that brings you peace and feeds your soul
- Take a deep breath and remember that there is a huge army of woman that have been exactly where you are at. You CAN and WILL get through it.