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My Cancer Journey Begins Now

So far, my cancer journey has been pretty easy. I’ve just gone to some appointments to meet with the members of my new healthcare team which includes a breast surgeon, oncologist and breast navigator (when you are diagnosed with breast cancer, or any cancer, you quickly learn that you need someone to help you “navigate” through terminology, different appointments, options, financial issues) and received a nice tote bag filled with goodies such as very helpful books on breast cancer and other goodies.

Of course, I’ve done lots of research on the type of breast cancer I have, invasive ductal breast cancer, and talked and talked and talked to others about it. Easy, right? Doesn’t really seem to be like a journey of any kind. I’ve been overwhelmed, but I was able to cope well and it didn’t seem all that bad.

Well, on July 1 at 7:45 a.m., that all changes. July 1 is my surgery day. For me, that’s when my real and true journey begins. I will have a sentinel lymph node injection to see if the cancer has spread to my lymph nodes and of course surgery to remove the cancer mass (partial mastectomy).

If cancer is found in my lymph nodes, I will need to have chemo and radiation. If not, radiation twice a day, 6 hours apart for 6 weeks. Guess that gives a whole new meaning to don’t leave town! I will be having an outpatient surgery that’s expected to take approximately 2 hours. My recovery is also expected to take 2 hours. I realize that these are just estimates and anything can happen. I have no expectations.

That said, I will be avoid reading things about surgery gone wrong or watching TV shows that could have topics like “My surgeon left gauze in me or scissors in me!”. I once inadvertently read about Charles Manson before bed, which was a huge mistake. I didn’t sleep well for a week. Watching or reading something about surgery gone wrong would cause me undue stress.

Can something go wrong? Of course it can. Will it? Probably not (fingers crossed). One of my favorite sayings is “It is what it is” and that’s how I feel about my situation.

It is what it is and I can’t change it, but I can choose my outlook, my treatment options and how I deal with what’s happening to me and around me. Am I scared? You bet, but I find myself, the day before my surgery, feeling at peace and I like that feeling. My next blog will be about my surgery experience including non graphic pictures. Best of health to all of you!

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