It’s been a weekend of ups and downs. More ups than downs but at times grueling thoughts and insecurities about the steps that lie ahead.
On Friday evening I escaped London town with Pix and headed towards the coast to stay at her friends’ place. There’s something very calming about being by water, away from big Halloween crowds. I had only been to Whitstable with a bunch of friends once and remembered it as a cute coastal town with great seafood and great sunsets.
Waking up to a sunny day, we spent most of the day by the water’s edge. Soaking in the warm autumn sun, meditating, chatting, daydreaming and finally making a promise to myself to be strong ahead of the next steps. Lunch was a starter of grilled scallops and a huge grilled sea bass with spinach. Delicious! I ordered a glass of white wine, more for the taste than anything, and once again found that I could barely drink more than half a glass. How times have changed.
I think it suddenly became clear that I was about to lose my breast and that a foreign object would be inside of me. I’m not vain but it felt like nothing would be the same again. I was told that once the breast tissue is removed, the area would feel numb and may stay numb. I mistook that with numbness of the skin too and began to feel scared that a large part of my torso would forever not have feeling. This is not the case. Apparently the skin will still be sensitive to touch at least.
Once back in London, I met a few friends and saw Spectre – not near as good as Skyfall but great to see everyone and to switch off from other thoughts. On the bus back, I made the mistake of googling treatments, people’s stories etc. something that I had so far resisted. What a mistake. My mood dropped and I started feeling real anxiety about having made the decision to undergo surgery next week. What if a second opinion suggests that I don’t need a mastectomy after all? What if a better path is to have chemo first? And round and round my thoughts went until I managed to speak about it again and find some peace in a good night’s sleep. I find going to sleep relatively easy at night, it’s the first few seconds in the morning that are tough. As soon as I open my eyes, my brain seems to kick into overdrive on the topic.
Rest of sunday was lovely, spoke to my friend in the US who went through a similar experience a few years ago and hearing her story and her take on what happened really helped. Healthy dinner with my friend and neighbour followed by an episode of ‘the truth about cancer’. It’s definitely worth watching and taking away some of the important parts, while I remain dubious about some of the radical views expressed in the program.
I find it very difficult to stay clear in my decision to have surgery first rather than chemo first. How can I possibly be experienced to make this kind of decision, especially given that nobody seems to point to one over the other being more advantageous? I suppose I often go with my instinct and my instinct is telling me to choose surgery first. I guess I’m suddenly indecisive due to the op being in less than 48 hours time and everything is rapidly becoming more real.