Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow and the Next

Yesterday was good, today has been tough, tomorrow will be tougher and the next day I’m gonna hurt like a mofo…

Yesterday I was tired and rested all day. Then last night my sweet friends gathered for a small farewell to my boobs party and I couldn’t have been more grateful. Complete with boob cupcakes! It was so nice to see sweet smiling faces and to feel the love. We were there, laughing and talking as usual, but you could feel a little of the heaviness of all of this here and there.

Earlier today I was an emotional mess. Mostly because of fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of anesthesia. Fear of nausea. Fear of pain. Fear, rather unfortunately, ruled my life for too many years. And I’ve spent most of my adult life overcoming those fears. But this morning, fear bundled me up and swept me out to sea. But after a good cry, Jason bringing me Thai food, a chat with a sweet friend, many love notes texted to me today, and half an Ativan, the fear finally subsided. And I sailed back to the calming waters.

We headed to the hospital this afternoon to get a shot, in my breast, of a radioactive tracer. It felt like a bee sting but was relatively quick. This will help guide my surgeon tomorrow to find the sentinel lymph node that she will remove for biopsy. Then over for a chest X-ray to make sure all was well, and it was.

Tomorrow morning we leave at 6 am for the hospital. The surgery is scheduled for 8:30am and should take 3-4 hours with an additional hour in recovery. I’ll be surrounded by a fantastic surgical team. My surgeon is incredibly smart, honest and has my complete trust. And the same for my anesthesiologist. As much as I dread surgery, it makes me happy that these two women will be taking care of me in the operating room.

As my surgeon informed me, Saturday I’ll wake feeling horrible. But after a few hours and once we get the pain managed, I’ll be ready to go home. My body doesn’t handle pain medicine well, so fingers crossed I’ll be able to. I’ll also come home with drains (yuck) and will have those for 5-10 days. Again, ew – like Jimmy Fallon says it…

It’s like everything else in this process. You go through the motions so that you can hopefully rid your body of cancer. I walked into each chemo treatment completely against my will. But I did it. I’m walking into surgery tomorrow, completely against my will. Do I want to go through the process of having surgery tomorrow? Hell no. Am I going through with it so I can hopefully be cancer free? Well, hell yes!

None of this is easy. I know that after tomorrow, the cancer shouldn’t be on my body anymore. And we’ll know that after the pathology comes back in about a week. The on to the next steps, whatever they may be.

For now, I’m enjoying sitting with the kids while they go to sleep. Slowing things down for the night so hopefully we can all get some rest. And knowing that by this time tomorrow, there will not be cancer on my chest.

Lots of love to you all!

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  • Reply Jean Nelson April 26, 2015 at 10:27 am

    Shannon I have been following your journey via the net for a while. You are an incredibly strong woman. I might add brave too. I pray that this surgery leaves you cancer free forever. Your blog is very interesting and would be encouraging to anyone walking this path. I will be , along with your many friends, anxiously waiting for your excellent report. God Bless you and your family. I am a friend of Saundra and George’s from Hamlet High

  • Reply Denise Simon April 23, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Shannon, I am constantly amazed at your strength during your battle with cancer and you are definintely kicking cancer”s butt!!! It is wonderful that you have such wonderful family and great friends to encourage you as you prepare for surgery tomorrow. I am praying for a restful night for you, successful surgery with no complications and a great pathology report in a week!!!!

    My breast cancer was an entirely different type and experience. I made the decision the day of surgery to have a mastectomy of my left breast, rather than a lumpectomy, which proved to be the right decision for me. I did see a plastic surgeon and had reconstruction surgeries. I had a propholactic mastectomy of my right breast. I have difficulty handling pain meds, so eventually made the decision to only take extra strength Tylenol. I am praying you do not have to have the drains very long. I often used small pillows to hold against my breasts to help deal with the pain. Also, make sure and do the exercises they give you!!!

    I know you have friends who have experienced so much more and have been great support for you, which is such a blessing. Please know that you have and will be in our prayers. I applaud your decisions and your wonderful attitude!!

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you tomorrow. “The Lord is good to all. He has compassion on all He has made.” ~Psalm 145:9

    Love, Denise Simon

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