For some reason, the recovery after my mastectomy is what I worry about/think about the most. I’ve talked to people with a wide variety of experiences of what the recovery from their prophylactic mastectomy was like – ranging from “I had a lot of discomfort but never bad pain” to “I felt like I was run over by a big rig.” As a nursing student, I see firsthand how individualized the post-surgical process is. The bed rest and arm restriction protocols are honestly what worry me even more than the pain. Pain medicine can help when I hurt, but what can help me when I am stuck in bed for weeks? The answer is bad TV. Okay – maybe that’s not the only answer, mindfulness exercises are important too – but I will be calling the cable company soon to see about getting cable in our bedroom for 6 weeks.
For now, I am just focusing on putting out the energy that my recovery is going to go really well and surgery will go smoothly. But, as powerful as energy is, it will only get you so far. So, I’m stepping up my fitness and nutrition game along with making sure I feel as prepared as possible. I know if I have all the supplies I need and support system in place, I’ll feel more in-control when I walk into the hospital at the a$$ crack of dawn on August 26th. I’m also going to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel, which is knowing my breast cancer risk is dropping from a lifetime risk of 87% higher than the general population to around 1%. That is the thing that helps me sleep soundly at night.
One of my favorite bloggers, The Bloggess, recently wrote a great piece on simple euphoric moments after surgery. Check it out here.