Ok let’s be real, today is the day. In a few hours I will be heading to Spectrum Butterworth for a few different surgeries. I will be having phase two of my breast reconstruction including fat and tissue grafting, my port removal, and I will also be having my tubes and ovaries taken out with a frozen section biopsy being taken while I’m in surgery to rule out any current risk. I know I should be sleeping right now, but sleep is one thing I have yet to conquer so I am writing instead.
My day was full of pre-op appointments, cookie making, and friends and family time. I cannot tell you how many times I was asked if I was nervous about this surgery and the truth is I am not. For some reason the surgery process has never been scary for me. I have 100% trust and faith in my surgeons and I am at ease with this process. I know this is going to sound odd, but I was far more nervous to be exposed today while my plastic surgeon marked and photographed my body in prep for my surgery. The marking process was the hardest for me emotionally before my mastectomy and impacted me the most during the beginning stages of this journey so I decided it was something that we needed to document. As Jordan and I walked into the exam room with a camera in tow, I was handed a paper thong and a long paper gown. Apparently these markings would be a little more intrusive because my surgeon needed to assess the fat on my body and choose the best areas for the grafting as well as mark all surgical sites for the surgery. Only those who have faced this step before a non-elective surgery can understand how awkward this really is. I fought the urge to tell Jordan to take the camera and wait for me in the waiting room and I am glad that I did. Dr. Timek greeted me with a warm smile and a big hug. As much as I struggled during this process seeing and talking with her today put my mind at ease. We made small talk and joked around a bit as she drew surgical mappings all over my body. And then she mentioned that her experience with my surgeries and infections have taught her to develop an entirely different approach to this specific surgery. I didn’t know how to respond to her in that moment, but I was smiling inside. Knowing that something that happened to me has lead to a process that will make it better for someone else facing this in the future somehow makes all of this worth it. I walked out of her office feeling very hopeful, optimistic and most importantly feeling ready to mark this step off my list.
And now for some truth: If anything is weighting heavy on my mind right now, it’s knowing that after tomorrow I will no longer physically be able to bare a child. Although I am mostly at peace with what I am losing because of what I gain in the process, there is still a certain level of sadness that comes with knowing that I will never again experience the joy of feeling my baby grow inside of me. I have had almost 10 months to adjust to menopause at the age of 33 and come to terms with the fact that I will never experience pregnancy again, however this surgery makes it real… and it makes it final. In talking to those closest to me I am reminded that we have made the very best decision for our family by taking this preventive measure. By doing this, I will be greatly decreasing my risk of recurrence. I know that I have the best surgeons on my team, and most importantly I know that the door has not closed on expanding our family if we choose to do so… It just cannot happen in a traditional way.