Any type of surgery is scary. Being put under while someone works on a part of your body with a scalpel is frightening. Then when you’re preparing for surgery, people tell you the horror story of their own experiences. Then there are people who make it sound like surgery is no big deal, when to you it is. Wondering what it is going to be like after surgery, hearing others stories, and trying to prepare for the surgery and recovery are nerve wracking. It’s easy to become depressed and anxious.
I had my mastectomy on July 17 and that was not an easy surgery. I had a hard time waking up from anesthesia, but the worst part was the drains that hurt every time I moved. The drains had to be emptied three times a day. I slept a lot and I had to sleep propped up. Then it took time for my incisions to heal.
This Friday I will be going in for my second surgery, a hysterectomy. It should be nothing compared to the mastectomy, but yet I’m on edge. The gynecologist who is doing the surgery said I’ll probably be stuck on the couch for a couple weeks afterwards.
I’ve heard many stories about hysterectomies. One said it’ll hurt to just get out of bed, another said to have pads on hand because I’ll bleed a lot, and yet another said I’ll be in too much pain to do anything. I don’t know how my body will react to the surgery, but I’m trying hard not to worry about it. I keep telling myself it has to be easier than the first one, but the thing is no surgery, no matter how small, is easy. This will be my fifth surgery within my life time.
My first one was when I was four and I had my tonsils out. I still remember it. I stayed in the hospital and the nurse rocked me to sleep when I cried for my mom. None of my surgeries were easy. I hate the preparation. You get into a gown while they ask you questions and stab you with needles to put in IVs. Then they take you in to the surgery room and help you get on the table. I think the part I hate the most is waking up afterwards. They ask you questions while you try hard to figure out where you are.
Right now I’m trying to prepare for surgery. We are buying microwave meals so we don’t have to worry about cooking for a while, I’m trying to get housework done so I don’t have to worry about it, I’m buying birthday cards for family members who have birthdays while I’m off, and I bought paper plates and cups so we won’t have to worry about the dishes. I’ll be off work from four to six weeks and disability doesn’t pay a lot, so Lou and I have been trying to save up money.
The hardest part is getting ready emotionally. Last year I had ankle surgery, this year I already had one surgery, and now another one is coming. When do I get a break? Am I the most unlucky person to have to go through so much? When do the health problems end? What will this surgery be like? How badly will I hurt after surgery? Am I strong enough to get through another surgery? The questions flood my mind.
When I go to bed at night, sometimes I just sit in the dark thinking about what lies ahead of me. God only knows how this surgery will go and what recovery will be like. It’s not knowing that scares me the most. I hate being put under and waking up. I hate the idea of spending the night in the hospital, but the only thing that comforts me is knowing my husband will be waiting for me and he’ll be there the whole night. I hate not being able to do much while I’m recovering.
Instead of getting depressed about surgery, I’m trying to look at the positives. I’ll be out of work during Thanksgiving so I won’t have to deal with the holiday rush or lift frozen turkeys, I’ll get pampered by my husband, friends are planning to bring us delicious meals, and I’ll be off my feet and will not have to deal with the usual foot pain I get from standing for hours on end.
I ask why did I have to get cancer and have the BRCA gene? Maybe it’s so I can write about it and maybe it’s just one of those things. God only knows. I just know I will face this next surgery with strength. Staying positive will help me get through recovery and keep me standing within the light.
Next week and maybe the week after there won’t be a blog post while I’m recovering from surgery. Soon as I feel up to it I will get back to blogging. In the comments let me know how you have dealt with up and coming surgeries.