What I shared on Facebook on Sunday 11th July 2021 as my Cancer Journal Number 10.
These cancer journals were my ongoing strategy of keeping people up to date without having to share the same information again and again. I would write, and then I would get specific friends to act as beta readers, and that was helpful. Then I would post to Facebook, send the same message by email, What’s App, SMS, etc. It saved a lot of emotional energy for me, and that was becoming vital.
⭐ Cancer Journal ⭐
Sunday 11th July 2021 (10)
The night before surgery
Tomorrow is the day – I honestly don’t know if there is going to be much sleep tonight.
My focus today is very much on keeping myself calm, centred, and grounded.
Panic attacks (Io Pan!)
There’s the irrational background noise of terror, and that’s ok. Pretty much everyone I have spoken to who has a personal experience of cancer reports the same feeling before surgery. Terror is part of the human experience too; and I just take my time to acknowledge what has welled up, breathe, and continue with my day.
To think that this is what so many of our Beloveds live with constantly in the form of anxiety and other mental health issues is a humbling insight.
Basic outline of what is to come
So.. a long and complex operation, I am admitted at 0600 and will be on the morning surgical list. The operation is 8 hours.
It ended up being over 10 hours: my housemate and sibling were beginning to get concerned.
I will be placed on 7 South East post surgery.
At this stage, a gentle reminder that I don’t want visitors, particularly unannounced. If I feel differently post surgery, I’ll let you know. I feel like I need to just focus on me.
My housemate of course is the exception, and will make sure I have flowers, lol! Silly thing, but I like to see people having flowers in the hospital.
I’m so grateful for all the messages of support and the prayers, ritual, and well wishes. I have masses being said for me, candles being lit for me, and friends dancing for me, going for meditative walks for me; all manner of emotional, spiritual, psychological care happening, and I feel very cherished.
⭐ Gentle Creatures, I do not know when I will be up to communicating, so just be patient: I will touch base when I am feeling up to it.
⛔ gentle reminder – no horror stories thanks, no medical advice unless this is your lived experience or your professional wheelhouse.
🚫 please be mindful of your language; this is not a battle or a war, this is my lived experience. Please review the boundaries I set out in my pinned post.
❌ I also do not wish to discuss this in terms of “the loss of my breasts” – my breasts are being reconstructed, they’re mine.
🔥 Like twin Phoenixes, hopefully, they will rise to new points of glory, lol! 🔥
This imagery was very helpful for me and continues to be helpful.
🚮 I’m removing the cancers – there is no loss in that, they are misguided entities that are draining me. Dexter, Benjamin, Scaevola, and Sinistra (names of cancers, in case you missed that process) are being surgically excised, like any malignant influence in your life needs to be.
The ensuing reconstruction and associated breast reduction will hopefully provide a whole heap of benefits in terms of my neck, shoulders, and back as well.
This is true, but I am also doing a lot of physio to ensure that I don’t end up with the shoulder issues I have since found to be common post-mastectomy.
🎨I’m choosing to celebrate my current form with some art therapy pieces, and I am welcoming the transformation to come.
‼️ I honestly don’t know what my emotional landscape is going to be over the next month, so I will simply say this:
📥 I love the support and the messages, but I may not have the capacity to respond.
📤 As a side note, if I am inspired to respond whilst not fully compos mentis, I apologise in advance!
⛔ I anticipate being very emotionally unavailable, so if I am insensitive or fail to engage, apologies in advance, but right now, my focus is on me, my self-care, and the care of my household (my housemate and the cats).
🚫 Once home, I may well welcome visitors again, but I’ll let you know – I’m probably only going to up to see one person a day at most, and it will typically be in the afternoons I suspect. Again, please stay away if you or anyone close to you are sick or have been unwell in the last 14 – 21 days.
📍 I have pinned the post with the announcement about my diagnosis and the boundaries I want to work with, so if this post is the first you have seen, please refer to that pinned post.
⭐ This is the tenth of my Cancer Journal entries, if you are interested in the others, I have put links at the bottom of this post.
🌹 Be kind, Gentle Creatures, tend your gardens, take time to eat the roses, and walk your boundaries.
❗ Check your breasts, check your testicles.
Ensure that you are vigilant around your self-examination. Train yourself to check your breasts/testicles routinely, and monitor your bowel habits and your urine output. These are our body’s early warning signs, and we don’t have a lot of awareness of them.
Related blog posts
- Monday 05th July 2022 (Cancer Journal 9)
- Monday 21st June 2021 – Surgery Date (Cancer Journal 8)
- Plaster Cast
- Thursday 03rd June 2021 – the worst meltdown
- Sunday 30th May 2021: Cancer – telling your colleagues
- Friday 28th May 2021 (Cancer Journal 7)
- Friday 28th May 2021 Plastic Surgeon
- Wednesday 26th May 2021 Cancer Clinic
- Tuesday 25th May 2021 Left Breast Diagnosis
- Friday 21st May 2021: Biopsy, Left Breast
- Tuesday 18th May (Cancer Journal 6)
- Monday 17th May 2021 Arranging the biopsy
- Saturday 15th May 2021 (Cancer Journal 5)
- Wednesday 12th May 2021 (Cancer Journal 4)
- Friday 07th May 2021 (Cancer Journal 3)
- Cancer surgeon
- Sunday, 02nd May 2021 (Cancer Journal 2)
- Saturday May 01st 2021 ( Cancer Journal 1)
- Facebook post
- How to tell people you have cancer.
- Deciding strategies
- The Camus Question of Choice
- The Follow-up Tests
- The phone call.
- Check your breasts