I didn’t think I’d still be this sick.  I’m not entirely sure what I thought, actually, when I got the news Christmas Eve that I *am* a candidate for surgery and will be having a mastectomy soon.  At the time, I still had chemo to do and to get through.  I had to meet with oncologists, absorb the results of the latest MRI, change my diet, and get ready mentally for this big, um, adjustment, and removal of body part(s). 

I thought that the postponement of the surgery (from the 8th to the 22nd) would give me a chance to get used to my new diet, force exercise, and get strong before my surgery.  If I could only get myself in good shape, maybe it would be easier to recover.  If I could strengthen the muscles in my chest, it would be easier for them (me) to bounce back after all the breast tissue, ducts, lobules, and lymph nodes are removed.  If I could get the house spotless and organized, it might stay that way while I recover (or at least be easier for my/his parents to care for us).  If I could stockpile activities and crafts for my little ones, we could enjoy the recovery more.  If I could get my oldest safely esconced in preschool, he would have a safe place to go, a cancer-free zone, a couple times a week, and it would be easier for him.  If I could help my youngest learn to walk, he would be happier since I won’t be able to pick him up for nearly 6 weeks.  If I could …

Control it.  I think I thought I could take charge of this time and have the surgery go just the way I wanted.  But, despite a wonderful day yesterday (Widget preschooled successfully, I went back to yoga, Little Bear was his delightful self), and an even better one today (can you say FOUR hour playdate?  Oh, it was wonderful.  We even took the kids for a hike in the woods!), I’m not really all better yet.

I’ve been getting in daily exercise.  I’ve been doing my own chores.  I’ve even gone out with friends and made a Target run.  I’ve not been slacking … but today, after playdate and making lunch and putting the boys down for naps, I just collapsed.  I was soooooooooo tired.

And I forget that I’m just 2 weeks out from my last chemo treatment.  I suppose I shouldn’t be ALL better yet.  But I sure would like to be.  I want to be strong again.

That’s today’s reason for looking forward to surgery:

– Because I want to feel strong again.  That means getting rid of the cancer, the tumor, and the breast, and getting back to life.



30 Responses to Thoughts

  1. Heather says:

    Susan you don’t know me, and I only know you from your blog, but I am checking on you daily and counting the days until your surgery. Sending you love and strength and all the well-wishes in the world.

  2. but it’s also important to be well-rested before surgery, just as important, i’d think.

    only twelve days!

  3. Good point, slouching mom.

    Here with you whymommy, as always.

  4. lawyermama says:

    Don’t over do it, babe. Slouchy is right. You need to be rested. But I know you’ll be healthy and strong again soon. ((hugs))

    Twelve days!

  5. MammaLoves says:

    You just rest up and enjoy your break. You’ve had enough to worry about.

  6. christine says:

    rest up, up. wow, 12 days! hang int here and take care of yourself.

  7. MummyCha says:

    You should not see yourself as “still sick.” There is nothing surprising in your feeling tired, especially after going on a hike with kids, chores, exercise, grocery shopping, and taking care of a toddler and a baby. I know a lot of people who are tired just at the thought of daily exercise…
    Just enjoy the next twelve days with your family, rest, and think about all you will be able to do in a few weeks
    Best Wishes

  8. Stimey says:

    Yeah, you should have seen me at about 2:30 today. I wanted to take to my bed and nap. Really badly. Life is tiring. And your body is still working so hard to heal you. It’s totally natural to be tired.

    And if you’re still this strong now, imagine how you’re going to feel in two months!

  9. Ally says:

    Sweet Susan, I just have to say, from reading what you do with each of your days, you ought to be tired. It seems you have the energy of the rest of us combined. Truly. So rest easy, friend, and allow yourself to be still when it feels good to you. XOXOX

  10. Kimberly says:

    Sounds like a wonderful day! Take care of you. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.

  11. You know what? That was the most inspiring post I have read in a while. You don’t see yourself as having IBC, you see yourself as a woman. With heaps of crap to do. Just a normal chick like the rest of us. You have to REMIND yourself that you have only just gone through chemo.

    Do you realise how awesome you are?

    ❤ babe.

  12. I would certainly say you’re strong. I can’t think of a better word to describe you, in fact.

    I collapse on the couch after a day like that! Its tiring, no matter what kind of physical shape and health you are in. So don’t knock yourself for being normal!!!

    You’re doing an amazing job, give yourself a break and relax. And know that there are scores of people waiting in the wings to help in any way they can, so you definitely don’t have to do it all yourself!

    Sending hugs and good wishes!

  13. Linda Lawrence says:

    Relax! You will be strong again! Many young moms who have not gone through what you have suffer from tiredness and weakness. Don’t become discouraged!!! You are going to make it! Remember, you will make it one day at a time! It is ok if everything does not get done!

    Love ya,

    Aunt Linda

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  14. Debbie says:

    Hi we don’t know each other, but I thought I’d just say that my mom had/has breast cancer and found that it did take a long time to feel strong after her last round of chemo. She had counted on it taking only a couple of weeks, as she had felt okay by that time between chemo sessions. But after the last one it took longer. No matter what, though, you’re going to be okay. My mom focused on the positive like you are doing, and I believe that has a lot to do with why she is well today. Best wishes 🙂

  15. Nancy says:

    Sounds like you’re able to do much more than you could just a short time ago. That’s a blessing, no?

    Do what you can, but allow yourself to rest too. 🙂

    p.s., I visited our old stomping grounds yesterday. Got goosebumps!

  16. canape says:

    Not just chemo. Bed rest too, remember? You have had a tough past 18 months (at least) and your body is going to need time to get strong again.

    You are stronger. That is important. You don’t have to be as strong as you once were right away.

    You will be, just in time.


  17. nichole3 says:

    I understand your desire to have everything in order in your household. I was rather intense in my trying to get my household ready, also. It has helped– to have been a little prepared but much of my pre-surgery anxiety was a waste of time. Relax as much as you can. Your friends and loved ones will be able to help you just fine. My prayers are with you.

  18. PunditMom says:

    Even knowing you’re doing the “right” things to get ready, things can still be draining. Focus on taking care of yourself! And it was great meeting you!

  19. ~JJ! says:

    I think it’s just as difficult for the MIND to heal as the BODY!

    Give yourself time.

    Be confident in yourself and your thoughts…

    When you need support…I’m here..

  20. imstell says:

    Susan, Have you learned nothing over the last several months??? Control is the one thing you do not have. Bah! Here, Dear, is some perspective for you. I simply had my port taken out on Wednesday. A small 45 minute procedure with a light MAC sedative. I literally slept the rest of the ENTIRE DAY, woke for 3 hours to talk with Daddy-O and eat dinner, then back to bed at 8:30 pm until 6:00 am for work. And I was exhausted all day yesterday. Also, I’m embarrassed to say that I did not have my kids as the sitter kept them so I could rest. Thank Heavens.

    Put into context of 2 weeks post-chemo, a four hour play date/hike (!) and all your pre-surgical preperations… it’s a wonder you’re still standing. I do believe yoga alone would do me in! Heh!

  21. Take it easy and enjoy the time you have with your kids now, (before the pain).

    Accept help from your freinds and family, it doesn’t mean that you are can’t or that you are weak, It just means that you are human… At some point in all of our lives we have to ask for help.

    Wishing you nothing but the best.

  22. Amy says:

    Take care of yourself. Don’t overdo it. There will be plenty of time to take care of everything when you’ve had the surgery and the radiation and you’re 100% cancer free. Let other people handle the rest of it for now. It’s okay.

  23. hotfessional says:

    Well of course you want to feel better. Take it easy on yourself sweetie.

  24. Susan K says:

    Oh, don’t beat yourself up.

    I’d be ready for a nap after what you described!

    I suspect that the BEST thing, the most important thing you can do is to go into surgery healthy (i.e., no colds) and RESTED. Forget about the house (it can wait, or hire Maid Brigade or similar for a one or two or more time clean – money well spent I assure you!). Forget about crafts etc. (friends can get those for you). Forget about food – if I know your local support crew, they will keep you in brownies (oh, and maybe some healthy things too). Just rest. And buy a couple of good novels!

    Now I am doubly glad we put off this weekend. We’ll rebook – just let me know when you are ready.

  25. NoRegrets says:

    I think you might have more energy than me on one of what you call your bad days.

  26. deb says:

    Feeling crappy sucks. It must feel like it’s gone on forever, especially if you normally have a lot of energy.

    It will get better. You will better. The surgery will knock you down again but you’ll recover and one day you’ll be doing something and realize you don’t feel like shit. And that will be a good day.

    I hope it goes well. I say a prayer for you each night Susan. Hope you don’t mind. I’m a strong believer in prayer. Take care.

  27. juliepippert says:

    It stinks mightily when your body can’t keep up with your mind and your will. Stinks. Mightily. ((Susan))

    I understand all of your urges, and your disappointment.

    You still have control. What can you trim? What is important? What can you delegate?

    Hang in there. You are fabulous whether reclining on a chaise being fed grapes or accomplishing your list.

    (What? No chaise? No lovely Greek or Roman feeding you grapes? This is a terrible oversight. Must be fixed pronto. 😉 )

  28. SuzyQatHome says:

    Still sick? I think of it more as still HEALING. And heck – I can remember it taking more than 2 weeks to recover from the flu and I wasn’t coming off of 6 months of chemo preceded by birth preceded by months of bedrest! Plus you just played nursemaid to sick daddy and babies – that’ll take it out of you if your guys are anything like mine.

    I often wonder about all of us Type A need to finish the stuff on our lists people. Maybe the people who can accept (without the guilt!) the perpetually dirty laundry and the playdates that don’t involve prep time are having more fun.

    Maybe you should pencil in an hour a day for doing nothing but resting or some other physical and emotional recharging activity?

  29. Angela says:

    Honestly? Your energy inspires me. You may be feeling lower than you’d like to, but you appear to be kicking way more butt than I am currently able to…and I’m not two weeks out of chemo. You rock.

  30. whymommy says:

    Okey-dokey. I gotcha. Thanks, all. I’ll try to rest more and gripe less. I’m just so trying to live in the moment these last 2 weeks before surgery! But I see your points as well….

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