One year ago today, I underwent my bi-lateral mastectomy (aka had my boobs chopped off).
365 days ago my husband, family and I drove to the Menlo Park Surgical Center in the dark hours of the morning. I checked in around 6:30am. After filling out the requisite paperwork and meeting with my entire surgical team –we all buckled our seat belts for this crazy ride!
As I reflect back on this past year, I don’t really recall all of the pain and emotion (and trust me, there was LOTS of both — just ask my husband!). Instead, I hear all of your voices and I see all of your emails and texts telling me how strong and courageous I am. At the time, I thought to myself “What a silly thing to say. I’m no more strong or courageous than the next girl. Indeed, if the shoe were on the other foot, I guarantee you, you would also make the same choices as I without reservation. Because those are the choices you need to make in order to live. It’s not really hard or courageous to decide to live. You just do what it takes — end of story.”
Now — I feel differently. I no longer think it’s a silly thing to say to someone. Because gosh darn it — I AM GD STRONG. I dealt with surgery and reconstruction. I endured 6 months of chemo. I lost all of my hair. I made it through chemo leaking into my body by mistake. I gritted my teeth for a mid-chemo port placement. I navigated that same port becoming infected and being removed a few weeks later. I logged lots of hours in ER’s and hospitals. But in the end, I kicked cancer to the curb and I think I’m pretty frickin’ awesome for doing it!
So, thank you to each and every one of you who encouraged me along the way. Especially Paul — I wouldn’t have made it without his endless love and support (I’m not always a peach to deal with — shocking, I know…). I’m proud of us for making it through and I hope our story serves as a lighthouse in the storm for others who are newly embarking on their journey.