Today was busy. I began by announcing my BC on Facebook. I went back and forth about whether or not to do this, mostly because it just seemed tacky. But, I really do want to educate people about BRCA and HBOC, and Facebook is an easy way to do it. Already many of my friends have posted words of support, but more importantly they’ve shared the information on their own Facebook profiles, along with a link to FORCE and my fundraising page (which has amazingly reached 60% of my goal in only a week!).
I spent the rest of the morning drafting an advanced directive (DNR). What a sad thing to do. I cried the whole time I was in the shower this morning just thinking about what it should say. I printed a draft to bring to my PCP appt later in the afternoon.
To reward myself for a miserable morning, I headed out pajama shopping. Much more success this morning at a different Target (after stops at TJ Max and Marshall’s). I got three pairs of button down pjs that were more money than I wanted to spend, but I also got a fuzzy lined robe for $6! I keep imagining I’m going to be freezing in the hospital (probably because we’re in the middle of some kind of Arctic freeze around here). Unfortunately, I brought them home and they don’t fit. I was really wasn’t sure what size to get. I mean, I’m going to be a bit smaller, but not so much smaller. And I will be swollen, so I won’t want any clothes that are going to be too tight. So I guessed at a size that looked about right, and I guessed wrong. They will go back tomorrow and the quest will continue.
While out shopping, I spoke to a reporter about my story. Several years ago, I was interviewed for a local newspaper about my BRCA status: here is the story. When I was diagnosed with BC earlier in the month, I contacted the reporter to see if she’d be willing to do a follow-up piece. I want to spread the word about early detection and this is a good way to do it. She was very interested, and in fact was already working on a piece about a panel on HBOC that will be happening next week at the synagogue where my son goes to school (I was planning to attend, but I’ll probably still be in bed at that point). Anyway, the reporter called me while I was out shopping. It felt good to be able to give her lots of information about BRCA and I hope the article helps to spread the word around our primarily Jewish community.
Later in the afternoon, I met with my PCP to have my pre-op paperwork signed. While in the waiting room, I looked at pictures of post DIEP procedures to get an idea of what I might look like. I am a small framed person, but I am quite overweight. So I know I’m not going to have a completely flat belly when this is over. I’ll also still have my wide ass and flabby arms to deal with. But I found this picture and I think it accurately portrays what I look like now, along with what I might look like later.
Because I have body dysmorphic disorder, it’s hard for me to tell if this accurately represents what I look like (I’d just post pictures of myself, but I know my husband would prefer I not put my breasts on the internet, and I respect that). I showed this picture to my PCP, and she said that it mostly does look like my body (although my current breasts are symmetrical, unlike this faceless woman above). My breasts should be smaller than hers too when the surgery is over – I’ve asked to go from a DD to a C cup.
My PCP also says I’m good to go for surgery. She also mentioned that she had breast cancer three years ago, and she had implant reconstruction. She told me about her nipple tattooing and asked if I wanted to see. I had to admit, I did! The tattoos were really realistic looking. She did have to go to Baltimore to get them – apparently, she met with Dr Gimbel too, and he said no one around here does a great job. Guess I’ll deal with that down the line. I also asked her to look at my Advanced Directive (DNR) draft, and she helped me to clarify some of the medical information I included that didn’t really make sense.
So, a busy day. Four more days to get ready. I’m also going to start listening to the pre-surgery guided imagery mp3s I downloaded, as recommended by my therapist. While a major part of me says I need to go-go-go for the next few days and get lots done, another part says I need to spend some time relaxing and focusing my energy on keeping my body well and preparing for healing.