Health and illness
I think that most of us take our physical and probably emotional health for granted. Especially if you have had very little cause to do otherwise. I know I have.
Even though I have been a nurse for over 30 years, some of them looking after people who are very sick or dying. Even though my dad died 4 years ago this week and I cared for him at the end. I have taken my health for granted.
Unfortunately I can no longer do that. A week ago I received news that the biopsy taken earlier in the month was malignant. Today we have been to see the breast surgeon and specialist nurse. I now know the type of cancer – invasive lobular breast cancer and stage; 2. It is estimated to be 3cm, but with this type of cancer it is difficult to estimate size even with ultrasound. So in the next few days I will have an MRI scan. Next month I will have surgery, hopefully a lumpectomy of the tumour is no bigger than 3cm.
It is very difficult to think about the healing process right now. I am just moving from diagnosis to decision-making into the treatment phase of this condition. But what I can see is that I need to consider my whole self, physical and emotional in order that I will heal completely. My emotions are pretty mixed up. I feel annoyed that this has happened right now, just when we are ready to enjoy life. On the other hand, I am glad there is no work to deal with as I don’t think I could manage that kind of stress. I feel sad that I can’t really plan stuff to do at the moment, but will now have to take every day / week as it comes. Treatment won’t end with the surgery. Then there is my body image, something I wrote about last week. I have always been proud of my breasts, and Master absolutely loves them. There is a possibility that I will need a mastectomy, though this will also include reconstruction surgery. Whatever happens though, my body will look and feel different.
Healing for me while all of this is going on will be about continuing to do the things we enjoy. I can see that doing normal things like going to concerts and films, seeing friends and family will be vital. Time too, spent relaxing, just being together, reading, watching tv, sewing and of course blogging. I also want to try to lose this extra weight I am carrying and take some exercise.
Health and healing has taken on a new meaning for me, but I will be concentrating on the parts of it that I can control and leave the rest to the health professionals.