Post Surgery #MyLeftBoob Thoughts: Please Don’t Talk About Death, My Focus is on Life

wendy hope

How am I feeling? I am feeling hopeful and looking forward to positive test results, hopefully in the very near future… a future filled with hopes, dreams and lots and lots of time with my precious family.

Photo: Alan Barry Photography.

Two days post surgery I am a little sore where the two incisions are, one on my breast where they took out the lump, and one under my arm where they took the sentinel lymph node sample they send out for testing. I had not been able to use my left arm until today, but I am hopeful and mentally strong.

I am trying to focus on the here and now, get through each hour of each day and do what I need to do to focus on my health. I am trying to keep stress levels down. And get a lot of sleep. So please don’t be offended if I can’t respond to texts or messages because I am taking a nap. All of this is exhausting and emotionally draining. Unless you have been through it yourself, it is hard to understand.

But the biggest thing that I am battling now is the constant barrage of negative thoughts and comments disguised in “well meaning” people who are sending me messages of what I “should” and “shouldn’t” do for treatment because their friend, girlfriend, mother-in-law or neighbor also went through “this.” The truth is, no they didn’t.

Each person’s journey is different. Each person’s diagnosis, body, age, fitness level, type of cancer, mental state, and stage of cancer are all different, therefore there is not a magic pill or cookie cutter treatment plan. One plan does not fit all. I need to do what the doctor tells me and what I feel is best for me.

  • I don’t want to read about Oliver Sacks’ terminal cancer. He didn’t have breast cancer. He is not 45. Terminal = death.
  • I don’t want to read inspirational quotes from ESPN anchor Stuart Scott. He died. He was 49; just 4 years older than me. He also didn’t have breast cancer.
  • I don’t want to hear which treatment you think is right for me because, no offense, you are not my doctor.

What I do love to hear is inspirational stories from people who DID kick cancer’s ass; like my 60+ year-old DJ friend Sean who kicked it not once, but TWICE! He went through 14 months of chemo and still DJ-ed over 300 events. AND he did not lose his hair. This is what I love to hear. And then to top it all off, he sends me great messages like this:

“Positive power and big love coming your way.”

“Just a quick hug and a smile for you.”

“Good morning. Hope you’re on the way UP!”

I also LOVE the tons of emails, texts, calls, dinners, flowers, cards, rides and support from a huge network of family and friends. My Mom arranged for my sisters and in-laws to cook all week so I wouldn’t have to worry. Parents and teachers from my daughter’s dance school, Gilloeghan Irish Dance, took the worry away from me getting my daughter to and from dance. My attorney James Saraceni did my will for free. My photographer Alan Barry, hair stylist Becky Roman, makeup artists Rachel Brewer and Taylor Dombroski and trainer Max Barry all gifted  their services to me for an awesome photo shoot to raise awareness for breast cancer and self exams.And then there are my PRAYER WARRIORS – John, Michele, Sherri and Jess and the elders of the churches I used to attend (and one I still attend). And so many I am probably forgetting.

THANK YOU!

What also keeps me hopeful is the support from my sister, owner of Core Nutrition for Women, who is helping with food advice and shared that one of her nutrition clients followed her holistic eating plan and his tumors disappeared.

My trainers Max and Jess are always giving me good, sensible advice on healthy eating and exercise as I follow Max’s 6-Week Bootcamp Challenge. The 6 weeks will be more like 8-10 weeks because I had a “week off” after my biopsy and another week off this week after my lumpectomy; doctor’s orders. But Max has been able to offer what foods are best and worst to eat for cancer patients (Hint: NO SUGAR!)

But still, the reality is that my mind can’t stop thinking about  a young local mother in her 30’s who had Stage 4 breast cancer and died, leaving behind her three young children. And she fought….hard. But I have to keep reminding myself that my breast cancer is only in Stage 2 and I don’t know the circumstances of her illness or treatment.  I don’t know how soon she found it or if she went to yearly mammograms like I did. I just don’t know…….

This is not a good thing to focus on. Facing the “maybes” and “what ifs” is not something I wanted to do as I filled out information for my Living Will and Last Will and Testament. Thankfully I made it through surgery and didn’t need that Living Will.  I have the will to live and a fighting spirit  so what I need to focus on is stories of LIFE and HOPE and POSITIVITY.

I need to remember the doctor’s words when he said, “We found it early and your prognosis is good.” And my surgeon when she said, “This is the most common form of cancer found in women and is highly treatable.”

I feel SO horrible for the millions who have lost the battle, many of whom I know, friends wives, friend’s parents, so many,too many. My heart goes out to you and I am so very sorry from the bottom of my heart that cancer unfairly ripped away your loved one.  BUT I can’t think about that right now. Not at this stage of my battle. Maybe that sounds selfish (?) but this is what I need to do to keep my spirits up and keep a Positive Mental Attitude.

So please forgive me if I don’t respond to your messages if they are not something that will lift me up. I don’t want to talk about death because my focus is on life. And that is why I started my awareness campaign. Please join me.

All you have to do is:
  1. Take a selfie with your clothed left boob prominently displayed
  2. Post it on Facebook, Instagram an/or Twitter, tag me @WendiPopRock and hash tag #MyLeftBoob
  3. Tag your family and friends and challenge them to do it too!

Check out #MyLeftBoob stream:

Follow Max’s Best Bootcamp:

Follow Wendi Pop Rock:

#fitness #diet #bootcamp #MBBChallenge #MBBFam @maxsbest_

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ann woodle
    Mar 02, 2015 @ 19:51:54

    I recently finished treatment for left breast cancer, at the age of 70. I had the more traditional kind and no chemo. Lean on those friends who are helpful and uplifting and save the negative ones for later. I am fortunate enough to live in Fairfax County and the breast cancer treatment here is excellent and saved any travel to a major center. My thoughts were all over the place during the early stage, after I felt the lump and then after surgery. Some of those crazy thoughts we just have to face down, but good friends, church, and prayer were my major support. I was glad to receive all the prayer support offered and then some! It did help me and I thing it helps those who pray for us. Sending you much love, strong support, and yes, prayers.

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Dumb Things You Should Never Say to a Cancer Patient – #MyLeftBoob Chronicles | Wendipoprock's Wild Ride

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