It’s okay to be afraid

It’s May 1st, I officially have surgery in 16 days, 21 hours, 11 mins. As my surgery date is fast approaching, I can’t help but be pretty emotional and afraid. It’s a big 8 hour surgery, and I don’t tend to do well with anesthesia. Not to mention the small fact that my body will never be the same. I’m not saying its going to be a bad change, but change in it’s self is hard. I stand looking in the mirror at my body and sometimes I cry. I cry for a lot of reasons. I cry because my eyes tend to always fall on my tummy first, which has gained quiet a bit of weight from my treatments, then they tend to drift to the discolorations on my arms and chest from the chemo toxicity rashes, my port which after its removed will be another scar, my head which is starting to grow a little peach fuzz, and then finally by breasts. I sometimes stare at them and think how crazy it is that there is something so dangerous that has grown in there, something that could potentially spread throughout my body and take my life if I hadn’t caught it, yet you can’t tell looking at them. Then I start thinking about this upcoming surgery and the surgery itself scares me, the pain from healing, the pain my plastic surgeon explains from my expanders (when we asked how many times after surgery we need to come to his office his response was “it depends on Erin’s pain tolerance. We will expand them as much as she can handle at a time), and the way my body will look afterwards. It’s a simple fact, that even with the two amazing surgeons I have, my breasts will not look like they do now. There will be scars, they will be a different size and shape, and my nipples will be 3D tattoos. The other side of this is, at the end of this I will be cancer free, a survivor, with my whole life a head of me. I’ll stare at my body in the mirror, or feel my body underneath my clothes, and I’ll feel proud, and it will be a new kind of beautiful. No, I wont have a perfect, tight, un scared 30 yr old body, but what I will have will be a whole new different kind of beautiful body. I’ll have a body that shows how hard I fought to be here, that I beat cancer, that I was strong, and brave, and my body will forever be a journal of memories from this crazy journey I am on to get where I am suppose to be. We teach our boys regularly that it’s okay to be afraid, but you have to feel that fear, and push yourself through it and do it anyway. I’ve been feeling this fear for surgery that seems to be growing the closer we get, and that’s okay. I spent a few hours crying on the couch yesterday, and it felt good. I can fear, and I can cry, but when I walk through those doors on May 18th,  tears or no tears, I will take a deep breath lay on the hospital bed, kiss my husband, and be wheeled back to surgery full of fight. How blessed am I to have the ability to fight and beat this? To come out of this on the other side with my whole life ahead of me? It’s okay to be afraid, you just have to feel that fear, and do it anyway.


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