Your Care Plan and Keeping the Faith
Here I am, a patient ready for surgery number 2. Don't really know what else to say other than let's do it! I'm having a second surgery to extend the margins of the tumour...first one was a lumpectomy. Again, yes, surgery is daunting; I'd undergone 2 surgeries in my life previous to my first breast surgery and wasn't all that nervous for them if I remember rightly. I then became a Nurse a few years ago so this time around, things were a tad different!
That, to me, was a good thing as I understood what was going on. The flip side of that is the obvious dynamic going from being the healthcare professional to the patient; that is, shifting from being confident and in control to being completely vulnerable. The nature of this surgery too was understandably generating nerves and with the previous stress of tests, waiting for results etc, I was a bit shaky. In saying that, I was looking forward to getting the muthafucka cut out!
If you're going through something similar I would say one thing...trust the people looking after you! I know it's much easier said than done but you have to have faith. I work in theatres and therefore with fellow nurses, anaesthetists and surgeons every day, and we strive to deliver the best patient care we possibly can. I have been looked after amazingly well from the very start and honestly couldn't be happier with my care :-)
As a patient, you are in charge of your care. With that in mind, make sure you understand all that you are being told so that you can make an informed decision, together with your doctors and nurses, on how best to move forward with your care. They really do know what they are doing and by working together, you can design an individualised plan best suited to you and your disease; that's their aim!
I've been catapulted into this world of hospital appointments (with nerves aplenty!), scans, various tests, results and well, cancer. I knew very little about it apart from the experiences I've had knowing and looking after people with the disease. That in itself scared me of course but was something I tried to reduce focus on as best I could so as to move forward with positivity. The determination I'd witnessed other people show when fighting the disease was also incredibly inspiring :-)
One important thing to note is that everyone is different. My cancer is not the same as someone else's and in many ways. Some require different treatments, before or after surgery, there are various different surgeries, drugs, side effects, etc, etc. It's a minefield and I only understood that when I was in it. Then there's the emotional effect it has on you but that's one for a whole separate post which is coming!
One thing I have maintained from the start, even before I knew what type I had and how serious it was or wasn't, was that my journey would be my own. I tried not to let my head run away with itself whilst thinking about the sadness I'd experienced with cancer previously but to etch my own path in all of this. I won't say that's been easy or even possible all of the time but perservering with it has helped :-)
Never underestimate the power and strength you have within, it's in there and has surprised me massively! Some days it's harder to find but it's always there so never lose faith in yourself or in whatever else moves you to generate positivity and courage...you've got this! xxx