I have 2 weeks until my mastectomy. I’m really anxious but Xanax is helping with the nerves. So many of you have reached out to ask if there’s anything you can do for me during this time. I’m so lucky and thankful to have such a vast support system. I have a great job and grateful to have awesome insurance, so I’m blessed to be able to say that surgery is being covered and something I won’t have to go broke to have. Not to mention plenty of time off to recover post-surgery.
The idea of asking for help is foreign to me. I’ve been pretty independent my entire life and I don’t like to be the person who needs help. Instead, I have always liked to be the person that people come to to ask for help and want to be someone that can be counted on.
But throughout this process, I’ve tried to be better at accepting help because this is not something a person should do on their own. I don’t really need anything, but if there’s anything you want to do for me during this time, this is it:
- Send me a greeting card. I love cards and seeing my name written on colorful envelopes. I got some cards right before the last surgery and I had them around my room while I was recovering. If you send me a card, I’ll put it around my room. I’m going to be in the hospital for about 5 days so having encouraging words and pictures will make me happy. (If you need my address, message me and I’ll send it privately).
- Come see me. Speaking of the hospital, I check in around 5am on Monday, December 9 to St. David’s near the UT campus. The surgery will last about 9 hours. Then I should be in the hospital until December 14. If you have time, I’d love visitors. You can drop by just to say hi. All I ask is that you text me to make sure I’m well enough for visitors. I hate being cooped up and seeing familiar faces will make me happy. Or you can see me at my apartment after I check out. I’ll be at my place until Dec. 17.
- A long recovery. I plan to leave for SA December 17 and stay with my parents for most of my recovery. If you are in SA, then you can stop their home to see me. Again, all I ask is that you text to make sure I’m up for company. I’m going to be heavily medicated, so I need a lot of time to relax and heal, but part of this process is also being surrounded by love and positivity. So bring that with you! I’ll be in SA until the end of January so you have plenty of time to come by.
- I don’t expect anything in your card. I know it’s the holidays so you have your own needs and family to be mindful of. But if you wish to do anything, a gift card would be nice. I’ll need lots of food and supplies post-surgery. It can be for HEB, Target, Central Market, Amazon, etc. I need protein to help my body heal so I plan to consume a lot of shakes, bars, yogurt and collagen peptides to help with the process. I also need to eat very healthy and need fresh fruits, veggies and will be drinking lots of water. But I also wouldn’t turn away Chipotle, Tiff’s Treats or chocolate cake 😉
- Post something for me on social media. On Sunday, Dec. 8, if you want, put a post on social media and tag me in it so I can see it before I go into surgery. (You know how much I love my Insta stories!) It can be a picture of us together, a meme, funny gif or a positive quote. Anything to make me smile. Please add the hashtag #YougotthisJess – this has been my mantra during my journey.
- Stay in touch. I got misty eyed the other night realizing I’m going to be away from Austin, my friends, my job and my life for almost 2 months. I look forward to spending time with my family and my nephew Jacob is so excited to take care of me. But I love my life and I’m not going to be able to do the things I normally do. Even after I’m cleared by my doctor to resume normal activities, it’s going to be a long time before I feel like me again. So send me messages and stay in touch while I’m cooped up. I hope it’s really REALLY cold this winter so everyone is cooped up with me 🙂
I have a long road ahead of me after surgery and recovery. I wish I could fast forward that part but this process requires time and healing. Please know how blessed I am to have you on my side in the months ahead.