To Be Continued…

I had a setback on April 10. I don’t know entirely what happened and, even if I did, I’m reluctant to share those details as I work to get this matter resolved. But my surgery yesterday did not happen. Bottom line, it had to do with insurance.

Since I decided I was ready for this operation, I’ve taken necessary steps to deal with the emotional and physical effects. I’ve been seeing a therapist as I care deeply about my mental well-being. I hired a nutritionist to help me have a healthy diet and worked out regularly to care for my physical side. My loved ones all played a big part, too. My parents carved time out of their lives to be here with me. My sister took time off work. I had countless gifts and cards sent to me by friends. I purchased prescriptions, comfy clothes, a special bra and other important items to help during my recovery. My niece and nephews sent cards and a gift with their mom the day I was supposed to have my surgery.

My niece and I are so close. I know how much she wanted to be there with me.

I was at the hospital hooked up to an IV getting drugs and had an Oxycodone to help me calm down. I was getting prepped and chatting with my friendly nurse Erica. Then my doctor walked in and let me know surgery was canceled. I know how hard she and her staff worked to advocate for me and I’m so grateful for that. I trust her completely and know she has my back. I cannot tell you how devastated I was. The nurse came back in to take out my IV and I was crying and talking to a friend on the phone to tell them what happened. The nurse actually started tearing up listening to my conversation.

A pretty close depiction of my reaction to the cancellation

Here’s something to know about my genetic mutation: I have an 80% chance of getting breast cancer in my lifetime. I have to lose my breasts to save my life while trying to maintain some of my identity as a woman. Since I had BRCA, I’ve suffered from severe anxiety, depression and panic attacks. To say that I am too young or that anyone knows what’s best for me is bullshit. My aunt had breast cancer at 39. I am 38. I’ve had at least three girlfriends from college diagnosed with breast cancer and one pass from leukemia in the last 5 years. Yesterday, I thought that dark cloud that has been looming over my head would finally go away. Now, it’s back and bigger than ever.

Time is precious. I want to be proactive and stay ahead of this. I don’t know how long an appeal will take but I’m working on it. I have 100% faith and confidence in both of my surgeons. I trust that what they recommend for my procedure is the best method according to standard of care and my long-term outcome. I’m very lucky to work for a company that values the mental health and well-being of its employees. I have no doubt that I have their support as I work towards an appeal.

This is a minor setback. As devastated and disappointed as I am, I believe that everything happens for a reason. There’s some higher being looking over me that intervened and protected me from something. What? I don’t know. But yesterday was not the time for my surgery. My journey is to be continued. My surgery is going to happen and I’ll do whatever it takes.

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