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    New Diagoned- Any advice
    justkarenc posted:
    My surgery is scheduled for 10/22 and it appears my nerves are kicking in. How did you all remain calm up to the day of your surgery?

    Thanks Karen
    vajanie responded:
    Hi Karen,
    I perfectly understand being nervous, but I believe I was so focussed on wanting the cancer gone that I just couldn't wait to get the surgery done. And a big part of it was finding the people on this discussion board. I knew no one with breast cancer except one dear friend who nonetheless disagrees with my treatment choices so it was hard to talk to her about it. When I needed comfort, I generally came here. Still do. Also for chemo, which I'm now doing.
    I also, whenever I'm facing surgery, get into preparations, fixing meals ahead, cleaning, etc. I don't pretend that I didn't wake up in a cold sweat sometimes, thinking about it, but generally kept it together.
    Remember too that there's absolutely no reason not to ask for medication if it gets overwhelming.

    Thinking of you,

    rachael67 responded:
    Karen, these are difficult days...Waiting is one of the biggest challenges we face on this journey! And should you find a way to make it pass more quickly and less stressfully, for heaven's sake, bottle it and you'll make a mint!!!

    Janie has given you some very good suggestions. Another two I would add:

    BREATHE! Yes, sounds kinda silly but we tend to freeze when we are scared and hold our breath as if that alone will make it all go away! And it only tends to make it worse! So, whenever the tension begins to build, slowly and deeply breathe in...and slowly out. Again, in and out. Continue to do this exercise until your spinning world seems to slow enough to have some sense of control albeit only a small bit!

    Secondly, try your best to focus on things which fill you with joy! (Always remember that "happy" and "joy" are only distant cousins not twins!!!! ) What fills you with such delight or awe or makes you stand in wonder? Those are the things you need to do to fill as many hours a day as you can! Children playing and giggling? Beautiful fall leaves blowing int eh wind? Puppies romping? Reading a good book? Baking? Distracting yourself by cleaning the junk drawer? (Sometimes that is really a good one as you come across lost items or things that bring back good memories! That project can stretch into a journey of hours!!)

    Okay, you get the idea. It is not easy, but amazingly the time does pass, and not to far in the future you will no longer be anticipating anything but a cancer-free, wonderful life!

    Know we will be beside you on the 22, holding your hand and making sure they take good care of you!! Please let us know how you are doing.

    Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a butterfly! Don't give up five minutes before the miracle!!
    justkarenc replied to vajanie's response:
    Thanks Janie,

    I have been thinking in order to get well I need the surgery and that makes me feel better. I also tell myself the only way to get rid of the cancer is to have the surgery. When I do get nervous I just keep repeating these things to myself. I have an appointment with my doctor on monday to get some medication to help me relax. The last time surgery was scheduled I had a mini stroke, no side effects from that and I think that could happen again a week from surgery I'm on meds for that so I am okay, but stress is something that is overwhelming at times.
    justkarenc replied to rachael67's response:
    Thank you Rachael. I will definitely do the breathing in and out. I can think about being cancer-free and the things that make me happy. I already know what those things will be.

    When I started to get anxious this is the first place I thought to go for advice. You ladies never let me down.

    I will keep you all posted on my surgery and let you know how I am doing.

    I'm working with a person on my post op garments and yesterday she mentioned to me that her office on the 20th is doing a walk and they all had to pick someone to dedicate the walk to and she chose me. It bought tears to my eyes because this is a person I just met. Another friend of mine said things to me yesterday that touched my heart. It was a very emotional day.

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