Thursday, December 11, 2014

How My Mastectomy Has Affected Me

A "Get Well Soon" plant from my parents.
It was waiting for me when I arrived home after surgery.


It was December 11, 2012 - two years ago today. David and I woke up that chilly morning, left our children with my mom, and headed to the hospital where I had a life-altering surgery to remove my right breast. I honestly don't remember much of that day, and I wish I had written out my thoughts on it, but I guess I didn't feel the need to write about it at that time. Or, maybe I just didn't want to face it, the idea of losing a breast.

As I think back now, I do remember I had a mixture of feelings that are hard to put into words. For the most part, I was just thinking about what was best for my health. I wanted the cancer out, and losing a breast didn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. But, I also remember being very concerned about what my husband would think. Of course, he told me he was only concerned about my health, but I still wondered how he would handle the loss. He, in turn, was wondering how I would handle the loss.

To be honest, there was an adjustment period, and I would be lying if I said it hasn't affected me. After all, the surgery has changed the appearance of my body, there's no doubt about that! And, yes, there were times when it made me feel like less of a woman, I will admit it. But, along with the adjustment process, I have also experienced some positive changes. Internal rather than external. Let me share with you what I've discovered since my surgery:

  • It has caused me to try and eat healthier and to exercise. I'm still struggling with this, but I'm trying.
  • It allowed me to feel the love of others which was poured out on me and my family during the recovery process. 
  • It has given me insight into the needs of those who are recovering from surgery or illness. 
  • It has caused me to sympathize more with others who have battled, or are currently battling cancer of any kind.
  • It has helped give me more confidence in who I am as a person.
  • It has made me realize there are more important things in life than the loss of a body part. 
  • It has helped me to feel closer to my husband, who has never said anything negative about the way I look. In fact, he still says I am beautiful.
  • It has made me re-evaluate my life and focus on the the truly important things. 
  • It has made me stronger in my walk with the Lord.

So, it's all good! I honestly have no regrets. I know I do not have a perfect body. (That would be the case even without having a mastectomy!) But, I am comforted in knowing my God is continually working in me and, hopefully, through me, until that day when I will be made perfect in heaven.


Philippians 3:12-14 - Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

8 comments:

  1. I have the 2 best daughters in the world. Both have been through hard time. Both have displayed their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Both I believe understand Romans 6:1-14.
    dad

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  2. Cancer brings us to our knees and a place of brokenness where we reach out to our God and receive His limitless grace. God uses these difficult times in our lives as the venue to overwhelm us with His strength, His love and His peace. So glad to hear that the cancer is two years in your rear view window. Keep looking forward and up with confidence!

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    1. Its good to meet another breast cancer survivor. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Thank you for sharing. The things we know in our heads do take time to travel to our "knowing", don't they? God bless you with grace, peace and joy as you continue on!

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  4. I know it is easy for me to say without breast cancer that I would have no problem going through a mastectomy if I ended up getting breast cancer but I want to believe I would never let any body part define who I am. Having the loving support of your spouse and other family/friends, though, is so important to help get you through whatever feeling of loss you may experience. Sounds like you are definitely blessed in that category. Wishing you great health moving forward...thanks for sharing via #Blogelina

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