Accepting A ” Breast Cancer” Diagnosis

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During my 1st meeting with Dr. Cheng, my surgeon, I was feeling overwhelmed as she explained what kind of cancer I had and what procedures I needed. After 3 1/2 hours of Dr. Cheng going over every detail,  My heart was broken and I was very confused. I wanted my husband to wrap his arms around me and say “Together we will beat this.” But he didn’t.  He just looked at me. I could tell he was sad and confused as well. Before we left the surgeon’s office I had scheduled my surgery for the following Friday. With one week to educate my self on breast cancer and get my sons on board for the big day.

They would remove my tumor, a “lumpectomy,”  on January 19th, 2018 at 10:00 AM Danbury Hospital. Every day I was busy with doctor appointments, MRI’s etc. My head was swimming with anticipation. I felt like I needed to treat myself. So I just did that! I went to the mall and found, on sale, a pair of beautiful colorful silk PJ’s with a button down top and a new bra without wires for comfort after surgery. I wanted to feel pretty in my new PJ’S.

In my work, I have found it is important to take care of yourself and not expect others to. Other people don’t know what you need and they don’t know what to do for someone going through something like this. On the day of the surgery, I had my best friend cook dinner for when we returned. I put on my silk Pajama and off we went, my husband the driving, to the surgical center. When we arrived, I started to feel more confident and less scared.

While they were prepping me for surgery I was told that I was going to have a mercury shot into my left breast.  This was a surprise to me I thought I had read everything but “oops!” I missed this one. They explained more of the procedure and the nerves started coming back so I needed something to calm them. I asked for my cell phone and started listening to Bob Marley’s music.  I find “Everyone Things Going To Alright” and ” Three Little Birds” calming and reassuring. As I lied on the table waiting for the shot, I asked could I play my son’s music and they said YES! and then my phone rang and it was my son Chase calling ask if I was okay.  It was comforting to me to hear my sons.

Hours past, waiting for all the preparation to be complete. By noon I was greed by Dr. Cheng. Together we walked down the hall to the operating room. I was met by several young doctors as I gave the hospital permission to use this operation for training. I was asked a ton of questions and then sent off to sleep.

I awoke 5 1/2 hours later to a clock in front of me staring 6:25 PM. I couldn’t believe it was over. The nurse said yes and you’re a success! The tumor was gone along with 3 lymph nodes.    Shortly after that, I was wheeled into a room I checked into in the morning and was fed tea and crackers. I got dressed in my beautiful silk pajamas and my new bra. My husband walked in the room with flowers and hugged me. He said Chase has called 20 times and he was the last person in the waiting room. He was worried but met with Dr Cheng shortly after she finished with me. When we got home we were greeted by a friend and Chase and my daughter-in-law. I was tired but it was a successful day.  After dinner, I went directly off to bed and a new chapter in life. My beauty tip that night was pampering myself with a full body massage before surgery and facial. I also drank cucumber water before the surgery to prevent skin damage due to the drugs in my system and after to help wash them out.

Candee CaldwellAccepting A ” Breast Cancer” Diagnosis