I will be having my final reconstruction surgery, where the saline expanders will be replaced by silicone implants. Then two weeks later, on the eve of New Years Eve, I will be having the oophorectomy (ovary and fallopian tube removal). Both were scheduled with consideration to the school and calendar year. The idea being that I will start the new year healthy and without any pending surgeries.
Up until this point, my emotions and behavior in anticipation of these surgeries are pretty closely mirroring those I expressed prior to the mastectomy. For the most part, I don't think about it - particularly during the day. It is life as usual - managing kids and work. But then at night, I become a total basket case, finding it difficult to fall asleep and then when I do fall asleep, I am often waking up anxious, with my mind racing. Usually my thoughts involve how unexciting menopause sounds or how my surgeries will impact my kids. (Will the older, more sensitive one cry like she did last time? What if my younger one has a tantrum out in public and I can't simply scoop her up? Or like I did post-surgery last time, will I need to rely on strangers to help getting my little one in and out of shopping carts and swings? Have I been too cavalier about lining up help, being hopeful that recovery will go as well as it went last time?)
Fortunately, what follows the anxiety phase is the phase I am now entering. First comes nesting, which is followed by zen. I stopped working on Thursday and since have been taking care of housekeeping stuff (paying bills getting groceries, doing loads of laundry, and over all getting my house in order.) Then I move to the zen phase. I will enter Tuesday totally free of worries and care - nothing matters but ME and getting myself healthy.
Of all the wonderful and supportive things people said to me prior to the mastectomy, the one that resonated the most was "you got this". And I do. I've already been through far worse and have come out of it better and stronger. I'm doing this surrounded by love and that's everything. I'm planning a much deserved family Disney vacation for April... looking forward to the future of fairy tales, castles, and magic.