Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Options and Choice, Tic Toc

"Ya know, if you can read, you can do anything." I impressed upon my daughter as a young child this belief. I listen quietly as she passes this along to her own children. Carrie is in the very upper, possibility  the best reader in her class. Carrie and I started early. (see prior post). At three years old we held a school as part of her daily play. We sat around the coffee table and had our pretend classes. Along with learning to NOT speak unless she was given permission by holding up her hand, we studied the alphabet. We didn't over do it by staying with it for hours at a time. Short classes were held.
By the time Carrie entered kindergarten, she was almost reading. Had I known about popcorn words, I think I could have had her make the connection and the segue into full sentences. I had an "ah ha" moment when she bought home her kindergarten homework and the list of popcorn words. Those popcorn words had to be memorized. "the, and, but, or, and a whole list of them was studied every day. Within a few weeks Carrie could read a book and I was one relieved Nana.
Carrie and her siblings can do anything as they are avid readers; they read easily so they don't struggle with that part of information gathering. Being an easy reader makes comprehension of those words within their grasp.

I've seen people struggle through a paragraph trying to decipher the words and in doing that, do not comprehend what they have read.

"If you can read, you can do anything." I still sing this out as I still believe reading is a most important part of ones school life.

On that note, I'm reading. Researching and gathering information. Tic toc, it's almost time. Tomorrow I go into surgery. My choices are limited now on reconstruction. It's not that I'm hell bent on reconstruction but it's the restrictions on my options that bother me. I may not even want that option, but I would like to still have the choice.

Have I confused you? I read some more on the TRAM flap and I don't want to go there. When I read that John Hopkins no longer does them, I'm sure I don't want to go there. The complications of that surgery and the possibility of a large bulge in the abdomen from removing the muscle there to transfer it to the breast is some place I don't want to go. Removing that muscle also restricts the persons ability to lift anything over 20 lbs. That person would have to roll over onto their stomachs to just get OUT of bed. Getting up from a chair would be a struggle.  Any action  requiring stomach muscles to move would be compromised. Breasts are NOT that important.

 I read some more. And some more. There are more options opening up and the DIEP and/or fat cell reconstructions are still choices that are having good results while new procedures are in the near future.

I want to be one of those women that just "don't need" to have this done. Unfortunately I won't know that until sometime after this surgery. I feel better. It's some measure of control.

As an RN, we were trained to offer the patient as much control of their own care as possible. Some procedures were not "a choice"  so it was important to offer choices when possible. We knew body image was an important part of a patient's well being. I am curious as to how I will feel on this. I know how I feel now about "control". In this past year, I have lost most of that. Making the appointments, and taking the chemo and all the oral medications, I'm floating down a river without a paddle. I follow the directions given me without hesitation. I may not enjoy this trip but it's mandatory. "Plan B is not an option."  I can still hear my husband whispering that to me.

Tomorrow's surgery is Plan A because Plan B is not an option. 

Tic Toc, I'm ready.



  1. I hope surgery went well. It's always a concern no matter what surgery it is. Getting the right mind set is always important. It sounds like you have thought things out very well. Best of luck in your recovery.

  2. Tomorrow...I'm bracing yet...all will be as good as it can be. I have the husband and the daughter with me. Thanks Joan. I'll be back on night in the hospital!


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