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Mastectomy Preparation
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No woman wants to face the fact that a mastectomy might be the only solution to possibly curing an ongoing growing breast tumor. I remember the moment my doctor presented this option to me quite vividly. It was a moment where many thoughts of the future pooled into the present at one time.

Tears rolled down my cheeks as the doctor assured me that a mastectomy would be the only way to try and defeat my condition—fibro mitosis of the breast. Even though I did not have to battle a cancerous tumor, what I was dealing with was still extremely aggressive in the localized area, and it was growing quickly. Two previous surgeries had not conquered this particular growth, so I began to face the new reality of going through with a mastectomy.

The most helpful remedies for my fear of the future began by asking my doctor if he had any pictures of what a woman looks like after the surgery. Becoming acquainted with the new me seemed like a good way to prevent the shock of looking down at my scar right after the surgery.

Support of Family and Friends

The next thing I focused on was a list of people I really wanted to tell, so that they could be there for me during this difficult time. Losing a breast is a sensitive, and slightly embarrassing issue, but not having any support from family and friends would make it much worse. These people provided much comfort for me during this stressful time. I cannot imagine what it might have been like without them.

With my forcefield of mental preparation and friendly support set up, the next decision was cosmetic. I had three choices—to not do anything at all, to have reconstructive surgery, or to be fitted for a prosthesis. I was only eighteen at the time, so I felt like the decision of reconstructive surgery was right for me.

My last form of preparation for the surgery was a lot of prayer on my own and with others. I also picked out a worship song that put my condition into perspective. It is called, “You Are My King”, by Billy James Foote. The section in the song that struck me the most says, “I'm alive and well, your Spirit is within me, because you died and rose again.”

The day of my surgery I sang this song over and over. I felt a new strength in knowing that no matter what I was about to go though, Jesus would keep me “alive and well."

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By Marion Ruybalid. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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