My Breast cancer Surgery March 2021

Insert the word FAITH .... right here... right now.

So, you've been diagnosed with breast cancer . It sucks doesn't it? Its scary as hell and the one thing you never want to hear coming your way.

I was diagnosed on January 21st 2021

in about 6 weeks it all happened. the mammogram, biopsy. bone scan and ct scan. I feel blessed although the ride was scary. Like a fast moving train that you truly felt you have no control over but to manage your stress and emotions through it. I was happy that all was being dealt with quickly. Some are not so lucky. The medical team at the breast health clinic and Foothills hospital are some of the best in the Country.

Surgery for my Segmental mastectomy ( essentially a lumpectomy ) and removing two lymph nodes as well. Left Breast. Closest to the Heart. Why do I say this..... because after following a Breast cancer support group I noticed something...... that many of these women got breast cancer in the left breast. I ask myself why and will ask the surgeon next time I see her. I am an energy healer. A Reiki master & a Hypnotherapist who specializes in Trauma and Abuse. As well as meditation and Mindfulness.

Why & how could this happen to someone so tuned into their body and mind.... well that is yet to be revealed .I asked myself the same thing when I found out. I did yoga, meditation and drank my smoothies.

Cancer..... does not discriminate and lets get real, it is very much stress and trauma related . Trauma to the body. Stress to the body , heart or soul makes you more likely to get cancer because of the bodies stress response. From August 2015 on I lost my mother to pancreatic cancer , got divorced. Got into another bad relationship . Got catapulted out of there. And then 5 years of being single and lonely and figuring out who I am post 20 year marriage. Adjusting to parent alienation form both children. Thanks to my ex. now have my son back and he sees the truth. The light. Thank you God. I pray for my daughter.

It's no wonder my body went roque and developed cancer. The surgeon said to me " Cheryl this cancer has been in your body at least 5 years. To go from a tiny cancer cell into a 1.3 cm growth and two lymph nodes . Its been there 5 years ! Well! that's when it all started to make sense.

So there I sit. Fast forward to the surgery day March 2 nd.

I arrive at the foothills center surgery time was 11;40 am. Its strange new world with Covid and Surgery.

No one can come in. You are to be dropped off and you wait on a bench in scrubs for 3 hours till your surgery time. Its day surgery , and yes even for the women who have double mastectomy ( a brutally invasive surgery that mames women daily. ) My Aunt had it done. Its a very aggressive but sometimes required approach to cancer prevention and treatment. Some women make that decision before they even know their ONCO score. That is still to be determined with me. But I was almost a triple negative. with a weak estrogen marker. This is all terminology you learn as you go through the journey .

My Aunt was HER 2 positive so that calls for drastic and extreme measures.

I am a minimalist, I learned the Art of non attachment and I believe the least invasive is best and I prefer the most natural way to deal with things being into alternative medicine. So to me if it doesn't need to be done. Don't do it!

Breast cancer surgery was scary and hard enough , never mind these brave women that have to get both removed. They truly are warriors and soldiers of strength. I commend them and pray for them.

So My Surgery time comes, I walk to the operating room ! Yes walk. That has never happened before. As I stroll down the hallway with my broken right toe ( baby toe ) insert Universe trying to slow me down here ! Another Straggler 6 feet behind me. There for ear surgery.

I ask the porter.... " is this normal protocol to walk to the surgery room ? LOL " She says yes ! At the foothills we have you walk and we are short on beds right now. I was like okay ...... still in thought and shocked.

I lay on the bed, there are about 10 people or more in the room all saying Hi , watching me as I come in . I've already had a quick pre consult and confirmation with the Surgeon , Nurse and Anesthesiologist about the procedure, which breast and any allergies.

I lay down. The Surgeon Dr, Mews a beautiful soul comforts me and rubs my shoulder being very reassuring ( insert mega gratitude here ) and the nurse as well. explaining things to me . The Anesthesiologist talks to me while he is fussing with my veins they have not been co operating last couple years with blood work. Now I know why. They are raving about my chrome colored polish and how surprised they are the pulse monitor is reading right through it. Distraction technique inserted here. I look right at him and say " Are you going to give me a shot of Heparin post op as I have a history of blood clots?"

He says nope ! We like you to walk . that's the best therapy. Induce happy drugs right here and now and Cheryl is off into a beautiful dreamy paradise like none other. For what I believe was 1.5 hour surgery.

I went to an absolutely magical place. With my now fiancé Heavens .. and yes that's his real name :)

You could say this place felt like paradise or heaven as when it was time to walk up I was like " I don't want to leave !

I remember in the waiting room before going into surgery I sat there and had a conversation with God , asking him to please let me see my Mom for while, but I would like to come back please. Well he had other plans and clearly my subconscious mind wanted to go to Heaven with my fiancé Heavens LOL!

What a trip!

Insert recovery here. I awake throwing up , 3 times from the anesthetic. I am struggling to sit up , my strong willed self. I feel better that way. So the nurse helps me sit up. I sit up and throw up some more. Feeling quite nauseated. So they give me more nausea drugs. I soon relax , lay back down somewhat propped up .... and do the next brave thing.... look down at my breasts . Yay! I still have one. And it really doesn't look much different than the other one. Not fully insight yet as I am all bandaged up.

I am happy and pleased with Dr. Mews and the surgery teams work on preserving my breast.

I start to feel a little more human and the discharge area is trying to wheel me out of there as soon as they can. Still High from the drugs and dopey. My fiancé comes and picks me up. The nurse wheels me out in a wheel chair and we go home.

He sets me up in the room. I'm hungry and starving so make soup and crackers. with some ginger ale. Yes I am well enough to do this . I eat and enjoy, take some more gravol and go lay down in bed and rest. Night time comes and he lays down in the room floor beside me as a cultural thing to show respect and faster healing . He's from Africa , so in their culture it is believed if you sleep on the floor at the bedside of someone sick , it helps them heal sooner.

I find this very sweet although I am concerned about his comfort, he' s fine . But the presence of him is reassuring. So I drift off to sleep. I wake up the next day feeling sore but not to bad. I take a good look in the mirror at my new normal with my fiancé beside me , and say well! its not that bad. Just a bit smaller and higher. He says " no more mirrors for you " and I say no way I need to see it and accept it. Its healthy. I will admit I am vain. I still want to look good.

The following day I kick into high gear, over do it, have a couple visitors, my son his fiancé and my girlfriend. And I pull my pec muscle lifting a jug of apple juice. ( Insert super women syndrome right here. ") You are not ! Super women. The following night I go to emerge as the pain in my chest is about a 9/10 and I think somethings wrong. They do all the tests and they come back negative for a heart attack.

They encourage me to increase my traumacet and I am in a nice sleep slumber all day the following day.

Sunday night roles around this is about day 5 post op and I start to get this pain in my right leg that has been bugging me on and off for months. I have an ultrasound requisition that I never got to get done so being concerned and my friend being a RN tells ne to get checked ASAP as my history with blood clots and the possibility of a blood clot post op.

I get the emergency ultrasound and the office tells me they will be sending it to my doc Stat. So I wait and wait, 6 pm roles around and no call nothing. I assume no news is good news although I know my body and this feels like a saphenous vein clot in my right leg. Its swollen and red and a slight bulge. ( Insert frustration level of asking for a shot of Heparin post op here, grrrrrr ) Not happy. I load up on Advil and Traumacet and go to bed. As I lay there I instinctively check my other leg and find a big golf ball size lump about 3 inches from my left groin. I get up and get dressed and I am like that's it I am going to emerge. Now case in point I do not like hospitals its the last place I want to go I am hurting , healing, tired and frustrated. But I go stubbornly and drive myself to the hospital with a blood clot in each leg. Why ? You ask, well because it was pointless to have my fiancé drive me when he can't come in because of Covid and will have to pick me up in a couple hours anyway. No Point!

I'm so done at this point, showing up, crying distraught worried that I won't die from the cancer but instead a blood clot. This is not the first time these legs have given me trouble. The nurse is reassuring and says I am glad you came in. Most people die days later from DVT that turn into PE's. I was not going to let that happen! Its a very common risk post surgery.

So I wait a little more than 2,5 hours and they get me into a room fairly quickly and I seen, given blood thinners and on my way home within 30 m ins of getting a room. I feel relived but in pain, at least I can go home rest and truly fully heal. I'm like no more Hospital's now for a while.

You know when you go from being the person that has always been there for everyone else and a healer to being on the other end its a hard pill to swallow and its hard to receive. Again here we are as to why this happens to so many women and especially women who thin k they are super woman.

The biggest thing for me so far through this Breast cancer Journey is learning how to receive. That's the lesson. letting it be my turn to be weak. vulnerable , needing to heal and looking at my own shit! and having to sit with it.

That's it ! That's it right there. And also trusting that God really does have your back. No matter what ... because when you have no choice but to surrender , what do you have left? FAITH ! and faith alone will see you through and trusting God's divine will in your life!

I hope I may encourage you, inspire you to trust, find humor and have faith as you may go through any challenging health journey and also to remind you ,,, that its okay to feel weak, broken and vulnerable. And its okay to just be and do nothing so you can heal. Go easy o yourself. It's your turn. Trust it . There is always a reason for everything that happens in your life.

Jerimiah 29:11:

" For I know the plans I have for you , declares the lord. Plans to prosper you not to harm you . Plans to give you hope for a future "

This verse was given to me years ago after a near death experience as I shifted from religion to spirituality . And it means even more now when I cannot see the unknown and going through a major health crisis.

God bless, stay well and check ! Your breasts.

Cheryl Tessari

New Dimensions Inc