The results are in. Can I have the envelope please…


Yesterday was my long awaited appointment at the Pain clinic to get the results of my MRI. Since my mastectomy surgery I have been suffering from severe nerve pain in my legs and only an MRI could show why. My surgeon “painstakingly” reviewed my scans and there it was in black and white, literally, that my L4 disk has been compromised. The disk is so compressed that the spinal fluid is being pushed out, and squishing my nerves. This causes pain to radiate down my thighs, calves and even into my feet. Mediactions haven’t helped and I haven’t been able to sleep properly for a year!

I have suffered with back problems for years and have been undergoing epidural steroid injections to deal with other issues….but this new L4 compression is new since my surgery. Whether I was banged around on the table or what…long story short, I didn’t have this issue before. Now that the surgeon can see what is causing my pain, it can be addressed and my leg pain alleviated. I am scheduled for spinal injections July 10th. Woohoo!!!

Now, I am hopeful that I can also get my insurance company to “see” that I am not making stuff up…that I have in fact been suffering for a year…and that maybe they could do what they advertise and actually pay me for the time I have been off work!!! I can’t begin to tell you how demeaning it is to be challenged and made to feel like a liar by my insurance company. It’s hard enough dealing with cancer and surgeries and constant pain without someone refusing to believe you and support you.

After my appointment I went home to arrange my schedule for my upcoming spinal injections and my phone rang.

UNKNOWN #….. Hmmmm.

“Patti speaking,” I answered.

“Oh hello Patti, this is Dr. A’s office calling. We’ve had a cancellation and we now have you scheduled for your breast reconstruction surgery July 4th. Is that ok?”

Holy sh#t. I didn’t think I would be able to have this surgery for months and months…as that’s what I was told.

“YES, I want the surgery! Wow, what a surprise. Thank you.”

“Great, I will schedule you. I need to call you back with a pre-op appointment date and a confirmation time for your surgery on the 4th. It’s all going to be tight, but we will figure it out.”

And with that, I hung up the phone and took a minute to process what just happened. I am thrilled that I can get this surgery over with and have fingers and toes crossed that it will be the last. Last summer was spent at home recovering from my mastectomy. I missed the summer basically and thought that this year would be better. Looks like at least July will be a write off. Oh well, there will be other July’s. I’d trade a sunny month for this surgery anytime! NOW…to reschedule what I just rescheduled. It never rains it pours. I took a deep breath and started making calls. The pain clinic, who have been wonderful through this whole process, were able to move my spinal injections to next week. There needs to be at least 7 days in between my injections and going under anaesthetic. I will injections next Wednesday and the surgery the following Thursday. Seven days and a tight squeeze.  My pre-op is scheduled for 8am on July 2nd and my surgery July 4th. Talk about a whirlwind day of doctors and schedules and GRATITUDE. If the stars align, my injections could relieve my leg pain and this surgery could get me back to feeling normal….at at least what MY “normal” is now.

As this ain’t my first rodeo, I know what to expect with the surgery. I have a list of things I will need to do in order to prepare for the recovery. As much as I am not looking forward to be sliced open again and all that comes with it, I am looking forward to healing and moving forward. I’m not sure if I will ever be able to fully accept my new and less improved body. It still shocks me when I look at myself….BUT I can at least I can proudly say that my scars are proof that I am still here. I have the scars of a warrior. Someone who has been through the battle and survived. And given the choice between “breasts” and a cancer free body, I will take the pain, the anguish and the scars in order to proudly claim my victory over cancer.


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President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.

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