I’ve been feeling really dizzy lately. I’m trying to figure out if it’s just readjustment back from vacation (after all, lounging around for 7 days and returning to a go-go-go job would make anyone’s head spin!), if it’s anxiety, or if it’s something actually physically wrong. I have a pre-op call with the nurse tomorrow, so I’ll ask her if it doesn’t clear up by tomorrow.

Thinking it might just be anxiety, I asked my friend Steph H at Goodbye to Boobs what she felt like 9 days prior to her mastectomy. Steph says she felt Zen-like.  I’m trusting that I get there – probably around Countdown Day 1!

Having lost a week — in a good way — to vacation, I also realize I lost a week of my Type A planning. So, I decided to visit my checklist and see where I’m at 9 days before surgery. Here we go:

Liza’s Mastectomy To Do List (and status thus far)

  1. Pray (happening more often now)
  2. Run 2 Half Marathons (done!)
  3. Lose weight (never happened)
  4. Write about it honestly (despite being called “egoistic” on a newspaper site, still doing it!)
  5. Ask for help (and ye have received)
  6. Family photos (done – thank you Jess at Boston Baby Photos)
  7. Be inspired and inspire others (inspired DAILY by friends and family)
  8. Laugh more (lots of events coming up with funny friends!)
  9. Cry when I feel like it (happening whether on a checklist or not!)
  10. Learn more (thank you FORCE)
  11. Make friends with others (a newspaper article recently connected me with other BRCA women)
  12. Make friends with myself
  13. Talk about it with my children (they know it’s coming)
  14. Clean and organize the house (largest item on the checklist right now)
  15. Put away the summer clothes and get out the winter clothes (done)
  16. Make sure house things are done (calendar and schedule done)
  17. Buy cute pajamas that button in front and can hang my drains (will do)
  18. Get my hair cut, colored, and eyebrows waxed (hair done; face, not done)
  19. Get all the normal doctor’s appointments in (eye doctor, dentist, get new glasses) – urgh. never happened. no time.
  20. Get all the mastectomy doctor’s appointments in (done)
  21. Inform the kids’ teachers and school (done)
  22. Get work stuff in order and plan for my medical leave (done)
  23. Call health insurance and try to anticipate the cost (some say anywhere between $0-$2000 out of pocket, depending on insurance coverage) – done
  24. Spend pre-surgery time with the family doing something fun (done!)
  25. Buy underwear (done)
  26. Go grocery shopping and stock up on basic supplies
  27. Get legal documents in order (it’s nice having lawyer friends!)
  28. Write out the family calendar of daily activities and special events
  29. FIND GUEST BLOGGERS (I won’t be able to nor interested, possibly, in writing just after surgery… message me if you want to guest blog!)
  30. Accept that this is a no-brainer, but an all-hearter.
  31. (added): Buy pillows (recommended by post-mastectomy friends)
  32. (added): Winterize the house
  33. (added): Clean/vacuum my car
  34. (added): Still need to drive to Boston to do a few pre-op tests!
  35. (added): Go BOWLING!
  36. (added): Neilsons’ Faux Thanksgiving Celebration
  37. (added): Run 8 miles on Sunday (turned into a phlegmy 3.2 mile walk)
  38. (added): Get a massage to try and relax just before mastectomy
  39. Finalize the “house responsibilities” schedule and list

So, with 9 days left to go, the checklist has been whittled away. I still have some major things to get done, and I feel like I’m running out of time. But, I trust that I’ll find a way somehow!

What I’m trying to plan  – in the flurry of checklist and daily tasks – is some mental relaxation time. On the first day of my vacation, I woke up in the middle of the night unable to breathe. I, of course, had not packed my inhaler (which I only need to use a few times a year), and my husband had to rush to a Medical Center and pick one up for me. I’m still sleepless at night and find myself both exhausted and frantic during the day.

Is it still considered nesting when your pregnancy is a mastectomy?

Peace, love and trying to keep it together,


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  1. Steph H says:

    Thanks for the shout out, Liza. I’m one of the least relaxed people I know, so I want to make it clear how STRANGE it was for me to feel so at peace. But I was. I was also incredibly busy. My husband and I closed and moved into our first condo (which involved buying all new furniture, painting the walls, etc) three weeks before surgery. So it was a time of tumult — maybe I just got overloaded and short circuited? I’m not sure. But really, once the INEVITABLITY of it hit me, I decided, why fight it. There is peace in acceptance. You’ll get there. And you are going to kick ass. XOXO

  2. chien-chi says:

    Dear Liza,

    I know this might sound crazy and it might not for anybodyelse, but I had a friend of mine took pictures of me in sexy lungeries and birthday suit before my boob was removed. I also had a long bubble bath the night before my operation and I mourned and said goodbye one of my proud womanly attributes. However, nothing, I repeat, nothing prepared me of how I looked and felt after the surgery. You just have to give yourself time and lots of TLC to embrace that part of the journey with open heart (and empty bosom). Although my husband kept telling me my physical appearance won’t affect his desires and love for me, but my body image definately turns me off. I’m scheduled to have another reconstruction consultation session next Friday and I hope I have grown enough fat in my belly to make me a B cup again!
    Cheers, CC

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