Jackey's Journey: Part III
'Can I handle my truth?'
For five consecutive days last month, I was a "victim, not victor." Five dark days of convincing myself that cancer will defeat my spirit, soul and rob me of my body.
After a few days inpatient at the hospital, my doctor was not confident that I could keep my left foobie without the infection spreading to other parts of my body. The decision was made to remove it. As I mentally prepared for this 45 minute procedure, I filled my head with positive thoughts and affirmations. I reflected on my journey from the day I was diagnosed and gave myself mental credit for fully completing all of my chemotherapy and hormonal therapy, withstanding the six and a half weeks of daily radiation treatments, and for embracing and adopting the 'Not just survivor, but rather a thriver,' perspective. My doctor advised me before the double mastectomy that it's routine to have a couple surgeries during the reconstruction portion of this journey. I told myself,
Jackey, Rome was not built in a day and your perfect breasts will not be built with one surgery!"
-MCC Jackey Smith
I playfully recorded video of my friend Julianne, using my cell phone. She'd come to visit Charles and me. I laughed and joked with the three hospital personnel who rolled me and my hospital bed to the pre-procedure unit where I met with my operating room nurse and anesthesiologist. I smiled when my doctor came in to draw exactly where he was going to cut me open and remove the expander. I was confident that I was mentally prepared. I didn't flinch even when I was warned about a slight risk of waking up during the procedure. As soon as the anesthesiologist placed an anesthetic in my intravenous line, I kissed my husband, Charles and was rolled into surgery.