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Gemma’s Story: The Waiting Game Pre-surgery

27 Sep 2019 by Krystal Barter
Gemma’s Story: The Waiting Game Pre-surgery

Last week I received my official letter that I am on the waiting list for my prophylactic double mastectomy- it’ll happen within three months.
I felt excited when I opened the letter, I’m confident in my surgeons, I know I’m doing the right thing and after everything that happens in the lead up, I’m glad that it’s finally happening.

My consultation appointments are all done, I’ve met my doctors, chosen implants and the type of procedure, the decisions have all been made and now it’s just a waiting game.

I’ve made a list of everything I’ll need post-surgery and I’m trying to be as organised as possible. I’m very lucky to have such amazing people in my life- my boss’s wife Karen is a sewing queen and is making me mastectomy pillows, drain bags and belts, my aunt and partner are set to take time off work to help me in those early weeks after the procedure and my friends, family and co-workers have all offered help in some way and I feel so lucky. Today I started buying button up clothes and loose fitting shorts for after surgery and after I felt a huge wave of emotion and anxiety, it just hit me that this is actually happening.

I’m terrified. What am I doing?!?

I felt awful for the rest of the day, all my positivity went out the window and I started questioning everything.
But then I thought about my mum, I thought about the real reason why I decided to do this; it’s the knowledge that my mum would still be here if she had been gene tested before her breast cancer diagnosis. She would’ve had the preventative surgeries; I know this without any doubt at all.

In her final weeks she was terrified too but she was terrified for a different reason- she didn’t want to leave us.
I’m doing the right thing for me; I’m doing the right thing in her memory. I don’t want to leave my life or loved ones early and I’m not letting cancer even exist in my life.

My focus through all this has been the end goal.

I’m not focusing on the pain, the scars, the risks or the uncomfortable expanders or the fact that I have to take a break from my very active life to do this.

My eyes are on the prize so to speak.

When my foobs are finished and looking amazing, when I can get back to my life post surgeries without fear. I’m a pole dancer; it’s my passion and my lifeline. Taking time off pole will be hard but one little goal I’ve set for myself is that when this is all done, I will go to my pole class wearing only nipple pasties.

This might seem funny to some but to me that is the ultimate self-love act for my new foobs, I want to feel so confident in them that I can do that. And I will do it.

I’m doing the right thing, it’s not an easy thing by any means but I’m at peace with my decision, confident in my doctors and surrounded by support and that’s all I could ever ask for. I’m ready to take this on and smash it.

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