Friday, January 23, 2009


I met with the plastic surgeon, Gareth Edwards (Milpark Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa, +27 11 482 1484/4827). He works in tandem with Dr Carol Benn.

Now that I have decided to have the double mastectomy, I had to meet with Gareth again to discuss the surgery.

Gareth pulled out the horrible textbook again and showed me what I can expect from the post surgery
stages. I still can not believe I have to have this op done but I just do.

It was not even a year ago that I sat across from a plastic surgeon, looking at pictures of how amazing my breasts would look after implants (and they do!).

The first time I met Gareth, I did not like him, primarily because he treated me like a breast. After all the complimentary practitioners I have seen who have treated me like a whole person, I did not enjoy this.

Every time I go into Dr Carol Benn's office or Gareth's, I feel so low by the time I walk out that I feel physically weak.

Gareth did not promise any outcomes; he only gave me the worst case senario. Any postsurgery results that are better than this will be fantastic but he never promises this.

I have decided to go with the Carol/Gareth team because they do this procedure so often and thus they have a lot of experience. They are top in their field and they sit in various peer review panels.

At the end of the day, I want the best possible operation that will assure the best possible future outcome.

I can put my ego away for this reason. I must remember that they are just body mechanics and panelbeaters.

My realisation is that if they had a wonderful manner, I would become too dependent on them for my healing, and allow them to manage my healing energy.

I am grateful that I keep getting reminded that this is my journey and that surgery is just one spoke in my healing wheel.

I was ok until I walked out of Gareth's office and a lady making photocopies of DCIS info for someone else said that she could not make me copies unless Gareth said so.....blah blah.....and I just burst into tears!

Glenn had not come with me because I wanted to face Gareth on my own. In surgery it would just be Carol, Garerth, and I. I called Glenn but I could not speak I was crying so hard and all Glenn could ask was 'Where are you? Have you had an accident?'

Gareth's secretary called a lady from Busom Buddies, a breast cancer survior support group, to come and speak to me. I felt better after I had spoken to another woman but instantly got the feeling that I did not want to be part of a support group. Being a 'Cancer Survior' just does not interest me. I would rather be 'Heidi on a her own path of discovery'.

Gareth gave me the number of a woman who had had a mastectomy so I could ask her more about the op and whether I could see her chest. Also, to see a 'breast psychologist', Karen Appelbaum (+27 83 963 8145).

I drove home in the rain feeling very weak and tearful, knowing I was grieving for my body parts that would soon be cut off. All the while I knew that my sense of power has shifted over the last few weeks from the physical world to my inner world, and that this was a wonderful thing.

I had the learning that the physical world is just made of matter and it is an illusion. It will end at some point while my high self will go on. So to derive my power from the physical world is a false belief. I need to determine the physical world with my inner world, not the other way around. This is infinitely more powerful.

1 comment:

tam said...

Heidi, I am thinking of you. Sorry you had that experience with Gereth. I went to him for my skin cancer, he is extremely precise and did an excellent job, if there is any comfort in that for you. It certainly sounds as if you are on an extraordinary journey of insight and inner clarity. Love, tamara.