Several years ago, I was given a CD by Belleruth Naparstek (you can listen to it online here) that was designed to prepare you for surgery and to help heal afterwards. I found it very relaxing, and indeed, the healing section helped tremendously with pain management after I had my knee replacement surgery.
So I’ve pulled out the CD again and have been listening to the entire thing to relax and prepare. But I’ve run into a bit of a problem.
Chapter 2 is guided imagery for surgery. It starts well, imagining you are getting ready for the surgery, that you are surrounded by strong, competent medical staff. So far so good. But then it takes you into imagining the surgery itself, and how successfully it’s going. And this just jolts me right out of any relaxation. I was fine with imagining that they were doing repair work, like a knee replacement. But for the mastectomy, this brushes right up against the fact that they are amputating a part of my body that is diseased. A very visible, cherished, friend. And although I chose the mastectomy, I believe that it is the right decision, and I am fully prepared to wake up and have it gone, I cannot imagine the surgery. They are slicing off my boob, and imagining them actually doing it is just too hard.
So I’m going to skip chapter 2 and just use the rest of the tracks, where I can imagine waking up post surgery and being positive about it, I can imagine healing and mentally chasing down any remaining cancer cells, and I can reaffirm that I am a healthy, strong person.