Today marks two weeks, two weeks since the diagnosis came back cancerous. I feel like I’ve been dealing with this for three years. Two weeks. Shit.
And it has been one week since I retired from work, one week since surgery.
So much has happened in such a short time that it really does feel like a lot more time has passed. This situation feels like a time warp. Everyone else is continuing on with the usual but things for me have slowed to molasses. All of my high speed energy channeled into work and puppy raising and household life and adventuring in Maui has come to a very slow lava flow. Every day feels longer than before but it’s because I have been forced to slow down and look at it. Admittedly, sometimes I take my meds just for the sheer fun feeling of mellowness (I never did enough drugs growing up, I really missed the boat on that, too good of a kid I guess!). Technically, I could just not take them and deal with the post-surgery discomfort, but when in Rome…
If I had tried to juggle work and dealing with my health issues, I know I would just be trying to do too much. I need to be completely available to kicking this thing’s ass (a phrase which many of you have embraced, you little potty mouths!), which means I need to make phone calls and take phone calls, and tell everyone that yes that appointment works for me (what else do I have to do?!). I’ve had time to spoil my dog, read, open a lot of cards and write a lot of thank you notes. I’ve been reading a book that I had picked up before this whole debacle as something Sean and I might like and many of you have heard of (since I first heard about this from Greg Hermann at Ocean Institute) about a man who is going to die from cancer and wants to give his last lecture…
He has this lecture and a book I’m almost done with (no, I can’t send it to you; I think mom has dibs). I’ve been spending a lot of time with family, mom and dad for now and brothers coming on pre-planned vacations in April. Time is all we have, right?
I’ve been spending time with friends and a very active social calendar, something I’m usually too exhausted from working to engage in. The only unfortunate thing is that I can’t go in the ocean. Irony of ironies: I have free time in a beautiful tropical environment but I can’t go in the ocean! Boo.
And to the news we’ve all been waiting for: the fate of the evil right boob. I have opted for….
Option D (but not size D): Mastectomy with reconstructive surgery. Get ’em out, get ’em in. That’s right, I’m getting a new boob!
I had told Sean when we went to the Doctor for my very first decision–lumpectomy or mastectomy–that I wanted to try a lumpectomy to be as sparing of my body as possible. The warning had been that they may not get a clean margin and my rationale was, let’s try it, I don’t have a lot to give up and if they don’t get it all, then I will be ready to give up righty. And well, righty came back with dirty margins (that must be the scientific term if clean margins is the opposite); so it’s time for righty to vacate the premises. She’s holding on to precancerous cells and we all know what the enemy can do. We’ll cut losses and get a new boob out of the deal.
Having options is very important to me especially as it relates to options in creating a family. Lefty gets to stay, as is, for now. And maybe post a few children, years down the road, when it’s headed south anyway, lefty will probably get refitted and revamped. It didn’t do anything wrong yet, so it can stay. Even if I have to face the vanity factor again, but this time of having boobs of differing materials.
I was excited about cancer not spreading but I was so consumed by the fact that I had to make another decision that inevitably would lead to another, more scarring surgery, that it was all I could think of. Now that the decision has been made, I feel less stagnant and that the train is moving forward again. Because, frankly, I don’t have time for this shit. I have all the actual time in the world but I don’t have the patience for stagnation. I like to be moving, doing, thinking, planning, working, planning on working?, but always living! If I sit back and face the time warp, yeah, we’ve done a lot with this beast called cancer in two weeks but it’s still two weeks plus that the worry and thinking has aged me more than two weeks and its two weeks of inconvenience.
Don’t worry, I’m still learning through all of this and I recognize that it’s not all evil but has a lot of good hidden in it. The best good has been the yous out there, so thank you for that.