Thursday, October 17, 2013

big day

I blog, therefore I am.

I have breast cancer. I've been wondering what my body was up to. No good -- that's what. When I showed up for the mammography, I had already made out my will, doomsayer that I am, packed the boxes, burned or deleted any writing that isn't good enough for posthumous gatherings, and said my prayers.

As they moved forward with the ultrasound and proceeded straight to the in-office biopsy, I could tell they were concerned -- in a hurry to know. I could see the pictures. They drew on my breast with a blue sharpie and poked "it" five times, no six, just to make sure -- then the same for the lymph node that has been conspiring with "it" to kill me. They even left a microchip in there for proof of biopsy. So in case I get lost.... I am sore. I appreciated her directness. Having lived in and around death and disease for soososososososo long, I couldn't bear the manners, the things we say to people instead of the plain truth. I didn't need the weekend to believe I had a lump of something else. I can only tolerate denial under certain circumstances. In the end I said, "Just tell me." She said, "You're gonna need a surgeon. Start shopping." I felt like I was on Jaws. "You're gonna need a bigger boat." Indeed.

So I am. Shopping. This is day one of having cancer.

I've always judged the people who refer to their disease as "My cancer," like it was their special friend. But as I looked at the image, the dark lumpy image becoming more familiar as she moved the scope around, as she identified the boundaries of what was mine and what was other, it became personal. I felt bad for the girl. She didn't want to tell me. She didn't want to be the one to find it. "It must be hard to be the one to find these things," I said. And she pushed harder into my armpit and found the lymph node. I'm glad she found it, although at the time all I could think was, "Why is she digging around up in there?"

So, although I'm eulogizing myself well in advance, little planner that I am, and probably for no real reason, I also wonder if maybe I'll finally get the breast reduction/lift that I've always wanted -- the hard way. I am grateful for insurance and a husband who really doesn't want me to lose my ta-tas. Isn't that sweet? Personally, I can take or leave the tissue. Its the beating heart behind them I want to preserve.

Now I think I understand why my life has been unraveling: To make room for this. To make room for the fight of my life. Stay tuned, but I'm not going to make my blog pink, I promise.