I met with my rheumatologist yesterday. All is quiet on the lupus front. Good. Blood work and urine. The usual poking and prodding.
I’m sure she didn’t even want to see my boobs but I said “So, you want to see them?”
She said “Sure” and I flashed her.
It seems to be the thing I do lately. Show everyone. A friend came over with dinner yesterday afternoon and she was here for a while when Finn said “Mom…show her your breasts.”
The really funny part is I already had.
They just don’t feel like part of my body. I can’t feel anything so why would I care if someone saw them? Peter asked if I was going to post pictures of them on my blog and I debated it. He laughed out loud at the fact that I debated it. I’m not doing it.
Seriously though, they don’t feel like they are mine.
You know what breaks my heart though? Today Finn asked if he could sit in my lap. I nodded, feeling brave and bracing myself for his wiggling, boyish ways. Plus, he hasn’t been in my lap since surgery, more than 2 weeks ago. He climbed into my lap carefully and sweetly.
I could not feel his body against my chest. At all.
The realization left me sort of panicked for a second.
I leaned in and nuzzled his neck and hair and ears to feel close to him. It was one of those quick, dark moments that sneaks up on me about all of this breast cancer business. It made me terribly sad.
So, I chose instead to change directions and focus on all of the positives. That’s all I can do.
While at the rheumatologist, she tried to persuade me to do Race for the Cure this weekend and go to the survivor’s tent. She kept saying “It’ll be really powerful and there is a free breakfast and you can share your story and you get a pink survivor t-shirt.”
Me being me I said “How do they know you’re really a survivor?” Already thinking that perhaps this is yet another opportunity for me to flash people.
She just stared at me looking really horrified. “Who would lie???”
In my head I’m thinking “People are assholes, lady. And I’m sure someone would lie to get a free breakfast and a free t-shirt.”
But that isn’t the point. The point is she was really reeeeallllly insistent on trying to get me to go.
I don’t want to go. I’m tired and not supposed to overexert myself.
And as far as the powerful sharing?
I do not define myself as a breast cancer survivor.
I don’t know that I ever will.
I don’t define myself as a blue eyed person or a mother or sister or wife or friend or person with lupus or person with allergies or person who hates cruises so why would I suddenly define myself by this? This is just another thing that has happened in my life. This is not me.
I am not, and I mean this with every sincere bone in my body, making fun of people who DO define themselves by their cancer. Many people need that and it makes them strong and I support that.
I’m just saying, I don’t have a need for that type of support. And it’s weird to have people assume that’s what I want or need. It’s like having a membership to a club that you didn’t want to join, forced upon you. People are SHOCKED that I’m not high tailing it to the survivor’s tent to tell my tale of woe.
Anyway….just something I have been ruminating about. (super secret interesting fact: my mom feels similarly. Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.)
If you do the walk and were thinking of putting my name on your back, by all means DO IT! I love the idea of walking in honor or memory of someone. It’s just all of the other stuff I’m not terribly interested in.
Peter and I met with my oncologist today, who is a woman also(WOO HOO for women doctors!! The only one who isn’t is my plastic surgeon. I’ll let him live. ) and she went over all of the information so patiently with me. I don’t know if I have shared that the original .7mm mass, which was discovered during a biopsy, was actually 3mm once they opened me up during surgery. This is still SO small but it’s bigger than they originally thought. The reason they didn’t detect the entire tumor is that young breast tissue is VERY dense and it is very difficult to detect cancer through it. All of the docs are very pleased they detected this so early. As am I, of course. My choice of a bi-lateral mastectomy was validated by Dr. K, which made me feel calm and in control.
At one point, she said “You are cured.”
I never thought I would every hear someone say those words to me. It was very cool. No chemo. No radiation. No Tamoxifen. Nada. She just wants to see me in 6 months and then do MRIs once a year to be completely proactive about returning breast cancer. There is a 3-5% chance of recurrence.
I meet with the plastic surgeon, Dr. B. tomorrow for another saline fill. Ugh. I’m so dreading it. In my head, I keep having these pretend fights with him. Blech. I feel like I look like Dolly Parton already and they want to put MORE in? Oy.
* artwork by Rachelle. I have this magnet on my refrigerator.