A Surprise, Part Two

Hi again. This is Part Two of the “A Surprise” post from a few days ago. So I’m going to bore you to pieces with my breast cancer update….you have been warned.

This past Monday,  I met with more doctors than I have seen in five years. Evidently this is the new cancer plan; get everyone involved in the treatment in one room to explain the treatment options.

Evidently, the pathology on my April 17 biopsy was reviewed again, and another “suspicious” area showed up. This means a second biopsy. (If you read my first post, you will know how thrilled I am to hear that.) It hasn’t been scheduled yet, but already the Crankee Yankee is swearing up and down that ‘damn the cost, you’re going to be out cold for this one!’

Be that as it may. The long and the short of it is this: should this biopsy be positive for cancer, this means a lumpectomy, followed by radiation, followed by a course of Tamoxifan. Or I can just cut to the chase (bad pun, I know) and have the mastectomy.

Let me say right here: I could care less about being one boob short. (In fact, maybe it weighs 20 pounds and how about that for quick weight loss?) I watched my mom go through two mastectomies, 10 years apart, with grace and good humor. In fact, once she was able to wear regular clothes again after the last one, the first thing she did was to check herself out from all angles the mirror. I tensed up, dreading what she’d say.

Here is what she did say: “Well, hell–look at how cute I look without boobs! I look 20 years younger without those damn droopy things!” And then we laughed our heads off. In fact, her boobless-ness is a boon when trying to get a photo of the Crankee Yankee, who usually scowls when he knows a picture is being taken. To this day, all she has to do is to flash him her prosthesis-filled bra and he is helpless with laughter. He, like me, lived with his mom having had a mastectomy when he was still living at home.

Knowing this and knowing him, I am confident he will love me just as much or more one-boobed rather than two-boobed. As a matter of fact, I know it with all my heart.

But back to the biopsy. Yes, I am scared. Yes, I am angry. And I am downright ashamed of how often I seem to just lose it these days. But through it all I know that this; ductal carcinoma in situ, is by no means a death sentence. It could be so much worse. Of course like the fool I am, I worry about the cost of all this. It makes me think of that old Jack Benny routine where the thief holds him up at gunpoint and yells, “Your money or your life!”

And Benny stands there in his classic stance; left arm crossed with his right elbow resting on his left hand, right hand on his cheek. The thief again hollers, “Your money or your life!” Benny yells back at him, “I’m thinking it over!”

I realize that the cost of my life is worth the money, but sheesh—this is really going to set us back. So, I’m going to do what I always do in a case like this: put my prayers and good intention out to the Universe. And you know what? Miracles happen. I’ll keep you posted.

So why am I writing about this? I need to write about it to help me get through it. But most of all, I hope that someone who reads this and is going through it may feel less alone. (And if you are out there, I’m listening. Let’s hang on together.)


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