Saturday, September 14, 2013

Thank You!

I'm in hermit-mode right now but I must write to tell you how exceedingly grateful we are to have received your wonderful comments on my last post.

My parents have read all of your encouraging words many times and are really floored by your generosity in taking time and effort to keep us in your thoughts and prayers. We are confident these prayers are like doses of magic, designed to promote healing and restoration of balance.

My mother's operation was yesterday and how we're waiting for pathology results, to determine next steps. That info will likely not be available until next week - perhaps by the time I arrive in North Carolina to spend some quality and fun time.

Yeah, it stands to reason that cancer will be semi-regular downer (to put it mildly), hovering at the margins of our pleasant visit, and over the next few months, but now we must find a way to functionally integrate concern into daily life (something to savor and bless under all circumstances).

I don't really know how I feel about all of this right now. In some moments I am utterly my regular self. In others manically positive. Occasionally, and I'd be dishonest to omit this, I am afraid and sad. It overcomes me, seeps in at the margins of my consciousness. It's like a flood that comes out of nowhere. Mercifully, I have lots of metaphoric mops. And a metaphoric contractor to shore up the foundation. And then normal re-emerges.

I'll leave you with this: I went for my own check up yesterday - an exceptionally friendly and efficient experience. Hilariously, the technician told me about the "modesty divide" - how some women will try to find ways to wear a blue gown even as they're having a mammogram while still others are entirely non-plussed. She said this as I whipped off my clothes like Houdini. I mean, I don't have time to wait for someone to leave the room and become otherwise occupied while I take off my shirt and bra! Note: Wear your most gorgeous bra (though not one that's delicate if you're having ultrasound, cuz you'll have so much of that lubricant shit to wipe off, you don't want to risk any staining). Why not undress to impress, I say.

At any rate, to say these technicians have seen it all is an understatement. I mean, they have to smush  boobs into an x-ray machine day-in and day-out. Which I why I was entirely chuffed when my tech said, while looking at my chart: You're 43?! You're boobs look 33, max.

Yeah, I have managed to work this into every conversation I've had in the last 24 hours. And will continue to do so. And, don't lie, you would too. :-)

24 comments:

  1. I'm terrible about getting a mammogram -- I've had two all told, the last one about 5 years ago. It's on my list . . . But I wanted to say that the last time I had one was actually a wonderful experience. Perhaps/probably because I'm small of boob, I didn't find it more than uncomfortable. What struck me, though, is that it was one social space where a boob can just be a boob. It doesn't have to be covered up or hidden, it's not sexualized, it's not a food-delivery system. It's just a part of our body being checked out for health by women (at least, in my experience, the techs were all women) who have seen every possible version of the prototype. No. Judging. I grew up terribly conscious of inadequacy in the bosom department. Yes, this was overcome on most levels by a subsequent happy sex life with a man who thinks my boobage decent, by having grown my babies quite well through the work of said appendages, but that sense of being judged by an aesthetic collective social eye "the gaze" never completely disappeared. In the mammogram clinic, my boobs felt free of all that. Not sure if I was just fortunate in the clinic I chose, or if I'm just peculiar in my response (and yeah, that's possible), but I recall that comfort clearly enough five years later that . . . . hey, I really should schedule my next appointment!
    Glad to hear that you're getting your head around the new state you're living in. May you fit in as much fun and quality time as possible during your visit. And find all the support you need when those margins seep in. xoxo

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    1. What a terrific comment. You are so right in your analysis. It's just a body part, being tested! Very low-stress in that respect. I don't know if you have chosen a terrific clinic (it does sound that way) or if this is the way of things. I am really happy with my clinic too. Very efficient and friendly and without drama. You totally have to book your next appointment. I know how it goes - you just get side-tracked and a few years go by! (That happened to me too.) But just think of the peace of mind an hour will provide.

      My parents are quite fun, so I'm sure we'll have a good time. And my father is not a vegan - so I'm hopeful there will be some barbecue.

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  2. Yup, I would too. I think your ups and downs sound normal, really. It will seep in. And it does suck. So I hope that you and your age 33 boobs will hang in and best to your Mom as well. My grandmother had breast cancer in her early sixties, and lived until 90. Never another problem with it. So it's very possible, and I think the medical/cancer treatments have improved since then.

    Here's my "made my day". I'm step-mom to a 15 year old boy. And going to be 40 next birthday. We were volunteering this summer at a Shakespeare festival and (since we have the same last name) got asked if we were family..."yes". And then got asked, "oh, brother and sister?". MADE MY DAY! Liam (the 15 yr old) was mortified. But not me!!!

    I'll be thinking of you and sending good karma your way. Take care.

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    1. Oh, I love that story! Your poor step-son :-) And thank you for your great comment. xo

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  3. Well I would work into all the conversations too. I wish I had boobs that looked 43 instead of 64!

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  4. I missed your last post -- but my blessing and prayers out to your mother -- I tend to agree it seems the evidence shows that it is more curable later in life. My great aunt had it in her late 60s and she's in her late 80s now. No problem. My best friend, 55, is cured (yeah, if you can call it that) but has hard a hard time getting reconstruction -- she went in for surgery yesterday -- three years after BC. I'm praying for a successful result for her and a great result for your mom too.

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    1. Thank you so much, Pam. It was very scary when my aunt had this cancer, partly because she was so young when she got it and partly because it was at a time that treatment were far less sophisticated. And she is here and living a good life. So I do keep that in mind. I'm thinking of your friend. How did her surgery go?

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  5. I hope everything turns out well for all of you. Cancer is a bitch.

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    1. Thank you Monkey. I know that you, of all people, can speak to the veracity of cancer's bitch-ness. xo

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  6. I am long time lurker and I want you to know that I am sending your family all my good thoughts. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer the same week her sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Both survived both cancer. My aunt was 88 when she passed, from dementia. My Mother is 88 years strong and tends to forget she had cancer because it does not define her life. She is still driving, playing bridge, and going to baseball games. My hopes are that your mother's life is not defined by this experience, rather inconvenienced for a few months. Sending all good thoughts!

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    1. Sue: Thank you so much for your comment! I'm so happy that your mum and sister managed cancer so elegantly. I think you raise such a good point about what and how we define ourselves. I'm know that my mother is approaching this in such a way that it does not define her. xo

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  7. Your reaction seems completely normal and perfectly understandable to me. And congratulations on your youthful boobs :).

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    1. Seriously, I intend to tell everyone - coolness notwithstanding :-)

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  8. Your emotions are completely normal. And good on you for getting a mammogram. And even better on you for having 10-year-younger boobs! :)

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  9. I'm glad to hear things are going as well as they can be. I'm sure the wait for results will be challenging. It's hard when things are out of our control.

    And hell yeah, I would brag about young looking breasts too. I still enjoy talking about getting carded when I was 36.

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    1. Being out of control totally freakin' sucks. But getting carded at 36 is outrageously awesome.

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  10. I'm still dining out on being asked to produce ID whilst buying a bottle of brandy. On my 43rd birthday!
    Yay for looking younger than our years.
    Travel safe and enjoy your trip. Hoping for good news from the hospital. x

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    1. OMG - how did you manage that?!?! I haven't been carded since I was well younger than 30. Thanks so much for your well wishes Evie. I really appreciate it.

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  11. I understand the up and down-ness! I hope family time in NC goes well. Reading the last bit made me laugh--I'm totally a strip-off-the-gown kind of patient. Thanks for the reminders.

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    1. I mean, you have somewhere to be, right?!

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