A Week Out

One week ago, I noticed a rash on my breast the day after experiencing stabbing pains in the same. And so my life has taken an unexpected turn, one where nothing will be the same again. And that’s quite a thing.

Four days of biopsies, needle aspirations, mammograms (never a good thing when they ask you to return to the room 3 more times for different shots), and ultrasounds. And the verdict: invasive ductal carcinoma grade 2-3, with some presentation that looks like inflammatory breast cancer. Fuck.

The radiologist said the cancer looks like coral growing up my milk duct. I have to say, if I have to have cancer, I like that picture. I love snorkeling and I love coral. I think I’ll write a fairy tale about a goddess who saves the coral reefs with the coral that bursts from her breasts.

Telling people is hard, particularly your kids. I was watching Chef’s Table where the Buddhist nun chef, Jeong Kwan, talked about her mom dying when she was 17, and deciding then and there she would never have children so they would never have to go through that. A piece of me understands that. But luckily for me, it’s too late :). They didn’t, however, volunteer for this particular trip and that makes me feel bad.

“Fighting this, beating this…” these are my cells inside my breast. They are not my enemy, my breast is not my enemy, they are my children. I am so thankful to my LB (left breast) for bringing my attention to this situation through pain, and then the next day, because I had already filed that pain in “well that was weird”, giving me a rash to remind me. I am choosing unconditional love for these recalcitrant toddler cells, and as anyone who knows me will recognize, authoritative parenting. Setting boundaries, providing healthy food that will be tried, the same bedtime every night, taking your medicine, and no cable.

We all know (thank you Hillary), it takes a village. I would be happy to have you be a part of mine in whatever way you can; from holding my non-existent hair back when I am throwing up, to texting (NO SAD EMOJIS), to funny memes, to suggestions for books, to just bathing these toddlers in love and white light.

Wish me luck! Or as Martha said (and Rog is pissed he didn’t think of first) “Breast of luck!”

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3 thoughts on “A Week Out

  1. OK, so here’s a good read – just hard to put down – set in Ireland – kind of light and heavy and funny and sad and very human at the same time…. might get your mind off things just a bit… The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne. xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your approach is so genuine, funny, healthy and … very, very wise. If anyone can bring those toddlers around, you will, Mary. I remember reading some years ago about a study that correlated cancer outcomes with attitudes towards it, and the people who fought their diagnosis as if it was a pitched were NOT found to have the most success in achieving remission, while those who accepted and made peace with their cancer did. You seem to already know this instinctively, Mary, and I wish you much love and support on your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

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