Cancer may have broken my boobie, but it can't break me...
Friday, January 25, 2013
Tonight was Maddie's Pink Out Game for basketball. Her head coach asked me to speak before the varsity game about my breast cancer journey. While I've done singing publicly, I've ever really talked about myself like this before. I've gotta admit - I kinda dug it.
Please excuse my pink linebacker appearance. Since I'm in a transition phase, let's just call this the "before" video. :)
I know, I know... I suck. I haven't posted in a while. I just haven't been interested in talking about myself. Hard to believe, I realize, since I AM such an attention whore and all.
Since my last post, I've had three saline fills in frankenboob. It's largely uneventful. I've been fortunate so far and haven't experienced any pain or discomfort. Granted, I have no feeling in frankenboob itself, but I expected that heaviness/iron bra feeling that I had shortly after surgery. Nope. Not yet. Supposedly, I'll only have a few more sessions and then we can talk surgery. It's still on point for April/May.
I feel like I'm in this weird limbo stage. I had cancer. I went through chemo and radiation and had surgery. My fatigue comes and goes but other than that, physically, I feel pretty darn close to normal. I'm very slowly losing weight, thanks to my trusty Weight Watchers app but just when I feel like I'm making some progress, I see a picture of myself and realize how far I have to go.
I'm anxious for my surgery so that I can be finished with this whole mess but I won't lie... Part of me hopes that it will be that final thing that makes me feel pretty. I will be thinner with a flat stomach and perky boobs. Will that help my badly damaged self esteem? I don't know. I'd rather hide and not draw attention to myself right now and that's something that I'm just not sure how to handle.
Cancer didn't just steal my breast - it stole my sense if self. I'm so painfully insecure now. If it was just the fact that I have one boob - I'd deal with it. Interestingly enough, that's the least of my issues. Relying on my fantastic wit and charm alone can be exhausting.
This is pathetic but I miss being checked out by the dude with the gold tooth at the McDonald's drive-thru or the pervy old man at the mall. I know I'm putting way too much emphasis on my appearance but dammit - I'm still a red-blooded woman and like to feel attractive, even if it's validation from odd characters.
I am happy with my life and love those around me more than I knew I could. I have a new outlook on life but my esteem took a nosedive. These next few months will be my ugly duckling stage. I am busting my flat little ass to get healthy and feel good - physically AND mentally. I hope to transform into a swan soon. Well, one that laughs at potty humor and can't dance and swears like a fucking sailor.
Sorry for unleashing the cry baby on your asses. I will be fine. I just wanted to feel sorry for myself. Thanks for letting me.
More of my inane-ness (I'm sure that's not even a word) soon. Promise.
Today, I had my first mammogram/ultrasound on my left breast since all the fun started on my Frankenboob side. My annual exam wasn't actually due until next month; however, I had found a small pea-sized lump.
My first reaction was annoyance. "Give me a fucking break" just may have been uttered out loud. I waited for a few days. I didn't tell anyone. Not even Matt. I know I'm prone to lumpiness and I was 99.9% sure this wasn't anything to worry about. Finally, common sense got the best of me and I sucked it up and made an appointment. I hate to feel like a hypochondriac and, while I definitely didn't want something to be wrong, I felt like I was maybe over-reacting.
The mammogram actually pinched more than usual today. I'm not sure if it's maybe because my skin around the expander isn't the same now and there's less give or what. That was a non-event otherwise and shortly thereafter, I was ushered into the ultrasound room.
This tech wasn't the most pleasant woman. Side note: I get that people have bad days but crabby people that deal with the public? No bueno. Anyway... She felt around and as soon as I looked at the monitor, my heart rate increased and my eyes welled up. I wasn't afraid of what she would find, but I didn't realize how traumatic the last year has really been. When I was in the midst of it, it was GO GO GO... Now my brain is finally processing it. I didn't like it.
The radiologist came in and took a look around, too, and concluded that between my mammogram, the ultrasound, and prior images of that breast, I had nothing to be worried about and all was clear. I could have passed out from sheer relief.
I don't want to live my life in constant fear. I don't want to relive the last year in any way. I said earlier today: Fear is paralyzing. Relief is euphoric.