Being a brainiac became my identity On meeting me, the usual feedback was: ‘wow you’re smart.’ Never, ‘you’re nice’, or ‘you’re kind’. I got constant reminders that ideas, theories, and knowledge were my contributions to whatever was happening. No one is telling me now how smart I am. Losing capacity to think lucidly, quickly, insightfully, and incisively is a loss that cuts deep. Before and after treatment pictures of my brain might’ve been interesting.
I’ll negotiate anything: I tried to negotiate with Jeanie Kanashiro, the wonderful surgeon. I knew my right breast was as unhealthy as the left. Jeanie made a counter-offer. She’d take off the left breast 28 August, 2010. She’d amputate the right breast after I finished treatment in April, 2011. Deal? Call me in April, 2011, Jeanie said. In January 2011, I made an appointment for February. I was still in chemo but knew the date it would end. Jeanie’s secretary, Sherry, had to be sweet-talked into giving me that appointment. I won’t flatter it… Read more BOGO, would you like a double with that mastectomy? →
‘With luck’, the doctors said, ‘you’ll have (this) and not (that).’ I learned the ‘with luck’ was bait, a ruse to lure me into hopefulness. Sure I had breast cancer;… Read more Yes, I can handle the truth. I’m a conflict manager →
For the most part, I felt loved and supported when I told people I had cancer. There were good, bad, and ugly reactions, which I’ll share so you don’t offer the bad and ugly unless you want to.
Here’s my list of the great things about a double mastectomy: 1. Without a breast to squish, the seat belt politely lies flat from my shoulder to the clasp at my waist.I no longer have choreography, like fishing catch and release, to find a comfortable place over or under the breast to fit the diagonal strap.
It’s the fad title; The Year Of Living …. whatever, fill in the blank with your choice of taking a year of one’s life to live Simply, or Biblically etc. etc. etc. Having breasts amputated is rarely a first choice for dedicating a year. When homegrown breasts are gone, there’s three options: either they’re gone for good, or substituted with prosthetics or reconstructed surgically. My treatment over, my choice among those three: