It’s D DAY and I’m jumpy. Excitement isn’t the first thing that would rate highly on a feelings check but that is how I felt. Its a different level of excitement, not the I just sat behind the wheel of a new car excitement, more of a bodily sensation. My limbs are uncontrollably jumpy, some nervous twitches and I’m blurting out sentences that sound so incredibly surreal and stupid. I am very aware of my breathing, my heart heavy and strong, boomp boomp, boomp boomp. This was not the same waiting room outside the Principals office in 8th Grade this was much much worse. I was desperately trying to draw upon some kind of inner clairvoyance to give me a heads up, asking myself, so do I have cancer or not? Am I going to walk out of here unscathed or is my world going to implode?
My husband and I are finally called in, pleasantries are exchanged and the Oncologist gets down to business straight away. Words, words, and more words. This is taking way too long to explain were my first thoughts. Okay, starting to feel very odd, a rush of heat and sweaty armpits. Why is he going on and on? He is talking so much. Bam, he says it, It’s a malignant tumour- You have Breast Cancer and we have to perform a lumpectomy next week and you will loose your nipple. Whoa, back up. Did you say loose the nipple?
Looking back now, boy did I cry over that nipple. A week after Diagnosis Day I celebrated my birthday lunch with girlfriends and at varying stages of drunken mess I’d let out sobs over the nipple cripple. I was so distressed about loosing that damn nipple, I cried my guts out and made some pretty loud sobbing sounds. It wasn’t all sadness and tears, there were plenty glasses of champagne, natural wine, I think I ate a plant, we hugged the waiter and I tried to get into the boot of my friends car as I thought it would be more fun to get to the next drinking venue. Luckily I have good friends who managed to talk me out of it. Yes I do have that photo of me in the boot, no I’m never up loading it.
Loosing the nipple brought back fond school memories of me throwing the pickle from my Big Mac above my head with careless abandon to watch it get stuck to the ceiling. I couldn’t stop imagining my Oncologist doing the exact same thing with my nipple.
When word got out to the wider community that I had Breast Cancer I began to develop a mild form of agoraphobia, it wasn’t so much that I was scared of leaving the house, I was more scared of bumping into people that I knew. Other people had become a constant reminder to myself of the impending uphill slog of surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and more surgeries. Whoa this was more shit than I could stack. I was trying to focus on one aspect of the treatment at a time, the questions and advice from well wishers was too confronting for me, I was having trouble digesting what felt like impending doom.
The kicker for me was the arm rub from well wishing acquaintances. These were very lovely people in their own right, however I had never before crossed into the physical domain with these people. My instincts became very sharp, I could pick out a potential arm rubber in a crowd, I could see them eye me off and then walk towards me with the same determination of killing a cockroach. I just knew what was coming next. The outstretched arm would be cocked ready to close in on my shoulder at any given moment… The arm rub a seemingly compassionate gesture, which of course it was would go on for what felt like forever to me. I was so aware of being rubbed like a little sick dog that my brain couldn’t focus on much else. Words would become muffled, just the warm and unwanted touch of a stranger was at the forefront of my mind.
I used to cringe, first it was the “Ohh I heard about the news”, or worse I would have to endure the stories of So and So had breast cancer and she is now fine…blah blah blah.
In hindsight I now realise that these arm rubbers had the warmest intentions and were genuinely trying to connect with me. I was just too scared to accept what was happening to me. Umm I’m pretty sure it seemed like a good idea at the time, however, I told someone that if they continued to rub my arm any harder a Genie would pop out of my arse.
Getting my long curly wild black hair shaved off was my way of trying to assume control over a situation that was frankly pretty f#%$@* up. This whole mess of a Breast Cancer diagnosis was like a kick in the privates, although for me, more like a kick in the tit. So by taking the higher ground and basically getting in there first with the hair clippers before it started to fall out in clumps was my way of assuming control. I booked the appointment. I was determined to tackle this hair loss thing head first, with no hesitations. I was getting myself physically and mentally ready for the next 6 months of chemotherapy.
Im guessing if your reading this, you have had some personal experience with Breast Cancer or know someone who has. I just want to share some of my experiences, feelings and thoughts that have been on my mind. You may be able to relate to some of it or other times think that I’m completely bonkers. Breast Cancer sucks but sometimes other parts of life may seem to suck even harder!
After having a biopsy in November of 2014 I had no idea what lay ahead of me, I was diagnosed with an aggressive malignant tumor in my left breast.
Admittedly I hadn’t been sleeping well since I found that little pea sized lump just under my nipple. For some reason my boob was hurting, and I mean real aches and sharp stabbing pains, this pain is apparently pretty rare.
So I did what I thought was the right thing to do and went to my GP for a check up. I joked with my husband on the morning of the Doctors appointment that I was going to flash my tits and let the doctor ‘cop a feel’. This was exciting!
Anyway, I had an ultrasound and was more annoyed that the ultrasound technician was pushing so hard on the tender area of my breast where the lump was than anything else. ( I’m a bit of a woose when it comes to pain). Things began to get a little heated up when the ultrasound technician left the room and returned a few minutes later with the radiologist. Ok, I was beginning to think that this might be serious, or maybe this person just lacked experience, hence the heavy handed ultrasound technique that was really annoying me.
Its a ingrown hair reports the Radiologist!
Cool, I’m off the hook I thought, although the only weird thing is that I don’t have hairy tits!