And The Hammer Falls…

We just got back from the breast cancer surgeon’s office. Before we went in I had done a bit of research. I had choices, options, decisions to make. Lumpectomy? Mastectomy? How did I want to go about handling this diagnosis that I had been given?

All of those decisions, options and choices came to a screeching halt with the words. “it can’t be saved,” “the whole breast is infected and will have to be removed.” Now before you begin to think that I am being melodramatic, understand that I recognize that losing a breast is nothing compared to losing an arm or a leg. My sister Tabi King, has worked with the Challenged Athletes Foundation since its inception so I am fully aware that my impending loss is nothing compared to what many brave men, women and children have endured. But in that moment sitting on the exam table with the white paper sheet, wearing an equally attractive green paper covering all I could hear was “it can’t be saved, it can’t be saved, it can’t be saved….” 

As shocking as this may sound for those that know me, I have gotten really good lately at providing blank stares and saying nothing. When you suddenly get hit with the news that you have no options, what do you do? The bearer of the news continues to look at me with eyebrows beginning to raise, he leans in a bit and begins to question whether I had heard him or not because I have said nor done anything but stare at him. “Of course I heard you!” I scream on the inside, “You have just told me that you are going to cut the left side of my chest off!” I am not sure how he really wanted me to respond. Faint? Burst into tears and wail dramatically? Jump off the table, pound on my chest and yell “I’m tough! Cut em both off!”

I took a few breaths and calmly began to ask questions about what can be spared, we discussed reconstruction options and I asked about the wisdom in opting for a bilateral mastectomy vs an unilateral one. It was his opinion to save the healthy breast and work on the infected one. Mr. Wonderful was with me and held my hand and took notes and asked a few questions as well. Then we quietly got me dressed and we left.

Fortunately, Mr. Wonderful was thinking ahead and inquired about making an appointment with the plastic surgeon for that day so that we could maximize our time away from home. So we drove away from the cutting place to the place that is going to eventually put me back together. It’s a very fancy place with fancy people everywhere. We felt a touch on the hillbilly side with our flannel and boots on but no matter, I’m really wanting to get on with the putting me back together discussion.

I don’t know about you but there has been this little part of me that never liked the idea that my breasts now sag down to my belly button. I would have gladly suffered this little inconvenience for the rest of my life because its just life. But now I begin to realize that at the end of this grueling journey I might just get me some perky boobies and this little thought brings a slight smile to my face, which is exactly what I needed today.

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