Wednesday, April 20, 2011

So me and this body? We don't get along...

I have a confession to make. I don't trust my body. It's not really that I don't trust my body. I've seen it do amazing things like birth a child without meds and manage to not freak out when boiling water was spilled on it. But we've had a long, hard relationship, this body and me, and I'm at the stage where I'm not quite sure it's going to be able to pull this off.

It's not the cancer that I am wary of, funny enough, but rather the reality that I am not a good healer. Get a scratch, gain a scar. Ages pass before simple wounds heal. I'm healthy, no bad habits, no reason for it to happen that way, it's just my body's own little way of saying "ha ha, you thought you were in charge but OH NO. bwahahahahahahaaaaaaaa."

If you know me well, you know why this makes me anxious. Wednesday's my surgery...wax off the old, wax on the new in a two-fer surgery which will keep me out of going under again...and, typically, there is this lovely little pocket of fluid (cough, egg, cough) that keeps collecting under my biopsied arm. "We'll just have you in on Monday to see what it looks like," the plastics nurse said. "Nobody's saying we'll cancel anything, Dr. Wilkins just wants to check it out." CANCEL? Who said anything about canceling anything?

Canceling means the domino effect goes into play. Mastectomy but no reconstruction = stretchers, healing from reconstruction, then chemo all the while being puffed up slowly but surely (weekly!) by the stretchers, then implants, etc, etc. All along the way, my body saying "see this wound? three weeks at least. This one?...hmmmm, were you planning on going somewhere? Didn't they restrict your flying? How does a clot sound?"

It means no boobs for awhile. It means more surgery down the road. It sucks. This is a three-phase process, remember? Phase I: Biopsy  Phase II: Surgery and Reconstruction  Phase III: Chemo. There is no Phase IV (that includes no Phase IV for recurrence either, damnit. We are just not going there.)

I am afraid of what the mammageddon might bring. Sometimes I wish that Allie Brosh (click on her name) was my very best friend and I could convince her to make a cartoon about the tumor, this egg under my arm and the rebellion that lives beneath my skin. I can see her drawing little smiley cells just waiting to flat tire my highway to happy healing.  She'd get my fear of Frankenboobs (those would be boobs that look like they were stitched on by ham-fisted minions of the underworld flamed up by evil red scars courtesy of...yep, the cells) and would probably understand this slight paranoia I have about needles in my veins. Ok, I can't even go there tonight.

I'm not really sure where I am going with this, but I feel like I am going to spend the next hour or two lying awake in bed with it on my mind. Just to send you off on a positive note, here's another Allie Brosh piece that every former kid and parent will understand. We all still have monsters that keep us awake at night, they just come in different forms.

1 comment:

  1. Those cartoons (though there should be another name for them cause they are more like animated short stories)are amazing. I totally know what you mean about feeling like your body is saying fuck you at every turn - part of that is the biatch of getting older and flabbier even though you think you are kind of in decent shape.
    I can also imagine this journey for you is not only intense because of the "what" you are facing but the "how" of not even knowing what the fucking journey is, and where the next exit is, or what other bumpy road you get taken down. Lack of predictability/structure always breeds anxiety, and then you get the daily double to boot of having cancer as your unknown variable.
    Anyway girlie, you are one of the fiercest people I know, and even though your body is gonna play some tricks on you, you will get through this and we are here with you every step of the way - and all of your flat-chested, clotted, under-arm boiled - self.
    Love you...