Monday, July 17, 2017

Herding Cats - WWKD

My need for bras  - FOREVER - ends in 6 days. A week from today, July 24th - I am scheduled to have a double mastectomy. For those not familiar with that medical term, it means I have will have BOTH boobs removed.

As you will kindly recall, cancer was discovered in one of them (left one to be exact) earlier this year and I'm not interested in the stress, worry or general hassle of ensuring it doesn't comeback in the right one. So she's leaving too.  That's not to say, my cancer won't return in another part of my body. In fact, there's a fairly good chance it will show up elsewhere should it return, but having both breasts removed is the best personal decision I can make to keep the cancer at bay for as long as I can.

In any case, they are both coming off in a week.
I - like most women -  have a drawer full of bras: everyday ones, sports ones, pink ones, poka dotted ones, blue ones, white ones, black ones. Strangely sad, I won't need ANY of them come next week. So as I wear them this week, I'm saying my good byes.  I've worn a bra since the age of 10 or 11. For 40 plus years. And for 40 plus years I've searched for the "perfect" bra - never found it. The good news I can stop searching, I guess.

The process to remove my boobs takes a medical village of sorts. I currently have four physicians involved. Each one has a specific role. One to cut them off and to cut out any remaining cancer, one to make the scars as minimal as possible, one to figure out next steps in the fight against cancer, and one to look after my general health and well-being. Each one prescribing meds, giving me instructions, poking and testing and giving their blessing I'm ready.  Unfortunately they don't always talk to each other and so I've spent a good deal of time this past week or so (and stress) sharing with one what I've been told by another to make sure everyone is on the same page.  If I've learned anything thru this I've learned to be a pain in the ass until I get the information I need and the answers I seek. I can't tell you how many times I've said to I don't remember how many different people these past few weeks that my worse nightmare is going to get my boobs (and my cancer) cut out only to discover I needed a test, should have gotten an ok from someone and didn't. No one and nothing is preventing me from having this surgery Monday. And if I have to herd them cats to ensure it happens then so be it.

BTW - My hair is returning. And as I predicted it is grey.
Yet I continue to lose my eye brows and eye lashes. Weird.

Walking to the dentist today, I was confronted by a nice young person raising awareness for Amnesty International. If you've ever come across these folks they stand on the sidewalk, or come to your door, seeking your attention and interest for usually a good cause. In any event, I didn't have time to stop and chat and as I walked by very politely declining his request to chat, he asked if I was interested in saving lives. That got me. Yea, I'm interested. I'm interested in saving my own life right now. Priorities dude. 

The reality of this is hitting hard. I have cancer. In a week, I won't have any breasts. Like Forever. This shit is life changing. 

I am faced with heading into this next stage of my fight without the strongest, most generous, most courageous woman I've ever known. She lost her seven-year battle with breast cancer this month. Every Thursday before my chemo, she would rise above her own pain, her own fear and she would cheer me on. She constantly told me she was proud of me. During our last visit as she struggled to keep food down, she looked me in the eye and told me how proud she was of me. She was my hero, my Wonder Woman, my coach through the hardest fight of my life, a role model of bravery and perseverance. WWKD.?...she'd fight like hell to live. Ride on, my friend.


Please continue to root for me.

17 comments:

  1. We are all so rooting for you!! Praying for you!! Your positive attitude is a big plus in this huge fight!! Keep fighting Jackie!!!

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  2. We love you Jacki. You are a strong, courageous and generous woman too. You are going to beat this. My heart is heavy regarding your surgery but I know you have faced challenges in life always coming out the other end stronger. Be strong my friend as you always are. Much love! Big hugs! Christopher

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  3. I am rooting for you! Hope all goes well and that you recover quickly! #fuckcancer

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