This morning I met with some people from the City of Bellevue about bringing derby classes to one of their community centers and had a wonderful meeting that felt like another door opening in my mission of mainstreaming this amazing sport.
Later in the day I sat in the office of a doctor I was about to meet to discuss my options of breast reconstruction following a mastectomy IF that is the route I take for my newly discovered breast cancer.
Earlier this week I had surgery for an excision of a couple of lumps, one of which needed to be looked at more closely than the earlier biopsy that hadn’t shown cancer. I’ve been recovering and was 100% certain that there was nothing to worry about.
I turned out to be the very slight percentage of people who are diagnosed with ductal carcinoma that they weren’t expecting.
My surreal visit included the following words:
lumpectomy and radiation
immediately if this or that
I didn’t understand his words and they just went into a big pile in my head where they hovered; they made me numb. Later, sitting next to my motorcycle in the sun they made me shake.
Last night I studied the report word for word and googled the parts that I didn’t understand. I read forums, blogs and stories. Pros and cons of this or that, and the more I read the more questions I had rather than answers. Yesterday I’d immediately leaned towards mastectomy but by bedtime had read enough to know that I couldn’t possibly know anything.
Knowing that I have two lumps near the center of my breast that happen to be the size they are and the other things that appear to be happening I questioned the radiation route but wanted to find out more. My appointment for the oncologist / radiologist was scheduled for later this week. I read that radiation might not be covered by insurance and wondered about that part.
When I sat in the waiting room today I had my first moment of fear and thought about the costs of all of it, of ANY of it. I already have about $4,000 I owe from what insurance didn’t cover from LAST week and now I’m adding a shit-ton MORE? I just sold my car to help buy me some time; my leagues have cost me everything in the world I had to start but haven’t yet been able to pay me back but it is SO CLOSE!!!… putting the car money in meant that the airplane COULD JUST MISS hitting the mountain top and I thought I’d pulled it off in the nick of time. I became tired and wondered if now I’d be a sick person until it was time to vanish.
Then I met the most wonderful woman.
What occurred to me is that maybe all of this happened to me because I have much more to learn. When I left her office I told them to cancel the appointment with the next doctor and schedule my mastectomy as fast as they can.
This is the woman who is a survivor herself and she shared a story that was so similar to mine that it stunned me. I’m going to go to her support group that she not only facilitates but she attends as a member. She gets it and I’ve never felt more confident in trusting a doctor than I did when I met her. My decision has been made and I know it is right.
Today I know that this cancer is not a death sentence but LIFE is everyone’s death sentence. We are ALL going to die and my motorcycle could crash before this stupid cancer could come back and when I go probably isn’t my call. This can be a big deal or it can be another THING that comes and goes in my life. This can define me if I let it but that isn’t going to happen.
Will the surgery suck? Yes. Will the recovery suck? Yes. Does it MATTER? Not in the big picture, no.
What matters is my DECISION of whether to choose to sit around feeling sorry for myself or keep trying my best to make the world a better place while I can.
I am HAPPY and this is nothing compared to what other people go through. How lucky am I to be able to come to this conclusion so quickly? I don’t know if it is luck, denial or insanity but I’ll take it.
I’m told that I’m inspiring and that is good to hear; I hope it is true. The truth is I am just a lady who struggles to make sense of this place and often I can’t make sense of it. I’m someone who, like everyone else is doing her best to cope with a world that can be really, really, really hard. I just happen to be crazy enough to believe that we can change to make it better if we believe that we can and if we work hard to do it.
Having all of this happen to me is forcing me to walk my talk; we can perceive things as bad when really they are opportunity.
Things ARE what they ARE regardless of how I’d like them to look. Taking action is the only thing that matters and feeling bad only hinders that action. Will I be overwhelmed tomorrow? Maybe. Will I want to give up? At times I expect to feel that way but only temporarily.
This is a great big opportunity for me to live those words and I’m excited to do so. FK’n A.
This is OK. Really ok. Look, I have a laptop! How crazy is that? And a tub that I can put hot water into and hop inside of. That is pretty damn lucky if you ask me.