They have started. It has been occurring to me for days that I am participating in my last _____. Some instances of this are, my last upward facing dog. The last time I’ll feel a chilly breeze bringing with it a systematic THO (look it up). The last time I will carry my (giant) baby on my back.
Now, realistically, I understand I will do these things again (minus the THO), but it will be a long recovery and I will do them with an altered body. I will have flesh that is not my own. I will be carrying only the scars to remind me of the body I was gifted at birth.
These ‘lasts’ are starting to pile up and I am finding it overwhelming. Tonight will be the last night I sleep in my bed as OG me, tomorrow will be my three (ok fine, 6) last meals before I am relegated to bananas and applesauce for a while. I will kiss my kids goodnight tomorrow for the last time as the only mom they’ve ever known. In a few days when I see them again, I will of course still be their mother, but I won’t be able to pick them up, they can’t sit on my lap, I can’t even hug them.
These are complicated thoughts and notions for many reasons least not the fact that as I sit here typing, I feel physically fantastic. I feel like the best physical version of myself I have been in ages. Yes, I have nursed three kids, but I’m betting most of you would be aight with these tots at your disposal. Alas, they have to go to funbag heaven which I imagine as a pretty weird/awesome subset of the heaven housing complex.
Here’s the kicker guys. Are you ready for it? My greatest fear at this time. I will walk into the hospital Wednesday morning 100% myself. Sequin pants, irreverent, borderline inappropriate quips, and a body filled with hard earned muscle. I will be put under for surgery as ME and I will wake up as a sick and recovering cancer patient. I will find out if I need chemo, I’ll be on a multitude of medicinal drips, I will have a catheter in my bladder. In mere hours, I will go from my best self, to a self I don’t know and quite frankly, am not looking forward to meeting.
It’s easy to avoid cancer now. You would never know looking at me that I have it. In about 36 hours, I will be breastless (awaiting reconstruction) and very possibly on the brink of chemotherapy. It’s quite a dramatic shift.
There is it, I’ve said it aloud. I am scared. I want to stay strong, sequin pants me, I do not want to be, brave cancer me. I will do it and I will do it with my usual flair, but I am allowed to mourn these last hours as myself. I teach my childbirth education students to allow themselves to grieve for their newly not pregnant body after delivery, for the loss of their lives as they once knew them. Now I have to take my own advice which we all know is much harder to practice than it is to preach.
My silver lining on this one is sleep. It’s the best I can come up with right now. Those of you who know me well know that I love nothing more than sleeping, especially napping. A friend once asked me if she should be worried about my mental health as my #1 wish in life would be to lay in bed in and out of consciousness all day. The answer is yes, concern is a realistic response to my quest for unconsciousness, but when you have 3 kids under 7 and 2 insane dogs, being awake can be pretty rough.
So I’m going choose to live in the moment. Not because I have cancer, or am having my breasts amputated this week, but because sleeping is so dope and I am going to get a kick-ass nap. Instead of being afraid of who I will be when I awake, when that mask goes over my nose and mouth and the good stuff gets pumped into my veins, I am going to smile and drift off to my happy place, somewhere far below the surface where cancer doesn’t exist, where Haribo candies are good for you and where Donald Trump crawls back into the all-glass skyscraper from whence he came.
After all this heavy rhetoric, allow me to leave you with this fun lil anecdote… Despite my best efforts, sleeping has been hard for me since diagnosis. I have been employing the assistance of friends such as Clonazepam, Unisom and Tylenol PM. I woke up in what I thought was the middle of the night last night and felt wide awake. I decided my best move was to hit the Tylenol PM as my stupid teeth were hurting anyway. Life Lesson #1: always look at the clock before you ingest 2 500mg Tylenol PMs. Yes, it feels like the middle of the night, but goddamn it, it was was 4:45am. Let’s just say my 9am Yoga Sculpt class was like watching a recent escapee from your local mental institution wielding weights while singing along rather loudly to “Work Bitch” by Britney just to try and keep myself from collapsing like one of those air dancers that flail around frantically in front of car dealerships after its fan has been switched off.
Bet you are smiling now…
#breastcancer #grancer #mastectomy #workbitch #sequinsweatpants