First, I need to come clean. I did not have a summer vacation. And, seeing how the summer played out, I should have. I should have thrown caution and responsibility to the wind and taken myself somewhere fabulous and decadent!
During this summer, I joined the venerable ranks of the 40,000 +/- women who are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in the U.S. A staggering and incomprehensible number. A statistic, it appears, that is indiscriminate in whom it envelopes.
For all intents and purposes I should not be a member of the club. (And believe me, I SCREAM this fact out -- at least inside my head--daily.)
I have no risk factors. I have no family history. I do not, and never have, smoked. I have not taken any synthetic estrogen (e.g. the "pill") since 1985 -- and that was for only 6 years. I am physically active at 47 (young by breast cancer standards). I am fairly fit at 5'1" and 102 lbs (soaking wet), and someone who logs 60+ hours at the office. I run. I weight-lift. I hike. I power walk. I yoga. I Zumba. I maintain my passion for martial arts that I have been working at since 1982. I am the one in the crowd that my junk-food junky BFFs tease in a good-natured way about my "healthy lifestyle."
You've heard a variation on the theme: "it's you fruit & granola types that will be stricken with a horrific disease...just look at Keith Richards and what he has done to his body and he's still rocking!" I always laughed, and still do. Who knew my McD's critics would be prophetic??
Despite the "clean" lifestyle, here I sit. Stage III(+) Invasive Lobular Carcinoma measured at approx. 5.5 cm. looking at a mastectomy in 4 days. The "initiation" into the first stage of this "rite of passage."At this point, you are probably asking why are you telling me this? In short, I don't know.
I will be blunt, however. It is so not about YOU. This blog is my therapy session. And before you click-off, I am not talking about indulging in a maudlin recitation of the "poor meeees." (But do forgive me if I digress once on awhile.)
On the contrary, it is just that I have so many "conversations" going on in my head. So many observations about this path that has been forced upon me. An outlet is needed. The screaming in my head is becoming too loud. And in deference and compassion for those I love and care about, I will not impose these "conversations" upon them. It would not be fair to burden them so. I would rather foist them upon you, kind stranger. And, they might add on another diagnosis or two to my list if I did indulge them with my mental musings.
Journaling is good. I have advised many persons on the benefit of doing so. Journaling is a cathartic way of expressing and sorting out our thoughts. But journaling for me at this time is stifling. It keeps the SCREAM isolated inside my own head. And honestly, I am getting a headache!
So, read if you like. Don't if you don't. Add your nuggets of wisdom as you choose. And if you would like to SCREAM along with me, add your voice to the cacophony. After all, if you SCREAM and there is no one to hear you, than how can you be sure that you really made any noise?
Yours truly, TC