Sunday marked 4 years since running headfirst into the pinkwashed brick wall called breast cancer. It was a solemn day. I had PMS and swirling emotions. But the sun was out and I had fresh pineapple and cheap champagne to take to the pontoon.
See, since that day 4 years ago, my life has been wildly rearranged, reduced in some ways, expanded in others, and partially rebuilt. The lens I now see through makes nearly everything unrecognizable from what it was before. Remembering back to 2016, there was a quote on Pinterest that resonated:
You won’t always feel like this.
I didn’t believe it. Obviously it was written by someone who hadn’t been handed this flaming pile. And I was right. For almost 4 years.
Finally, with help, I began to see my story as one that didn’t ended at the climax or obstacle, without resolution. It was no longer a boring storyline of “this shitty, unresolvable thing happened.” The end.
I wanted to push past the obstacle to find the transformation that comes at the end of the story and beyond. There are lessons learned and irreversible changes. There’s even wisdom I daresay.
I had to do this or my story would have ended at the shitty part. I would have packed up any joy, self respect, and fortitude and tossed it into a landfill. I would have medicated myself into numbness to match the disbelief that It, cancer, had happened at all. I would have remained in the terrible middle of the story forever.
That’s not who I am. Good grief, this story needs an ending.
But first, we have to start at the beginning again.
Lying on my back, tits out, a few rogue tears snuck past and ran down pooling in my ears. The radiologist used the fluffy robe I was wearing to wipe them away. It was a familiar motion to her, a little too familiar if I’m honest. I don’t know you. I won’t ever know you.
Buzz. Pop. Buzz.
I’m trembling. I’m afraid I’ll botch the whole procedure. This had to be some sort of terrible mistake, a glitch in the universe. Clearly, Mercury in Retrograde was fucking with me again. Friday the 13th is tomorrow. The entire calendar for all of human history must be off by a day.
The sounds are not the soft, organic sounds of bodies. The sounds are edible, but gross edible, gritty like a piece of shell in your oyster.
Buzz. Burrrf. Snap.
Just one more. We reposition. I hold my breath and wonder how long it will take for me to stop hearing the clicks and clacks of the machine currently spearing my breasts with banderillas. Core biopsy. Fine needle. Even the words sound like it should hurt but it doesn’t. What in the living shit is that noise though?
Finally, the Great Breast Bullfight concludes with the expected winners and losers.
It simply couldn’t be.
It could and it was.