Penny Rene: July 2016 Archives

Photo on 2-17-13 at 11.53 AM.jpg
Tomorrow morning I will get one breast amputated. I'm using that word because it's appropriate and the experience of sitting here, the night before, thinking about it, is exactly what you would fear it might be like. It feels pretty freaking awful. I'm scared and I'm worried and I'm also, surprisingly, still angry about the whole thing. Mostly, I'm angry that there is no cure for cancer and no one knows why we get it.

I've got some pretty good circumstances going on for someone who is about to do this. 
1) I have DCIS, the "good cancer". The one that's in my milk ducts and isn't supposed to have gone anywhere else. 
2) At this point, they don't think I will need chemotherapy.
3) It's Stage 0. Pre-cancerous.
4) I'm going to live through this.

I'm 45; relatively young. I feel about 28. However, if I'm honest, I have to say that I have just reached a point in my life when that grey hair and crinkles around my eyes aren't so funny anymore. Up until about a year ago, I was still pretty happy with how I looked in a swim suit. I was lucky and I knew it. It's not that I didn't think that something like this couldn't happen to me. I expected it. But I didn't expect it to come crashing in when I was dealing with other life crisis. But yeah, life is unpredictable and all that. Cue the violin. Poor me.

Ugly Truth

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It's July and I'm going to call it: 2016 is the worst year in my lifetime so far. 

I would list all the things that prove this, but it would sound whiny and I honestly think that not much of an explanation is needed at this point. I am, however, going to compartmentalize, because it's all I can do that keeps me from drowning. I place one feeling here, another There. Over here I have bags of anger; to the left is a pile of smiles I pull out for all those optimistic people who get downright cheerful with me when I am stating shitty facts. Those smiles are getting a bit tight and stiff as my mastectomy surgery date gets near, however. I admit, at times I am lying when I say I'm fine. 

I believe the facts - those successful facts about survival and quick recovery, by the way. I know. I know I will get through this. And I am surprised by and appreciative of all the people who are empathetic and want to help. 

But it seems wrong to deny those "shitty facts" their share of attention. It makes me feel that my emotions are somehow wrong and shameful to hide them. If I've learned anything about hardship, it's that you can't pretend it away. You shouldn't get into the habit of feeding your insecurities, but you should make it known what you are dealing with, so that the next person who encounters it has more information than you did. Or, at least, your friends and family know what you are dealing with so they know better how to help you.

There. Have I justified this post enough?