Lets start with my experience with PEOPLE in October:
After releasing my blog, the response has been nothing less than surreal. People who I least expected to express support, were suddenly there for me. My oldest friends, closest friends, casual friends, friends of friends, and family showed their support through private messages, by reposting my blog, by reaching out to me with emails, phone calls, even by mailing gifts to me. People shared stories with me about their own challenging times and experiences with cancer. New adjectives were used to describe me that I'm not even sure I deserve: strong, brave, amazing (is that really me?).
Well intended, generous, and kind people have their own lives, their own kids, their own jobs and their own problems. People can't be at my beckon call. Nobody could possibly keep track of all my appointments and check on me after each one. As helpful as people are, and as genuine as everyone is when they proclaim that they want to "be there" for me, I still spent many days of the month scrambling for childcare and often feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
On to another topic...the WAITING ROOMS I spent time in this past month:
While waiting for a mammogram I witnessed the most amazing thing. Two friends, who I later discovered were 79, were sitting together in the waiting room awaiting their yearly mammogram. As they sat in their medical gowns talking and laughing, they ran into another girl they grew up with. The three women gossiped and reminisced (again still in medical gowns) about high school crushes, losing their husbands - but having new male companions, they caught up on who among their peers had died, stores that weren't around anymore and grandkids who were too busy with the internet. Eavesdropping on their chat was such a wonderful reminder of how bittersweet life is.
I came this close to writing an entire blog entry about doctor's office waiting rooms, but it sounded like a bad stand-up act. Have you ever noticed how depressing the reading selection at the oncologist's office is? But seriously folks... So yes, there were a series of waiting room mishaps: an old lady crying for help from her changing room after an accident with her walker, a two hour wait, and of course the magazines and pamphlets that are exclusively limited to depressing reading material.
Next, I’ll share the good and bad in the content of those many APPOINTMENTS mentioned above.
There was the hopeful appointment with the plastic surgeon. Yes, it was the hopeful appointment that included my husband kneading a silicon implant for an embarrassingly long time, but it was also the appointment where we created a realistic game plan for my surgeries (mastectomy and reconstruction) in August.
Remember my last blog post about the appointment with the breast surgeon where she found something that ended up being nothing? (http://mymastectomy.blogspot.com/2013/10/i-have-bunny-boobs-blog-post-that_28.html) Well psych, just kidding, it still might be something. The breast surgeon still wants to do a biopsy - so yeah, that sucks. It also sucked when I got a glimpse of my lab paperwork at my pelvic ultrasound. I saw the ‘reason’ for my referral stated in black and white. “High risk of ovarian cancer". It was kind of a harsh reality that freaked me out quite a bit, on the day of an already not so fun exam.
And one last thought to tie it all together:
The day I found out I was brca1 positive, my husband and I stayed up all night talking ‘till morning. That night, I created a list of dream bands/singers who would come to play my 40th birthday party bash. Number one on my list was Lou Reed. Reed died on October 27, at the end of my month of magic and loss. It seems appropriate then to end with a quote by Lou that speaks to life's lows and highs: “There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out.”