I’m having that ultrasound tomorrow morning, and hopefully it will show that the MRI was hallucinating when it saw an area of “enhancement.” Hopefully everything will go back to the best case scenario that was presented a few weeks ago: one small tumor, a plan for its surgical excision, five weeks of radiation, and then 30 or 40 years of living happily ever after.
But if the ultrasound confirms the “enhancement” (I hate using words I don’t understand), then there will be a mastectomy, and a whole different plan and prognosis.
I may have given the impression the other day that I was horrified by the prospect of a mastectomy. I’m not. I would hack off both breasts myself with a kitchen knife and deliver them to the Women’s Breast Health Centre in a pail if I thought it would improve my odds of survival.
No, my horror was not at the prospect of mastectomy. It was at the prospect of the cancer being more advanced and more far-flung than we had previously believed. It was the fear that this “enhancement” is an ominous sign of advanced spread. (Which it might not be – as I said before, I don’t even know what it means. It’s just another big scary unknown in a universe of scary unknowns.)
Since the mastectomy got put on the table, though, I’ve spent some time thinking about my feelings about my breasts. I never thought they were one of my better naked features. In fact, almost from the moment I got breasts I started finding fault with them.
But that doesn’t mean I feel good about having one of them lopped off. No. It’s still part of me, and I feel kind of sad to think it might soon be in a pile of medical waste somewhere.
The other night I was lying in bed thinking about all this stuff, and I realized I was polyanthromorphizing my breast. I was feeling sorry for it, poor little thing, getting kicked off the island, so to speak. It’s not like it ever did anything wrong.
Cancer can drive you a little bit crazy, you know, especially in the middle of the night.