Life as such (my recovery aside) has been suspended, and breast-talk has nearly superseded all else – which perhaps is not such a stretch with four women in one family.
Seemingly overnight, but really over the course of the past few months, I’ve involuntarily and mandatorily had to immerse myself in a subterranean silo of all things breast-related; a mammographic maze that demands immediate fluency in a rapidly-expanding vocabulary; the ability to parse confusing and sometimes contradictory terms; the determination to listen carefully and pose pointed yet logical questions that are often left hanging, unanswered by the myriad professionals, who scurry in and out with no time to spare.
Tell me, does anyone teach BREAST CANCER as a foreign language?
Mastectomy: Ten letters that still make up a four-letter word, the kind you wish could be eradicated from the universal lexicon. A word no woman wants to hear. A word that slips off a physician’s tongue so effortlessly, and with such obvious lack of empathy, that his tone (as if suggesting a dental cavity be filled) belies the gravity of the situation. Well, you can have it removed. I wonder if would speak the same way to a person he loves.
In the midst of all this mounting seriousness, after too many visits to hospitals and clinics, I desperately crave comic relief: Did you say mammo or ammo? I had no idea that womens’ breasts can be armed and dangerous! (haha) And about that upcoming conference you referred to, did you say tumor or (just maybe?) was that humor conference? (hahaha)
Encased as I am in this breast-bubble, how I wish it would burst and free us all of the worry, the anxiety and our relentless pursuit of – and hopes for – the best-case scenarios. Let the healing, from injury and illness, continue…