Is there a a pattern in these numbers? 5, 10, 13, 13, 17? I can’t see one. So let me tell you what they represent.
They are the number of days between various stages of my recently diagnosed breast cancer.
I had the lumpectomy 5 days ago. 10 days before that I had the pre-op (boy, that 10 days was a long time). And 13 days before that I learned that I had stage 2 breast cancer in my left boob. Guess that was the mark-in-the-sand day then – the 15 March 2017, just before Spring arrived. And another 13 days before that was the surprise biopsy. I’d gone to the hospital expecting to have a second mammogram, as I’d been called back, but left having had a biopsy which I was completely not prepared for. And prior to that, when it all started, was 13 February when I attended my local mobile unit to have my 3-yearly mammogram.
Life can certainly change in 58 days.
I started writing about this back in March. It’s been comforting and therapeutic to share my story on Facebook, with friends and family and colleagues. But I want to use this site to share more broadly.
My experience of cancer (before my own) has been, well, mixed to say the least. A former neighbour dismissed hers as if it were a cold. Others I know have let it define them and painted a bleak and horrific account of their ‘journey’ (I promise to use that term sparingly). And others still have not even shared that they’ve been cancer sufferers until I revealed my own diagnosis. Each to their own. Fine, I get that. But I want to document my breast cancer so that it normalises it for me and those who know me, and demystifies it for anyone who wants to follow this with me. And ask questions. And make this a conversation about something that affects 1 in 8 females.
Oh, and because I love writing, and this gives me something non-work-related to write about.
I’ll try not to be too grim. Or too upbeat. I’ll aim to be positive in outlook, but give myself time to wallow when I need to. It’ll not be a diary of what I have given up, or taken up, eating, drinking, or exercise-wise. Right now, post-op, I’m struggling to do much at all.
But as I sit here, laptop on my, erm, lap, noticing the trees in all their greenery, listening to the birds twittering, and catching the sun disappearing for the day, I can actually think of no better time than Spring to be dealing with being a 1-in-8-er.