I'm lucky that this process has moved at such lightening speed. I know a woman in Canada who was diagnosed with breast cancer at 27. It took them three months to finally make the diagnosis. For me, it will have been 23 days from the day Ethel was discovered until the day she gets evicted. The only downside is that we have been asked to make decisions as break neck speed. So far, there haven't been that many but today I had to make decisions about if and how I want to rebuild my breast if Ethel ends up getting the best of it.
The day began with a meeting with our potential plastic surgeon. He spent the entire meeting massaging a silicone implant which I only really noticed in retrospect after Paul pointed it out. I think it was a nervous tick. He was, after all, depending on a young, male volunteer to translate everything he was saying. And our poor volunteer! This kid couldn't have been more that 25 and he had to talk about breasts with some woman he has never met before. Bless his heart, he did such a good job and was so professional but his forehead was literally beading with sweat when he first started the translation for us.
Let me just break away from the surgery at hand discussion for a second to talk about this other thing that is kind of weird: my breasts are now a normal topic of conversation. Paul discusses them with coworkers, I have a blog about them, they end up on display with startling regularity. I don't even feel that embarrassed about it but I do occasionally pause to think about the fact that many people are probably thinking about my rack way more than they were two weeks ago. And that is super weird, I'm just saying.
Anyway, we've made a decision and now hope that it is one we won't need. The doctors still seem pretty confident that a lumpectomy is an option. But just in case, they sent over another doctor this evening. He took picture, after picture, after picture. See, everyone has seen my girls by now. Oh, but it gets better. After all the pictures he started drawing on me. Lines on my back for where they might take tissue, lines on my collar bone, lines on my rib cage. I look ridiculous. No, there will not be pictures of that. But here is one of me taken after I stopped being a colouring book. Please note the hospital pajamas that I have to wear at all times.
Finally, I will leave you with my good news. The results from my tests have come back and Ethel seems to have been a well-behaved squatter. We won't know about the lymph nodes until after the surgery but in all other respects she seems not to have ventured beyond my breast. I'd like to say something positive about her for that but frankly, we aren't on speaking terms. She is getting the boot - tomorrow, actually. I guess until then we will just try to be civil roommates.
Here is a bonus photo. I'm too tired to figure out funny things to say about this photo but it sums up how I spent a good chunk of my day - laying on my bed in my silly outfit waiting for some medical professional or other to come in and tell me something or draw on me.