Monday, October 28, 2013

This is not a lottery - trying to live with fear of recurrence

I imagine surgery, especially the anesthesia part, is really still at play in my psychological system. It has been less than two weeks, after all, since saying goodbye to any opportunity for more children (Yay! ahem) and goodbye to my shape.

Thank goodness I was never very curvaceous, as it makes for less of a transition.

I am already at the point where I can look in the mirror without cringing, though, when I come out of the shower. In fact, I'm feeling love for what I see.

Thank you Dr. Susan Troyan, at Dana Farber. She did a wonderful job with an infrequently demanded result: nipple sparing mastectomies with no reconstruction.

My logic for no reconstruction is that I loved my breasts, and did not love replacement ones. They would never have been the same, not even close, and would have led to more major surgery.

No, I'll pass. And I am happy with my decision.

But, as I said in my last blog post, the surgery is done, and now... I am scared, I have to confess.

Part of me wants to think that having had the surgery takes me out of running for death bingo. Yes, there is a part of my brain that believes that, if I avoid death today, I am golden for eternity. If it doesn't come today, it won't come tomorrow, and it won't come in some vague future that my optimistic human brain does not really grasp.

Those who die chose the wrong lottery number, says this brain, and that's too bad for them. It won't happen to the rest of us.

I saw Lou Reed play when he opened for the 17th Karmapa, maybe five years ago. I am shocked, emotionally, that such a figure has died. He has written so much of the soundtrack to my life, and has transformed in such interesting ways, that it's hard to imagine him not there. He chose the wrong lottery number. What a loser.

Goodbye, Lou Reed. Thank you for everything.

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