Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Salt in my mouth and riding the green waves

Well, I have definitely been "off the surfboard" for a couple of days. Not in the present moment, worrying about (= , for me, getting angry about) what will happen, how it will work out, all the usual suspects.
Thanks to a few good friends with meaningful insights, compassion & patience with my bear-with-foot-in-bucket self, & the ability to let me rant, I am back on the board...
The ocean, even when choppy, looks soooo much better from up here!!

One friend asked if I'd seen the pathology report, and I said no. Then, later, I thought how could that be?! THAT is so unlike me!
I went back into research mode &, as I was reading & making notes, I remembered those phrases & myself asking the doctor "What does nuclear pleomorphism mean?" "And comedo necrosis? Necrosis means tissue death, and so...?" "What does the cribiform pattern indicate as opposed to another pattern in DCIS?"
Ok, now that's the me I know.

So, I watched a few videos of a full mastectomy...
I know, I know, but I've been in gross anatomy labs (human dissection) dozens of times, I have surgery books, & pathology books, & pictoral gross anatomy books, so it is all known territory for me. There's no "ick factor".
And, that helped. As I watched it step by step, realizing that will be me soon, I gently spoke to my breast with my intent: "That will be you. That's what will happen. It will be ok. Thank you for always being here, so beautiful & present for me all of these years. Thanks for letting me know before it got unmanageable. I love you."
And then I watched some more.
I watched films of the different types of reconstructions; I felt my body's responses to each, which gave me, actually, more pertinent information than just the cognitive knowledge.
Big exhale!
I am feeling much more centered again.

Tomorrow I meet with medical oncology to tell them "from my own mouth" why I am choosing the path of treatment I am.
Here's a nice tidbit to bring in with me:
DCIS with lumpectomy: survival rate of  87%
With lumpectomy & radiation: 92%
With lumpectomy, radiation & Tamoxifen: 94%
With mastectomy, no radiation, or Tamoxifen: 98-99%

It's good to me.


d smith kaich jones said...

I began to read this and thought, well, she's human, silly woman, she's allowed, and then I began to smile at the medical words, and then I got teary-eyed as you thanked your breast, this line in particular - thanks for letting me know before it got unmanageable - and then I was smiling again at the very end. Those statistics are amazing, and not something most women know, and 98 to 99% is damn reassuring.

Love you much!

Jean J. said...

I am sure you have a mighty roar my dear, but you also have a mighty heart -- and those who love you, LOVE you! I am so glad to hear you are back on that board (steady, steady), and talking gently to yourself. Skye, you really are one of the bravest, strongest women I have Ever met. And hey, those are damn good stats! Good luck tomorrow! xoxo

Frank said...

So glad you are enjoying the view of the Ocean from the Board again. And I sure like the sound of 98-99%. You intuitively chose mastectomy, and it is backed up with statistics to boot!

mrs mediocrity said...

Centered is good, although I think if you find yourself wobbling every now and again, that is okay, too.

Getting back up on the board is always the first step, right?
I see you there, standing tall. And I hope there are also times when you lie down and paddle gently for a while, gazing up at the stars.

skye said...

Oh, thank you, Kelly. Thank you.
I am taking a deep breath even reading this. <3