Last week–between mouthfuls of pollo tapatio at my favorite restaurant, each bite, washed down with icy Corona, so exquisitely delicious that I shouldn’t have been thinking of anything else–I got it. Calling us breast cancer “survivors” is simply an elegant solution to a verb tense problem.
I haven’t really wanted to talk about it, not wanting to appear pathetic, but I’m feeling almost swept away by the power of it all. I’m feeling physically quite a bit better, although my right breast feels radioactive, amazingly hot to my touch, while the left one is equally cold. I have to keep exercising to maintain the range of motion in my right arm–a definite tightening of something continues there. I’m still experiencing joint pain, although that is letting up.
I didn’t mind at all being lopsided all this time as long as my right breast, the “treatment area”, was bigger than the left. I thought both were pretty damn gorgeous and it really never bothered me. I didn’t mind the scars. I didn’t even mind the blue nipple or the almost purple color much of the skin has turned. But suddenly, in a matter of four days, the right breast has shrunk so that it’s noticeably smaller and I find this incredibly upsetting.