Recovering from Yesterday’s News

I seem to be recognizing my life-threatening circumstances in stages. It’s hard to know which stage I’m in until I’m booted into the next. People who have been here before me recognize where I am, I think, and they are patient. They know. The professionals, I’m guessing, have seen this again and again. I don’t know if I’m normal or just superresistant. A psychiatrist once told me, about thirty years ago (!), that I was the most resistant patient she’d ever treated. I expect my radio oncologist might sympathize.

Yesterday I checked out all my hugs sources, couldn’t find any available, had a cry day, and now I’m okay. Now that I understand the situation, my resistance is gone. Just call me Ms. Cooperation. Just call me Ms. Courage. I’ll even cancel my trip to Florida.

RESPONSE: This is the first response I’ve had to my Breast Cancer Log. It’s from a woman in her sixties who had found my website so she could order one of my books. I find stories like these really helpful to me, and I’m hoping that my sharing my experiences will help others in the same way. Here is Janet Stillwell’s email to me:

I am a Breast Cancer Survivor. I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer in 1995, had a lumpectomy and radiation. Three years later the same diagnosis on the right breast – again a lumpectomy and radiation. I faithfully had my mammograms and with each one they would find some microcalficications and recommend a biopsy. After a couple of these, when they decided I needed to have my mammograms every six months, I said to my surgeon “there has to be a better way than this.” He said “we could do a simple bilateral mastectomy and be done with this forever.” I said “go for it” and he responded” I hate to tell a woman she needs a bilateral mastectomy” to which I replied, “I’m not earning my living as a topless dancer!” He did the surgery and I have been fine ever since.

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