Thursday, January 12, 2012

Getting Dressed (Breast Cancer)

I wish that I could write something wry and humorous about this. 

 I suppose that I could if I wanted to but, actually, I don't. My sense of humor is very much intact, but sometimes . . . 

I don't think much about having been diagnosed with breast cancer.  No chemo, no radiation.  I think about my frustrations: needing to watch my energy as I recover from two surgeries and prepare for more, weekly plastic surgeon appointments, my health insurance in a mess at the moment.  But I'm not "fighting for my life" or anything like that.  

(I actually despise the battle metaphors we use with respect to cancer, but that's another whole post.)

When I do think about it is when I get dressed in the morning.

Because what I have does not match.  

And finding ways to disguise the reality takes way too much energy and creativity early in the day.  Or any time of day.

I am extremely bored with the limitations of my wardrobe at present.

I would like to be able to wear a v-neck sweater during this warm and pleasant winter.

I am a little surprised that I have so quickly become accustomed to what I see in the mirror each morning.  But I don't let anyone else see it, for fear that they would pass out cold and get a concussion, and then I would have to make yet another trip to the hospital.

I have not for one second become accustomed to Josh being gone, and it's been three years. four months, and nearly two weeks.

And I suppose that's what I hate, every morning: That my disaster of a body reminds me, in case I had forgotten, which I haven't, that so much worse has already happened.

Update:  I posted a little before 9:00 this morning.  I then went out for a wonderful morning of breakfast and conversation with a good friend, came home and wrote most of my non-manuscript sermon, and then went to the doctor's.    I'm now in considerable pain, and am grateful that I have no work-related requirements this afternoon.  Not that I could accomplish anything at all anyway .

It interests me that so few people comment on my breast cancer posts.  I make no apologies for my whining, trivia, or explicit exposition.  I'm just documenting it as I experience it.  

More tv time ahead.  Sigh.


  1. We listen....

    As I dressed this morning: turtleneck, sweater, cords, socks -- same thing I've worn the last 4 days, I thought about how much I'm enjoying not having to think about what to wear. Mostly because of the energy it frees up for other things (and partly because I hate cold feet and warm socks with clogs make my feet far happier than stockings and pumps...).

    Why does figuring out what to wear require energy? Under even the best of circumstances!

  2. As Michelle says, we listen. And pray. Your "whining, trivia, or explicit exposition" is not the least problem; only it's not easy always to find the words to comment without either trivialising or over-dramatising your situation, or worse, assuming we know how you feel, precisely. But we most certainly hold you in our hearts...

  3. What they said ^^ and also don't assume that my non-comments are because you're whining or trivial or explicit.

    Mostly its just awe.

    (And my own internal insecurity that I comment too much on your posts)

  4. After my mom's mastectomy we talked about her experience of "not matching." She found it disorienting, and she absolutely loathed the prosthesis. I don't think she wore it after the first couple of tries. What she hated most of all was the idea of being a "survivor." She hated that breast cancer put her in a category like that forever.

    Then, however, in her last year of life, she sort of embraced the pink.

    I am grateful for these posts. Your honesty is searing and welcome.