What would you say if you knew that in a few short days you would meet a team of strangers who will save your life? Would you thank them in advance? Would you demand that they do the absolute best job for you because you love your life and want to keep living it? Would you beg and plead for them to please cure you and make you healthy again?
I’m trying to figure that out right now – what to say. I meet my surgeons for the first time in a few days and I am really nervous about it. Am I ready to have the cancer conversation with them? No, I don’t feel like I am. I need to know more, read more, and see more.
And I don’t want to cry in front of them. These people who will take the cancer out of me, who will heal me, and who will return me to my regularly scheduled life. I don’t want to be so overwhelmed with information that I start crying and can’t speak to them. Every second that I sit in their office crying is another second that I am not asking the right questions. I am wasting my time and theirs with tears. There is a time and place for crying, and I hope I can hold it together when I meet them.
As my husband is reading Stand By Her, I am reading Dr. Susan Love’s Breast Book as fast as I can before our first surgeon meeting. It is terrifying and informative. It is humbling and helpful. I had to stop reading the section about congenital breast defects. Never in my life did it occur to me that there are women who were born with misshapen breasts, one breast, or no breasts. I am lucky. Even with cancer, I am lucky.
So, what would you say to the team who will hopefully declare you cancer-free in the future? Would you tell them about the person you are? Should I tell them that I like to hike, that I run (but do so very slowly, especially in road races), that I love photography so much that my dream is to work in a studio someday, or that I love my life so please save it?
What will I say? I guess I won’t know until I open my mouth and those first words come spilling out.
Read my continuing posts about breast cancer.