Monday, September 21, 2015

Now For The Hard Part

Radiation is finished.  I had my last treatment, and none too soon, because my skin was not doing too well.  Essentially your skin receives a deep sunburn, the kind of sunburn one might get from slathering on baby oil and spending the day at the beach.  In spite of my efforts and the special lotion I was given, one side of my chest is a dark, angry red.  This is supposed to go away, eventually, but right now, I really dislike wearing my bra!

Next up...a hysterectomy/oophrectomy.  My risk of ovarian cancer is very high, because of my BRCA1 mutation.  At least with breast cancer, I was able to notice that something was wrong, and investigate further.  Ovarian cancer is often a silent killer; the symptoms are often so vague that a woman doesn't give them a second thought...until it's too late.  I have enough things to worry about, what with a seven year old running amok and such. 

My doctor assures me that this particular surgery will be pretty routine.  Outpatient, even.  Minimal downtime.  I'm still nervous about the whole thing.  There's something about losing your female bits that gives a woman pause, even when the alternative is death.  I can't really think of anything comparable that men have to go through, maybe because they have different plumbing.  But here I am, losing my breasts and my ovaries and my uterus and how am I still a woman after all that?  Do my physical attributes make me who I am? 

I don't think so, most days.  Other days, when I'm feeling less than positive, I'm not always so sure of myself.  This is a hurdle.  Since I was first diagnosed, I've been hearing all of this, but it hasn't really hit me until this week, because I've had time to brood.  I don't do well with down time, I think I've mentioned. 

It's a hurdle.  I'll get over it.  It will just take time. 


  1. Outpatient, I am surprised. I'll be saying a few prayers for you.

  2. Dear Tina, cancer sucks. Dying from cancer sucks worse. Point #1 to remember.
    Now my cheeky but serious advice. Being defined by our bodies is a thing we get used to. Speaking to you from the other side of menopause, I say embrace your freedom. No longer such a slave to the moon - it's amazing how liberating that can be. Enforced sucks, surgery sucks, but what you fear on the other side? Doesn't suck. Liberated from the dictates of your body, you can dwell in the possibilities. (Disclaimer: I may be unduly influenced by Emily Dickinson - doing ModPo : ) Look toward it with great expectations. Sending you my fiercest and best energy. xx

  3. (((hugs)))) you are STILL a woman no matter what....I never had children (due to playing in my 30s and 40s, my "clock" ran out)...I started menopause early and as a result, NOTHING in that area works properly. Yes, I still have all of "that" in that area but NONE of it works. I have my boobs but having boobs or not having boobs doesn't make you less of a woman!!!! I by no means mean to infer that what you are going through is easy. It isn't. It's awful. But you are STILL a woman and you CAN and WILL get through this! Sending much love. xoxoxo catchatwithcarenandcody

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  5. Until few months back I was sure that I was a woman, but now I am not so sure.
    I am asking questions and still searching what is meant by a woman..
    All I can say is that you are definitely female as per your dna composition.
    And would remain so because as far as I know, xx chromosome combination will not change come what may ..
    If according to you, female = woman, then you will always be a woman..
    Hugs to you dear..
    You will get over the hurdle and regale us with stories of your experience.
    I will be waiting to hear them and absorb them...

  6. You are woman and can still roar!!!!!!


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