In college, I took a class from Nancy Bayer, who had us write a chapbook on 50 I remembers in our life, so I give her credit here for the idea. If you ever want to find out what’s going on in your brain; sit down and just pour out 50 I remembers. It makes great holiday table discussions with family – NOT!!
1. I remember the doctor calling and her voice saying I am sorry, it is cancer. I was in a field walking my dogs. Isn’t technology handy, it can bring news anywhere.
2. I remember wondering who could I call now. My Mom has Alzheimer’s and doesn’t know me.
3. I remember being so scared at the first appointment with the oncologist. Where did my regular doctor go? Who is this guy?
4. I remember the weeks of recovering from the biopsy. I remember the tears. Twenty two hours of non stop bleeding. Just apply pressure they said. You don’t need pain pills. #$)*$ them.
5. I remember the awareness of no more feeling in that breast, after the first lumpectomy. It was a minor relief from the pain but a horror of the reality. No feeling? Its been four months. What are unclear margins?
6. I remember how kind the medical people were. I constantly needed things repeated to me. No they didn’t get it all.
7. I remember wondering if I would ever swim again. My left arm didn’t work right. Was this part of it?
8. I remember wondering who would love me looking like this, and that was after surgery number one. I should have waited until after surgery 3 to worry about that.
9. I remember telling the surgeon he had given me the Wal-Mart version not the Nordstrom version. It really didn’t matter because later he had to remove it all. Rest In Peace Lefty.
10. I remember teeth coming loose from the removal of throat tubes when they pulled them out. I am suppose to be ‘positive’ and not frightened with this.
11. I remember taking the pills to keep the terror of fear at bay. Now I don’t dare to not take them. Pills became my closest friend.
12. I remember the feeling of estrogen in my body racing, feeding the cancer and the hope that the hormone blocker would work. The verdict is still out.
13. I remember surfing the web and reading what my future would be. It was scary and good. My sense of security, stability and confidence were imploded like the destruction of a building.
14. Most of all I remember the stupid things people said to me. I could write a whole book on this topic. I release them and let it go. Others, like family, just stayed away. It all hurt.
15. I remember when I forgave myself.
I am not writing any more about this today because I can’t quit crying.