Apparently there are a lot of people who get tattoos on their breast after a mastectomy or lumpectomy. I had never heard of it before, and I am not really a tattoo person at all, but the idea is interesting.
I started thinking – if I was a tattoo person and I end up with a mastectomy, what type of tattoo would I get?
And then it hit me- How about an eye patch?
Oops – I poked my eye out! (or breast as the case may be 🙂 )
As funny as that seemed to me at the time I thought of it, I cried later. If you look at some of the pictures of women with mastectomies (more breasts: http://www.ryot.org/photos-mastectomy-tattoos-breast-cancer/842505, http://www.babble.com/mom/in-celebration-of-a-scar-25-amazing-mastectomy-tattoos/), they look quite deformed, like some big claw reached in and grabbed them away. Like some of the photos you see of a person after a shark attack. Scary.
Reagan had a baseball game last night and I sat and talked with a friend about life, breast cancer, being a woman – things like that. She asked how I would feel if I had to have a mastectomy. I guess I don’t know yet. I guess I won’t know until I get there. Pretty certain with my cancer being lobular (it hides deep in breast tissue) that even if it shrinks to nothing from the chemo they will still recommend a mastectomy. It’s not that I haven’t thought about it- it’s just that chemo and other things are looming more on my mind right now.
Will I feel less of a woman? I sure hope not. When I was a teen I was furious that I grew… well, how to say it? “bigger than average”. Those things got in the way of playing softball and other outdoor tomboy activities that I did on a regular basis. It was annoying to wear a bra, annoying to have them in my way, annoying period.
In high school, my sister told me “Apparently Mom was only supposed to have two daughters, so God only gave her two sets of boobs for her kids. You got one pair, and Wendy and I had to share the other pair!” We laughed at the time and I honestly told her that I would rather have the “half pair”. Guess I may get my wish after all, just not distributed quite the way I had envisioned back then
I have decided to stop reading cancer discussion boards. You know, I always tell people here at work that Google is a wonderful thing. Can’t figure out what that error in your code means? Google it! Want to know what the latest and greatest trends in data warehousing are? Google it! Want to know what your chances are that you will live at least 5 years after being diagnosed with cancer? Google it. (But go to the real cancer websites- American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute) Read the stats, prepare yourself for the types of treatments that may come your way, but don’t spend too much time on the discussion boards.
I wanted to read ahead as to what I might expect in chemo treatments- how long would the nausea last? would it get worse with each treatment? – but then I kept reading and reading. How someone felt when they lost their hair. The woman who ended up with neurological issues that still haven’t gone away years after chemo. How another was “cured” and a few years later it came back and she was Stage IV. 😦
I can only be positive and move forward if I stop worrying about what might happen. Cancer has already happened to me. So why worry about that? I also can’t predict what will happen to me by reading about other people. Although most people going through chemo can expect hair loss, some nausea, and fatigue, everyone will experience them differently. Just like Schroedinger’s breast– my knowing the results of my biopsy may have changed the course of my daily life, but I already had cancer at that point. Worrying as I waited for the results didn’t change anything. I will educate myself ahead of time about my cancer treatments, but not dwell on it.
I have to believe I will be cured and that it will not come back. I can’t dwell on those other thoughts. Why waste time and energy when I could be enjoying my life? No one has any guarantees as to a long life anyway. When my mastectomy comes, I will deal with it then. For now, one chemo down and seven more to go. I can do this.
I am heading back up to feeling more normal – physically anyway. I am hungry and can eat small meals. I am walking each day. I worked from home yesterday and am in the office today. My friend Patty and I walked a slow mile for a morning break. I am tired but I am blessed.