Monday, July 9, 2012

Weighty Issues

"You look...bonier...than usual," says my Surgeon after careful consideration.  This from a married man who should know better than to mutter such loaded not-quite-compliments to any woman.   But we have a good rapport and I laugh at his choice of words.  "Yes, well the last time I saw you was 10 pounds and two boobs ago," I retort from somewhere within the luminous "one-size-fits-none" gown enveloping my tiny frame.

He was right of course.  And that was before my final surgery nearly three weeks ago, long before I began avoiding scales - afraid of facing numbers now dangerously in the duel-digit range. 

The war I've been waging against the cancer camped out in my body has taken it's toll.  Standing before a mirror, my slight figure brings an audible gasp.  My clothing hangs loosely - not just over my nearly prepubescent profile - but pants, once tight, slip down around my hips.  Collar and hip bones rise to make an appearance, ribs line my scarred chest like a picket fence.  Fresh pink scars lace across my chest and the small bouncy-ball sized lump that is my port rests beneath my skin just above my heart - a reminder of trials to come.

But in spite of all this gazing back at me in my reflection - I can't help but smile.  I am in absolute awe of my body.  In awe that in spite of the barrage of insults it has endured - incisions opened and reopened three times in two months, infection, foreign objects placed, drains inserted and removed - it is healing.  I am amazed that every cell, every system can somehow pull it together and recover.  That life wants to - and will - go on living.

Because, may I also remind you that these are the same cells, the same body that helped to form this cancer in the first place.  And since my diagnosis, I cannot help but feel slightly betrayed by the insidious threat that was quietly nurtured there when the situation clearly called for a "red alert" alarm sequence.

But, to be fair, if we were able to magnify the cells in my right breast by one jillion times I'm pretty sure this is what it would have looked like when the cancer first invaded my body.

I think a little forgiveness is in order on my part.  Sometimes, it doesn't matter how secure you think the enterprise is - evil Kahn can still infiltrate. 

But no matter - the bridge will gain control again soon.

In the mean time, I'm slathering peanut butter on every possible edible surface and washing it all down with a bacon latte. (Don't judge me - bacon latte's are a favorite of Captain Kirk.  And who can argue with that?)