grateful amazement

finding wonder…everywhere.

July 2010 – July 2015 :: A Cancer Survivor’s Retrospective :: Day Twelve

on July 13, 2015

Today was part of the this celebration.
Today I word a pink tutu and a metallic tattoo.
Today I ran through clouds of color and glitter.

I celebrated today with sweat and tears and laughter and family.
Because I never would have chosen cancer.
But cancer chose me.

So I kicked its a**.

{from my CaringBridge journal…}


September 18, 2012
One week from this very moment, I will be in the hospital, recovering from the next surgery in my Cancer Journey.

You see, I have chosen to undergo a prophylactic mastectomy and begin the reconstruction process on Tuesday, September 25.

So, Dr Viney (the breast surgeon) and Dr Becker (the plastic surgeon) will be tag-teaming me that day, as my remaining breast and I part for good* and I am introduced to the pre-implant process called Expansion. {I’m not sure just how much detail you all want me to include here (or even how much would be appropriate), so I think I will just leave it at that and you can 1) use your imagination to fill in the blanks, or 2) email me – using the address on the right-hand side of this screen, under ‘e-mail author.’ I honestly will be more than happy to answer (most) questions you may have and do my level best to quench your curiosity and/or any desire you have (weird as it may be!) to live vicariously through me! *wink*}

*for good = there are several, several changes to that breast and its natural fibrocystic state that have Dr Reynolds (the oncologist), Dr Viney (the breast surgeon), and Tosha (the most delightful DNP – Doctor of Nursing Practice – ever!) concerned enough that they have all engaged in longer-than-normal Feel Laura Up sessions over the last couple weeks/months. The general consensus is that removal of said breast is a stellar idea – if only to thwart that Damn Cancer Thing from attempting to rear its ugly (butt-ugly, if you ask me!) head again.

Readying myself for this dual-purpose surgery (removal + reconstruction) has been quite different overall than two years ago, when that September was The Original Cancer Surgery Month for me…in 2010, after the biopsy confirming what God told me they were going to find led to the lumpectomy that was ultimately unsuccessful at removing all of the cancer, I was (without realizing it) mostly detached emotionally from that surgery and the one that followed (the mastectomy).

I think one naturally finds a place of detachment that feels safe and not-too-bumpy in the midst of hearing world-rocking words like cancer, surgery, chemo.

This time, I am way more aware. Way more present. I made the choice to proceed with these upcoming surgeries. I’m willingly going under the knife (yikes!) for a number a reasons that include: vanity (I’d like a Matched Set, if you know what I mean) and peace of mind (when one’s oncologist says, ‘I don’t think [this lump I’m feeling] is cancer, but it definitely feels like something that could turn into to cancer, given the chance,’ having the offending Lump Housing – ie, the breast – removed seems prudent to me.

But still, being more aware, more present also allows for more rumination that leads to thoughts like ‘What the H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEYSTICKS am I thinking?? Signing up for more post-surgical recovery time, more scars, more pain meds…wait, more pain meds…that’s actually a GOOD thing! Ha!

Pick the day. Enjoy it – to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come… The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present – and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future. ~Audrey Hepburn


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