In my dream last night, as I lay in bed a two-inch tall me ran up my torso and kicked the lump in my breast repeatedly, shouting “mother-fucker” over and over. My two-inch twin, or Tit as I’ve come to call her, was in fine form. In fact she was how I see myself, like I was at about 25, fit and fierce, her calf muscles flat from cycling. She was sun-kissed in a racer back tank, running shoes and shorts. You go girl, my dream-self said. But it didn’t take long before I realized that was me beating myself up, so I got her to stop.
Earlier that night I got the call from my doctor. She’s “my doctor,” although I’ve only met her once, for a second opinion on whether my lump is really just scar tissue from a surgical biopsy (benign) 2 years prior. “Put your hands on your waist,” she’d said. Then, “Above your head.” She seemed smart in the “I hope I get her for a lab partner” kind of way. So I have that going for me.
She took charge and within ½ hour I was down in radiology for an ultrasound and scheduled for a biopsy within a week. The biopsy hurt like hell, which I didn’t expect as I fancy myself a tough cookie. The results were the reason for her call.
Through apologies she told me I had breast cancer. It really wasn’t what they’d expected. She knows it’s a lot to take in. When I hung up I only remembered part of what she said: its lobular and its grade one, which is the least aggressive. They are doing more tests to see if I’ll need estrogen-blocking drugs and I’ll need more imaging. I didn’t realize until the middle of the night that she didn’t say surgery, chemo, or mastectomy. Or maybe she did and I missed it. By mid-morning the following day, through my internet search I’d found the best type of cancer and convinced myself that’s the one I must have. It was a mere nuisance, something to monitor over time. In fact there was a move afoot in the medical community to officially stop calling it cancer.
I was somehow left feeling like I lucked out and got the best possible cancer and the best possible lab partner. Although I might feel differently in a day or two, I’m pretty sure we are going to ace this course.