Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Down the Booby Hatch

Today I meet with a local surgical group about excising a small benign mass in my left breast.  A week ago this appointment seemed like a horrible step onto one of two paths: unnecessary surgery that would ease the medical community's mind, resulting in more pain and scarring, not to mention infection risk and emotional trauma; or surgery that would find cancer, thus requiring additional small (or large or monumental) surgeries and other treatments in the name of preventing my untimely death.

Having obtained a few second opinions and done our own research regarding this particular pathology, my husband and I are perfectly comfortable choosing the monitoring route even before we talk to the surgeon.  We'll see if there's a new spin after this afternoon.  However, our relief is already palpable - we are in control over what needs to be done, not the person on the other end of the phone line.  There is no rush, no urgency, and no wondering what parts of our lives might be forever altered, probably for the worse.  Even a bad diagnosis still can be dealt with a piece at a time.

So, before I get all maudlin and thoughtful again, I'll just pass along another small bit of the humor that helped me to communicate each part of my news to the world without scaring anyone or myself.  I used it to express what was probably anger over feeling smashed and railroaded through an imperfect process versus any real fear about cancer.  During all the mammograms, ultrasounds and needles, I would occasionally remember this untouched blog, named for a Tori Amos lyric that I like to say to myself but only sometimes feels true for me now.

I decided that, based on my minor and relatively short experience, I might change the name to "Everybody Else's Boobs."  They certainly felt that way.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Amplitude - Life at 40

It's technically still Monday, which is when I promised my first post.  It will be the very last time I pre-book a post, as chronic procrastinators without working knowledge of Blogger have no business trying to meet deliverables.  This is for Erin who probably is not not my biggest fan, but is the only one who heard that I'd claimed a piece of blog acreage and didn't let me forget it.

Today I turn 40 and there are no wry observations about wrinkles, time lost or the "new 30" which I believe enough to make my own.  Instead, I note that the very best and the very worst things that have happened in my life occurred during the last ten years.  I also believe that this statement is most likely true were it to be applied retroactively to my 30-, 20- or 10-year old selves.  One always thinks that the last best thing was the absolute best and the latest worst thing the most unbearable.  It is a failure to imagine greater greats and deeper sorrows in the future, for the superlative nature of the present defies change.

Instead of deeming my own observation the evidence of a mind with less hope than hubris, or a life inevitably slanted toward entropy, I find it wondrous proof that my life swings in ever greater arcs as I grow.  And, if it thus follows that my next wound will cut deeper or take more time to heal, so be it.  My next heart-bursting joy will spread like a contagion until I am dizzy from the upswing, looking down at a world of my choosing.