Today is the first day I’ve had breast cancer. Well, actually yesterday, because it’s after 2 a.m. And I suppose, technically, that I’ve had breast cancer for a while, but I didn’t know it until today. Yesterday. October 5, 2017. Whatever.
About a month ago. I found this big honkin’ lump in my breast. Didn’t hurt. But…lump…breast…yeah, time to go to the doctor. While I’ve never been much for self-examinations (they just always feel like boob to me), I was a little surprised I hadn’t noticed this one. (Note to self: just because you can’t feel a lump when you are lying down doesn’t mean there isn’t a lump. Stand up, you fool.)
So I went to the doctor’s office. I’d planned on going anyhow to ask for Assistance in No Longer Being Morbidly Obese. And Leslie, the nurse practitioner, being, well, a medical professional, sent me off to St. David’s Breast Center in Austin. (I tend to just call it the Breast Center because otherwise I think of it as a Center for St. David’s Breasts. This is how my brain works.) I may end up sharing the hilarity that ensued while beginning my Journey to Better Health in another post, but this one is about my lovely purple world (purple being my very bestest, most favoritest color in the whole wide entire world for the past 50 years or so) colliding with pink. Breast cancer pink. Titty pink, if you will.
Here’s what happens to your world when pink meets purple: it changes the color. It’s still purple, to be sure, but it’s a new and different purple. A purple you’ve never experienced before. A purple you hadn’t planned on having, and one you will have no matter how much you love your old purple. And I love my old purple. I went for years wearing something purple every single day. Might just be nail polish, or eye shadow, but by gosh by golly, I was wearing me some PURPLE. I’ve had a purple car, lived in a purple house, eaten off purple dishes, had a drawer full of purple undies, and worn lavender essential oil as my fragrance. My status as an afficionado is not to be questioned.
When pink invaded my purple, the byproduct was three words: Invasive Lobular Carcinoma. The word cancer is scary, but the word invasive is more so. That means my pink is no longer self-contained and is searching for new worlds to infest. Beyond the milk-producing lobules (I’ll say it for all of us: ewwwww) and onward to Outer Boobdom and possibly beyond. We don’t know yet. This route cannot be found on Google Maps.
So how do I feel? Fine, for the most part. I think. I mean, I can’t un-cancer. How lovely it would be, wouldn’t it, if you could un-cancer yourself and the world around you? I’d say there is no use crying over spilt milk but that makes me think of my cancerous lobules and that is a very unattractive word–like globules without the g. Let’s just say I’d rather spend my energy exploring my new purple, following the path to wellness, and maybe learning something in the meantime.
I have some friends and acquaintances who’ve had their worlds turned pink by breast cancer. My beloved friend Jena has trod this road already–different histories but the same cancer. She dealt with it with grace and finesse and a stainless steel backbone. (I can hear her laughing from 300 miles away and it hasn’t even been posted yet. You did, Jena, you did, even if it didn’t feel like it.) My journey is just beginning, and hers has reached a happy ending. Everyone’s path is different, but someone who has navigated some of the pitfalls can be such a comfort.
So my next step is to join forces with Texas Oncology and put together a map of my path. And read up on my pinkness, but only at doctor- and Jena-recommended websites because I don’t plan to scare myself to death before I can even start treatment. I mean, really. Some websites can, I’m sure, make a completely curable cancer sounds like the Black Plague. Hell, they can make the common cold sound like the Black Plague.
Maybe having my purple changed by pink won’t be so bad. It is, after all the color of hope and strength and courage. We’ll see.