Cruel Summer

For those of you who know me well, you know I have a ridiculous obsession for 80’s music. I don’t know why, but their songs always seem to resonate. I love the beat, crazy music videos and full on cheesiness. There. I’ve come out of another closet.

This year I was so excited about the summer, planting pretty flowers, taking our fur babies on long walks and welcoming my parents to stay and hang over the summer with us. Well, as you see from my previous posts, that was not the case. After I told a good friend about my diagnosis, she said there’s a saying in Russian that translates to “You make plans, and God laughs”. Kind of cruel, but true. I had to laugh.

At first, when you’re diagnosed, you don’t know what your outcome will be. You have several calls that are all confusing, you have to schedule this doctor first, then an MRI, then a biopsy on the other breast, then a genetic test, and the list goes on and on. So all those appointments, you have to show up and do the thing without still knowing what type of cancer you have. Has it spread? How big is it? All this time thinking you have something inside your body you just want out! It almost makes you feel dirty, like this thing inside of you does not belong to you. You don’t want to Google anything, of course, because you don’t want to get the wrong information. So you go about your day worrying about the stupidest little things. Maybe I shouldn’t sleep facing down, what if I squeeze the tumor and it spreads? All these thoughts until you have THE APPOINTMENT, that usually takes about 3 weeks to schedule after that first you-have-cancer-call.

After you start the appointments, they don’t stop. It’s a full-time job just making your way to the hospital, being poked around, stripped naked several times and touched by everyone and their mother. Jeez. I never thought of myself as a model, but jeez, I even had a photoshoot of my breast before surgery. Big room, lights, professional camera, bouncing light screen, the whole 9 yards. The photographer would say, face straight forward, now 3/4s, the other side, head up. Smile. Straight up. HTT – Head to toe as Tyra would say.

Finally THE appointment with my breast surgeon came and I was able to get the results. Within the crap shoe, I was soooo lucky to be in a Gucci shoe and the crap was a tiny little one taken by a vegan person. Yikes. You’ll say. Who cares! I’m done filtering myself. The results came ok, two tumors on the left breast, one contained, one invasive, stage 1.

For those of you who know nothing about breast cancer, the stage is dictated by the size of the tumor. That’s all that is. Now, there are other elements that come into play with the type you have. The younger you are, the more risk for the cancer to spread faster. Bingo. Also if diagnosed before 45, you need to take this generic test to make sure you don’t have a specific gene that makes you prone to developing other types of cancer. Thank God, that came back negative, otherwise I would have had to do a double mastectomy AND also remove my uterus. Ay Chihuahua! Phew, dodged that bullet.

Then I had to of course test the other lady – Ms. Right. Ms. Right needed to clear the test also, so we had to do the whole shebang again, another mammogram – more squeeze, another biopsy and wait for her results. Flying colors!

All these tests are to clear you for surgery. Make sure they have as much information as possible before they go into surgery and how they approach it all. Finally, I’m good to go and meet with my doctor again to see what dates are available. This was a Wednesday – June 26th. The doctor comes back, and the only date available for her and my plastic surgeon was Monday July 1st. Gulp!

Our second wedding anniversary was on July 3rd and we were hoping the surgery would happen after. This way we would be able to celebrate beforehand. But again, you make plans, God laughs. So we decided to take a mini staycation, stay at the hotel we stayed for our wedding just for one night over the weekend, spend some quality time together and get ready for it all.

Since I love 80s music so much, I kept playing it on the way to-from appointments in the car and one song came up that really resonated with me – Cruel Summer.

Hit it.