Wednesday, March 01, 2006

It's my breast and I'll cry if I want to

Well, it’s over, and just as well anyway! There is a certain amount of not knowing how bad things will be that helps you do what has to be done. As you have already heard the IV line insertion went quite well (if you don’t count the fashion faux pas of pantaloons and crazy green half tights, half shoes that they made me wear for all of this, I mean talk about adding insult to injury, is bordered on inhumane). And I had Lynne the Lovely (that would not be my cousin Lynne who commented frequently at Christmas what a dreadful nurse she would make).

And surgery went well, with the help of many friends and sedatives. Yay!

So here is what went sideways. That fine wire thing, there is nothing fine about it!!! It is a sort of evil, unmitigated hell, from where I was lying. Here I was, with enough Xanax to choke a cat, but not enough to knock me out (and no altar boy cocktail to help just yet). Firstly, there was the Dr. SomethingOrOther Wilson, which has to bode well, and I told her as much, from one Wilson to another (I forbore from doing it in a Scot’s accent, or at least I think I did, but you never can tell with me, especially with that much stone on). And then there was Donna, who I had met before, and who knew where my weak spots were and spent the next hour exploited them, as far as I could tell.

My strongest memory of that hour of my life, besides the blood, my blood, in places I hadn’t expected or imagined it, was her voice saying, over and over, “You need to cooperate!” For the love of God, I am here aren’t I, I am not clawing your eyes out, I am not screaming or defending myself or even standing up for myself for that matter, you wife of Satan. What do you want from me? Well apparently, she wanted me to not shrink my breast away from the paddles clamping down over my tender breast. Yah-hah. Lady. Firstly, help me out by telling me what you want, don’t just lecture me. Secondly, I don’t have a lot to work with here, literally. Besides, once I stopped shrinking away, she complained about my rib cage being in the way. How, I repeat, how can that be my fault? How is that me not cooperating (cause you gotta know that she repeated her mantra at that stage too.)? So after I had stopped “squirming”, and had done what I could to remove my offending ribcage, and they were clamped down on me like hand rung laundry dryers, then that fun started (can you believe I choose those words?).

They gave me a needle to locally freeze my breast (god bless Emla and all the work Emira and I put into that). About 3 whole seconds later (and it is not drug addled, time distorted memory brain that is making up unrealistic numbers here), they started driving the needle with the fine wire into my breast. Hello, pain, ouch, yikes, stop. “Oh, are you feeling that?” Yah-hah. Yes. Ja. Indeed. “Like a dull ache or a sharp pain”. Sharp. Sharp. Sharp, sharp, sharp, ouch. “Oh” she said casually, and drove it deeper. What are you doing, we are not trying to quilt my breast here. If only I had said that, but I wasn’t in much position to do anything but suck it up and try my best not to, well, not to do anything but suck it up (although weep uncontrollably, scream bloody murder, or leap off the table and brutalize these “care givers” all came to mind). So I did the thing that takes an unbelievably hard toll on the body of a kinesthetic type like me, I dissociated and left my body. Abandoned it, there on the table. Sorry sweet best friend. Not sure what else I could do.

That’s when I came to focus on other things: the blood on the equipment; the incredible tension in every other muscle of my body but those around the right breast area; what happens to my brainwaves when I breathe that shallowly for that long. Eventually it was over, and my body was left limp and sore. And my heart bruised (from all that abandoning myself). Someone came and wheeled me away, green tights and all. It was all I could do to not burst into tears of joy when I rounded the corner and saw Emira, and Lynne, and eventually Kuusk, all my allies on the road. Like the hero up from the deep after having accomplished the task that can only be done alone. Like Persephone coming home, I was ready for a gentler, if not less significant ride.

I reminded (from the last time we had done this) Kuusk that the table was my altar, the hospital my temple, and she was my high priestess taking me through a rite of passage. And as before, she did not disappoint (I just hope the scars are as cool as the last set). Thank you for the safe journey home, my friends and allies!!!


At 1:34 AM PST, Blogger Alda said...

What a gorgeous narrative - filled with joy, laughter and pathos. You are so talented... and I'm so glad that you've come through this with your life force intact and fortified. Yay you!!

At 9:37 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yay! Signy, you're back! Thank you for the update, humour, tears and all. I have to echo Alda - I'm so pleased to hear that you're now on the other side, life force intact and indeed, fortified! Hope you're back to full firecracker power very soon. Cowtown Dawn

At 10:13 AM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I'm sitting at my desk hunched over, protecting my body, as I'm reading your narrative, Signy. I'm so glad that it's over for you, and very proud of you for not dismantling that woman.



Post a Comment

<< Home