The Wait

Surgery is scheduled for June 15th, exactly one week from now.

I find myself “nesting” as a friend mentioned. She had a medical condition too, congenital heart disease. We spoke of cleaning house, having enough food around for hubbies to zap warm, and so on.  Her story reminded me of how we are all so alike. We react the same way much of the time, it’s just that some of us get handed a bad card and the rest of us say, “How on earth do you handle it so well?”  For one, you would too. You have no choice but to “handle” it. And if you have kids, well, I don’t have to say anything else, do I? We do everything for our kids, our children make us better people.

So now I wait. Friends and family call to check in. They send me stuff to read:

They ask, “How are you doing?” “Fantastic, ask me in eight days!” I dread the recovery. I know, you fans of “The Secret” are trying to hush me right now, but let’s be realistic, shall we?  A radical mastectomy (both breasts for those of you who don’t know) and biopsies of BOTH armpit lymph nodes….it’s not going to be pretty. And I don’t rest well. I’m not a good patient. So mom, JoAnne and Willey, accept my apologies right now for the grumpiness you shall bear.

The surgeon informs me, I will be “Ace bandaged tightly” around the chest following surgery. I’ve asked my sister and daughters to wash my hair.  I’m getting waxed tomorrow. Why? JUST BECAUSE.  I am also getting a pedicure and manicure on Monday. JUST BECAUSE! You’d think I was preparing for a beauty pageant. Which brings me…

to the Plastic Surgeon’s office!

It’s like a spa. It’s housed within a medical building, but when you step into the office, you’re met with several square feet of granite before you make eye contact with the gorgeous receptionist (blue contact lenses, reconstructed breasts).  On a table sits a large, flat bowl of miniature chocolates and cookies, cold ice water with cut lemons await. The women who walk in and out do not resemble the women who walk in and out of the oncologist surgeon’s office. No, these women wear a smile, high heels … they push their babies in strollers, they have lean muscles observable through their Juicy sweatpants and they sport perfect hair.

Talking to the plastic surgeon is a bit like speaking with Santa Claus. Hello, you’ve been so good through this, the poking, the prodding, the cutting and the pain…..what size breasts would you like darling? It’s the gift or reward I have earned. At least, it feels that way. Christina Applegate still mourns her original breasts, “I had beautiful ones,” she recalls. Well, mine have been encased in very padded bras for almost three decades. This might not be so bad.

This summer holds more work for me than I anticipated. But that’s OK. Life happens.  I’ve got my trusty sidekick here, to keep me busy:

2 thoughts on “The Wait

  1. You have achieved and accomplished so much in your life so far, and now you will add “survivor” to the list. You are an amazing and a strong woman, and although the road you are about to travel won’t be an easy one, you will triumph. I admire you, Caroline, and you have my best wishes and prayers.



    1. What a nice message Jo-Anne! Thank you. I look forward to seeing you in August. I hope you have a wonderful summer. Have fun in the sun for me!


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