It was a year ago today that I had my mastectomy.
The memories are still very fresh.
I remember my anxiety turning to raw terror as I lay in the operating room (I could see the surgical tools and hear them clink as they were readied for surgery).
I remember the anesthesiologist's soothing voice. I remember that he asked me about my children in order to get me to relax (this worked much better than when he asked me about work). I don't remember falling asleep.
I remember the euphoria of waking, knowing that it was over. And I remember the whole host of emotions as I rode the rollercoaster to recovery. I still ride that rollercoaster, only now the hills are a little less steep.
I felt sad today, grieving, not just for my lost breast, but for all the ways in which cancer has ravaged my body. Menopause at 38, thinning hair and eyebrows, and, yes, the ridge of scar that runs from the center of my chest to my shoulder (not to mention the loss of mobility brought on by radiation). My face and body have been irrevocably changed by cancer.
So I gave myself permission to be a little bit sad today (and attempted to silence my inner recovering Catholic, which was telling me that I was being self-indulgent and that there are many people in the world who are worse off than I am, which is true but not particularly helpful).
Then a wonderful email exchange prompted me to check out DIY not die and behind the pink and yellow. a living journal. This in turn reminded me that Amanda had blogged about Rebel1in8.
I am honestly filled with excitement, joy and hope by this community of strong, smart women whose lives have been touched by cancer. They are engaged in creative ways to reclaim their bodies, take control of their lives and speak out against the hypocrisy of the cancer industry. Awesome.