How do you know your dog is dead?
My mom was worried and would send me text messages about her old dog. I asked him if he was breathing and no, Wilbur was not breathing. He collapsed as soon as he was fit. I told Mom to cook a towel for him and I would be back soon. It was already a busy day. My book had been released in two months and I had to respond to emails before taking the kids to your local park. But troubles are worshiped at the altar of perversion.
Later that night, after carrying the corpse to the vet, I found the tumor on my breast.
I am currently receiving treatment for breast cancer. According to my oncologist, 1 in 8 women suffers from this disorder. More women get breast cancer than regular floss. This makes me realize that it is very difficult, which is both motivating and frightening. As I write this, I am sitting on a bed leaning against something called a wedge pillow. I am in the middle of surgery and chemotherapy treatment, thinking about the buzz cut and reading about the potential for oral ulcers. I want to write, but as it stands, cancer is time consuming. It’s annoying. That won’t let me do things.
Like raising children, cancer is something you do when you are doing all the other things. My friend, when he heard about my illness, promised to weave a soft cloth for me and I would love merino wool if it came out in cashmere.
The next day, I disembarked the dog, arranged for a mammogram and an ultrasound. When a Russian woman with blue mascara and N95 mask moved my breast into a plastic tray while explaining that, because of my age (47), half of my breasts had moved to my armpits, I looked at daffodil pictures and wondered why women. they needed to be reminded of the flowers as they stood on top of a large white machine. One week later, I returned to biopsy and, this time, a field of bright orange poppies. As I stood at the table waiting for her, I wrote notes about the story of a Russian woman with blue mascara.
Soon, while I was on my way to pick up my daughter from the gym, I received a phone call. “It’s not the story we were hoping for,” the nurse began. As I parked the car, he spoke bluntly, “You will. But we must act fast. ” There were other terms: immediate tumor, surgery, chemotherapy. I interrupted him. “I need to find a parking space. Can you email me what you just said? “He said he would. I found a place around the corner.
While in the car, I told my 13-year-old son about it. “I’ll be fine,” I cried, “but I have breast cancer.” He paused and looked out the window. When we got home, he made me a cup of tea tree seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds of seeds. tim bewu tina tina tina tina tina tina tina tina tina tina Gilmore Girls. It was a time when Paris was in charge of a school newspaper. We stared at the television and waited for the rest of the family to come home. My husband had taken an adult to the DMV to test his student’s permission. When he entered the kitchen, with permission in hand, I repeated something I would say a hundred times later to my family. “I will be fine. But I have had breast cancer. ” As I explained what I had learned about my illness so far, my oldest son cried, and my husband slowly shook his head. We ordered Thai food and read a report on the disease. After I finished eating, I excused myself to listen to an example of my audio book.
“The good news is that you can keep your upper skin and nipples healthy,” a plastic surgeon told me, after drawing a picture of my breast showing the location of the tumor. She showed me my breast as well round and I was like a small, mid-sized donut. I told the surgeon that my first book would be released within a few weeks. “How wonderful,” said one resident. “We can fix that time.”
I spoke to a stranger who, eight years ago, had two mastectomy and rebuilt with the same surgical team. He told me to buy a wedge pillow, and to ask for an anesthetic, to end the operation. She encouraged me to take painkillers, and to wear a blouse to the hospital because I could not wear a shirt on my head for weeks. He reassured me that I was doing the right thing, and that my new breasts would not be affected, making me look and feel uncomfortable. He sent me a picture of his cleavage and told me we would meet him somewhere to see and touch his silicon breasts. “That’s what we do to each other,” he said, as I marveled at his invitation. Then I put on lipstick and went to the well-known ceremony of the original writers.
In the midst of the blood tests, the events of the Zoom books, and the doctors drawing on my breasts with the Sharpies, began to strike me. As I slumped on the floor in my bedroom, I thought about running away. I could fly to the island, swim in warm water, and order a drink for someone who thought I was healthy.
On a Friday in March, I got up early and showered myself with disinfectant. After removing my jewelry, I put on a pair of sweatshirts and a button-down shirt for my mom. My husband took me to a hospital and took me by the hand into the waiting room. The woman with the hoop earrings asked if she was my closest relative when I couldn’t make my own decision, I started to cry. My doctor visited me and asked if I was writing a book. “I think so,” I told her. “I’ve been busy.”
The nurse who had a mole on her forehead had to put an IV on my foot. The nerves in my hands are “deceptive,” he said. I handed him my sculpture of merino wool, and he promised that everyone would take good care of me. Then he put a mask over my mouth and told me to rest a few times.
Six hours later, I woke up with a big bandage on my chest. I felt an amazing weight that made breathing better. Under the bandage, under my skin and chest muscles, there were two extensions that could hold the future position. Extra water containers hang in my body like extra bowels. My husband kissed me on the top of my head. Her lips were soft. “She has done that,” he said, looking proud and relaxed. We ordered chicken tray from the hospital menu, and I drank apple juice through the grass. That night I asked the nurses to leave the shadows open so I could watch the lights flashing in a nearby room. I looked halfway Crazy Rich Asians and a corset film by Keira Knightley as I was put in and out of sleep. I saw it for the first time Crazy Rich Asians on the plane two years ago. I had cancer at the time but did not know it.
On my way home from bed, leaning on a pillow, I checked my email. Many people enjoyed my book. One reviewer called it “wonderful and beautiful,” and another said, “This book will bother me for a while; maybe forever and not wrong.” I smiled and swallowed some more pills. I could not move. A great pain passed through my chest like lightning. My left armpit just felt like it was burning. I had no desire other than ice water. tearing my gutter by the side and opening the scalpel to remove the implants from my chest.I did not want to hurt myself, but I wanted, no – I wanted – external things to get out of my body.The next day I took anti-anxiety medication.
A few days later, I went to the bookstore to sign. I wore a black hoodie with pockets inside to save the drain. Designed for women who had their breasts removed. It also came in pink but it looks very interesting. I sat down in the living room and signed 30 copies of my book. Customers asked me what it was like. “Confidentiality,” I replied.
My oncologist assistant called today, interrupting a short story I was preparing. Next week I’ll start chemo. This includes 16 infusions in 5 months. This is a story about a police officer who is worried about his old age. I can’t decide how to deal with it. The most powerful drug, Adriamycin, is extremely red and can cause fever, hence the name The Red Devil. You can’t make it.
Rebecca Handler is a writer in San Francisco. Rebecca’s stories have been published and given a number of anthologies, and she blogs regularly at One Woman Party. Edie Richter Not Alone, his first book, published in March 2021, received the Kirkus Star Commentary, and was featured for a long time at the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Rebecca recently received a MacDowell proposal and hopes to end April 2022 in the jungle in New Hampshire, writing her second book.
PS “Nine Lessons I Learned when I was diagnosed with cancer,” and what does it mean to think of cancer as a war?
(Photo by Guille Faingold / Stocksy.)