Titty Trailblazer

Titty Trailblazer…that’s what I was going to call this blog.  I’d jokingly given myself that nickname in response to my bestie suggesting I would be a good resource for a friend going through breast cancer.   I realized it wouldn’t be a great name for my blog, however, partially because it sounds a little naughty, what with the word “titty” and all (I was afraid it would be offensive or even mistaken for something mildly pornographic).  My mother certainly wouldn’t approve.  But mostly, it’s a big ass lie.  I’m not a trailblazer.  That term would imply that I’ve embraced this disease and have some extraordinary strength or gift to be of any help to anyone.  I don’t fit that bill.  I am pissed, sad, and still fading in and out of a state of denial nearly 10 months after receiving the phone call that would change my life (jeez that sounds so cliche).  Exactly one week after my breast biopsy, on the first business day of 2013, the breast care nurse called asking if I had a few minutes to talk (I told her no, of course), it is still surreal.  Every time I accidentally catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror (I rarely look on purpose, and then only to make sure my scars are healing properly), or when I find myself sitting in the oncologist’s office for my quarterly check-up (I’m always, always the youngest one in the room and, quite frankly, thankful that I’m there for breast cancer…you can tell by all the coughs that most of the other patients have lung cancer), or when I lay awake at night replaying this year in my head, the voice of that nurse echoing through my brain…it is still so surreal.

I am waiting to wake up and realize everything is fine, everything is normal.  And then I realize, it’s not fine or normal.  This is just my “new” normal.  And I tell myself to suck it up, be grateful I’m alive, and move the fuck on.  Quit whining and preaching – seriously, I wonder if people compare me to a former atheist who suddenly found God the way I bang on and on about breast cancer now.  The truth is, it consumes my thoughts.  If I’m having a conversation with you, chances are great that I’m thinking about breast cancer, grieving the loss of my old body and my once blissful ignorance to the fact that cancer doesn’t only happen to other people.  And it keeps me awake at night (sometimes because of the physical pain, but mostly the thoughts).

I’m afraid I make people uncomfortable when I talk about it, or that I’m alienating friends and coworkers with my banter and my frequent bitter comments and posts on Facebook.  But some people have told me they appreciate hearing the truth: that this is a really ugly, scary, and disfiguring disease (physically and emotionally).  There is nothing cute or pretty or provocative or pink about it.

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