I complain too much.

I know I do. There is no need to tell me.

My titanium-hard boob is not giving me too many problems. The doctor did a half-fill, so she used only 75cc of saline rather than the 150cc I’ve been getting. I’m not sure what a cc is, but I don’t actually think 150 is all that much.

I just Googled it. Thank goodness for the Internet. Apparently, a cc is a cubic centimeter. Sound right? And 150 cc is equal to 5.0721 fluid ounces. A can of cola is 12 ounces. So, just under half a can of Coke.

So, if my math and conversion skills are holding up, 75cc is just over 1/4 cup (a cup being 8 fluid ounces).

Krikey. You wouldn’t think 1/4 cup of salt water could cause as much trouble as it has! But, without a doubt, 1/4 cup is much better than the just over 1/2 cup fill I had last time. My back is a bit achy, but nothing like in December. I’m doing ok with frequent stretching and range of motion exercises – no need for drugs, heating pads, etc., although I did have to do several hot showers in the days after the fill last week. It’s already loosening up.

I don’t see her again until March 20. Just hearing the date when English Emily suggested it practically made me pee my pants. I knew exactly what I was doing on March 20 last year. Let’s see … I was diagnosed on March 17, a Friday. Spent the day telling family the news. Spent the weekend telling friends the news and reading what I could. On Monday, which would have been March 20, I was sitting in an oncologists office trying not to have a panic attack (and not really succeeding), while my husband kicked a receptionist’s booty until we got the appointment we had been promised.

There are several upcoming February and March dates that are generating panic in me. Feb. 18 – the day I first felt a pain that ultimately got me into the doctor’s office. March 10 – my doctor’s appointment, where she said it was enough of a concern that we should do a mammogram. March 15 – the mammogram, the surprise biopsy, the knowledge when I saw the tech’s eyes that I had cancer, even though none of them – not even the doctor – were allowed to say it. March 16 – the wait. The 5 p.m. phone call telling me, not asking me, to be at the doctor’s office at 9 a.m. March 17 – the news.

I just told you all of those dates from memory. I have had to repeat many of them 15 times or more this last year on form after form, in one doctor’s office after another.

I have a pain that comes and goes in my “good” breast. It’s been there since the last part of chemo. So, I’ve seen lots of doctors and nurses since then and mentioned it to every one. I’ve made them all examine it. They can’t feel anything. I’ve even had a breast MRI since the pain started. Nothing. Doesn’t matter. Every time I get that twinge, I think, “Feb. 18.” I’ve tried to think “benign cyst.” I’ve tried to think “get off the caffeine.” I’ve tried to think “most lumps aren’t cancer.” But my mean old brain keeps saying, “Feb. 18.”

My friends in the “know” call these dates “cancerversaries.” They suck. The first few years of a cancerversary are known to cause anxiety, depression and panic attacks not only in the patient, but in the caregivers, too. Anyone who shared in the trauma of the time period is susceptible to the problems. It’s similar to the important dates related to losing a loved one – his/her birthday, your birthday, your wedding anniversary, the date of his/her death. Death dates remind you of how much you miss someone you love. Cancerversaries remind you of the hell you have been through and that you will never really shake the threat of it returning.

This year, I’m going to New York City with a friend of mine. I’m not even sure what I’m going to do there. I’m hitching a ride with Elaine and her students to a journalism conference. I’ve never been to New York and I want to go. I don’t care if I sit in the hotel room and just look at the view from there the whole weekend. I just want to get as far away from cancerland as I can.

Author: rosie

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1 Comment

  1. Hey Rosie, I 100% understand your feelings at this time of year. My cancerversary is March 20, and I found my lump on March 12. It’s a really scary time of year. But I know we’ll both get through it ’cause we’re kicking cancer butt! Right? 🙂

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