These final hours

January 12, 2012

Yesterday was my last day with my tits.

I spent the day at home.  Hung out with friends.  Ate fish tacos.  Had some tasteful pictures taken of them.  Walked my dog by the foot of the snowy mountains.  Watched the sunset.  Cried whenever I needed to.  And went to bed in my silkiest bra.

Sleep never really came.  I spent most of the night feeling panicked that I was making the wrong decision about having both breasts removed.  And even as I type… knowing I have two hours before they inject my breasts to numb them… I am drowning in fear about making an irreversible mistake.

Irreversible.  I’ve thought about just that one word a lot in the past 24 hours.  Yes.  I am about to undergo an irreversible procedure.  But how many things in our life are irreversible?  Our first heartbreak.  And any heartbreak thereafter which leaves a wound that tends to ache when we least expect it to.  Losing virginity.  Having a child.  There are plenty of irreversible things in this world that are worth doing despite pain and fear.  Does this qualify as one of them?

I don’t know.  I have no idea of all the things I will feel when I wake up this evening and have no breasts.  I pray that regret is not one of the emotions that makes it onto the list.  But right now… sitting in bed in my silky bra… that prayer is all I have that provides comfort.

I do know that there are things in life that I would give my left tit for.  Hell… even both of them.

I would give my tits:

To write an award winning play.

To see what my niece becomes when she grows up.

To sing my heart out from the stage of The Grand ‘Ol Opry. (Far-fetched but true.)

To adopt and care for children who need homes.

To grow old with the love of my life.

And as I face this surgery today with a heart full of fear and sadness, I keep reminding myself that this is exactly what I am doing today.  I am giving my tits to be able to accomplish all the things that live on the list of what is most important to me.

Keep breathing, G.  Keep breathing.

End cancer chapter 3.


11 Responses to “These final hours”

  1. Claud Smith Says:

    Hello my sweet friend.

    While I have absolutely NO IDEA what this experience is like for you, I wanted to tell you that you are in my prayers ESPECIALLY TODAY and also share a thought I had…

    Gwen, you said there were things in your life that you would give up your breasts for and then you made a list. Maybe – in the grand scheme of things we don’t understand – that’s just what you are doing… making the exchange for the things you listed. I will certainly hope for that and look forward to the moment that each of those things presents itself in your future.
    And I hope that with each of those amazing occurrences, today’s experience will pale in comparison to the joy you will feel.

    You are a very strong young woman and you are being watched by many people who will never let you know they are watching – to see how you deal with this and to possibly model their behavior and reactions after yours.

    Everything – even the bad things – can be used for a purpose in our lives. Not sure yet what this one is about, but I AM sure that you will discover that purpose and make the most positive things come from it.

    I am praying for even more strength for you and for a peace about your decision and for speedy recovery.

    While I cannot be there to hold your hand, I DO hold you in my memory… and remind you that you are not alone.
    Love you, my friend.


  2. Meghan Says:

    You are amazing!

  3. Summer Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear that you are having to deal with this – but if anyone is strong enough, it sounds like you are. My thoughts are with you right now.

  4. Tricia Matthews Says:

    I will all be good. You’re making the right decision. Hugs.

  5. Tara Wiseman Says:

    Exactly. Hugs. Love and Strength.

  6. Stacey Hildebrand Says:

    I came across your story through a facebook post from my friend Kim Rhudy Chaffin. I can’t tell you how it touched me. Your ability to verbalize your feelings with such a good, positive attitude is inspiring. I know you don’t know me but I will be praying for you today and wishing you a speedy recovery. God Bless You.

  7. sometimes we have to give things up, leave things behind in order to fly. all my love

  8. Eliza Says:

    I’m 22 and was diagnosed with stage 2A breast cancer last weds. I just had surgery yesterday so I didn’t have much time to say goodbye to them before the double mastectomy. You won’t feel pain in your breasts because they take the nerve endings too but your armpits will be sore like if you had used crutches for a while. You’ll do great. Just keep fighting the good fight and trust that you made the right decision for yourself. Don’t let anyone bully you into changing your treatment plan. Here’s a link to my blog if you want to read how this process has been for me.
    Good luck

  9. From Dana Sherman’s father and step mother: You are an amazing writer, but , more importantly, you are an amazing person that needs to share your talent for words for years to come. We look forward to many, many more happy chapters. Please, continue to share your story with us. Thank you.

  10. Karen Sabo Says:

    All the best to you, Gwen. We’re thinking of you.

  11. I’ve been thinking about you all day today, Gwen. You’re wonderful and brave and wonderful.

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