I notice that I often unconsciously place my hand on the spot where my breast used to be. It’s sort of like a breast, at least more so than right after my mastectomy. As I’ve previously mentioned, there’s a calzone-shaped tissue expander in there right under my skin. I do it so often that I’ve begun to worry that I’ll be talking to one of my patients and suddenly find that I have put my hand under my bra without even realizing it.
I have to admit, it’s a pretty good hand warmer. Since I don’t go around topless, it’s well insulated by clothing. Plus, it’s located near the nuclear reactor part of my body, where the hot flashes seem to originate. And since the skin over the expander has no sensation, it is not unpleasant to touch it with an ice cube cold hand.
But mostly, I think…
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So I spent Thursday night through Friday morning in the E.R. with one of my sons. I was reluctant to go in, but his 106.2 degree fever and listlessness made it necessary. Though no one likes the emergency room, I have a developed a particular and overwhelming distaste for the whole hospital scene. And, sadly, this hospital overnight prompted me to realize how “jaded” I’ve become when it comes to the severity of symptoms and illnesses in general. Call it another side effect of being a cancer patient.
What I am afraid to admit out loud — and even really hesitant to share in this, my somewhat anonymous blog, is that I am beginning to wonder if cancer is interfering with my ability to be the kind of parent and person I want to be (and the kind of parent/person I used to be).
While procedures and blood draws and…
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