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Breast Cancer Through the Eyes of This Nurse

by Marijo Phelps  
11/02/2011 / Health

I took a really good look at my incision sites today. Maybe I shouldn't have. Retired RN with only one patient (me) might not be good.

Ductal Cancer in Situ, two little grains of calcium overlaying cancer, my once rather large breasts are now much, much smaller and so swollen they look like tiny, overblown balloons. I have never seen balloons which were bruised, holding surgical glue and steri-strips before.

This really hurts more looking at the site of the attack. Yes, I was invaded by cancer and then again by two well known surgeons in their effort to make me healthy and somewhat "normal" again. I am definitely not the "me" who has looked back from the mirror for years now.

I won't tell you what the surgeon said, that they took almost 2 pounds off each breast. Now I suspect some of my sweaters will be huge and other button down shirts might fit without straining for the first time in years. OK, but I really liked those sweaters. Yes, I know how to sew.
Who is that woman I catch a glimpse of in the bathroom, the one with the tiny (for me) top and the usual size 10 jeans. I don't recognize her, only that she is posturing like she hurts. Sometimes she is pain free if she holds still and doesn't move her arms. Other times her whole upper torso burns like a chemical burn. Sometimes there is a perpetual ache. This too shall pass.
The incisions look clean and they seem to be healing through their betadine tinged scrub which is still evident past several washings, as are the black marks made free hand by the plastic surgeon.
I think I am in mourning for a part of me that has been there for over 50 years, could that be possible?

How did I become so vintage, and now so rearranged?

I am pouring out my heart and soul to this piece of paper still not knowing if this frontal assault and the prayers of so many did the job in eradicating that terror with the short name, cancer. I should find out in a couple days what the final biopsy says and know if we go to radiation from here or if further, more drastic surgery is yet necessary. I have ordered new, colorful and pretty bras. I wonder if I will get to use them?

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About Self

Saved by His grace in 1974, from 9 years of professing atheism into His loving arms. RN for 23 years, missionary with YWAM then statistical analyst for Every Home for Christ over 9 years. Living with my husband in the middle of a mountain meadow. GRIN! Wanting to spread the good news

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