Peas or Corn?

What a crazy week it has been.  I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have heard the phrases, “undress from the waist up” and “it opens from the front”.  “I know the drill”, I respond, as the nurse hands me a bright colored smock.  My breasts have become a free for all, definitely not a time to be modest.  Ultrasounds, MRI’s, biopsies, cold hands, touching, probing and taking pictures, like stars on a stage.  Thank goodness I do not suffer from stage fright.

I have been to one doctor or another every day for the last week.  I am, in what I call, the “information gathering stage.”  Information gathering is kind of like finding all the pieces to a puzzle.  As you find each piece, you then slowly fit the pieces together until you can see the whole picture.  It takes time, patience, perseverance and patience.  Did I mention patience?

This week several more pieces to the puzzle have been unearthed.  Unfortunately,  the MRI picked up several additional areas on my right breast that look suspicious so I had to go back for three more biopsy’s, five in all.  Damn, this last one hurt.  I actually found myself lying on the floor because I almost fainted after they squeezed my breast between two cold glass panes immediately following the biopsies.  Not fun.  If the cancer has spread, then the doctor’s are recommending a mastectomy instead of a lumpectomy.  Of course, I was hoping for the latter.  I will see more of the picture this week when I get the results of the latest biopsies.  “Patience, my dear,” I tell myself. 

Due to my “super mom” syndrome, I did not make plans for carpool that evening, and I found myself driving to Santa Ana during rush hour traffic to pick up Casey and the gang at OCHSA immediately following the biopsies.  Not one of my better ideas.  I was in severe pain and no meds for me since I am on a very strict healing macrobiotic diet right now.  No meat, dairy, fruit, sugar, alcohol.  That means NO chocolate covered almonds, NO salmon, NO avocados, NO Corona and NO Advil.   That is a lot of “no’s” for “The Yes Mom.”  What is left to eat you ask, not much.  Whole grains, beans, seaweed and vegetables.  Yummy!  But honestly, I actually feel great.  It is hard to believe I have breast cancer.  I have lost weight, my skin is clear and I have amazing energy.  I also smell like green leafy vegetables. 

As I was leaving The Breast Center (an entire center dedicated to breasts), my doctor told me I must go directly home, do not pass go, do not collect $200 and crawl into bed and ice my boobies so that there is no bleeding internally.  Apparently, internal bleeding makes it very difficult for the surgeon and causes nasty bruising.  The doctor could tell from the ultra sound that I did not “ice” or rest enough after my last biopsies.  You can keep no secrets from the ultra sound.  I promised her I would, right after I pick up carpool. 

Fifteen minutes later, I got onto the I5 freeway and headed north towwards the school.  As I approached the school, I was sick with pain and the ice pads they gave me were warm.  “Ice, ice baby” kept playing in my head.  I remember someone telling me one time that frozen peas make a perfect ice pack.  So, I parked at a small local Mexican market near the school where English is a second language.  I slowly headed to the back of the store looking for the freezer section, feeling as if I may faint or throw up from the pain at anytime.  I was bleeding through my ace bandage and I was sure people were staring at me as if I was on drugs or something.  I must have been a strange site.  As I stood staring at the huge selection of frozen vegetables, I could not decide between the peas or the corn. I stood there frozen like the vegetables, staring, confused and in a fog.  “Peas or corn”, I asked myself.  “Peas or corn”, I thought again.  “Girl, just grab an f#$*% bag”, I said to myself exasperated.   I finally grabbed a package of peas.  They were frozen solid like a brick.  Corn it is then.  I went through the checkout stand, paid for the corn, got back into my car, carefully squeezed the frozen bag of corn between the layers of my ace bandage and picked up the kids at school. 

This experience was a true reality check for me, a reminder of what I am facing.  I need to accept that life is “not as usual” right now.   Normal has a new meaning for me and I need to shift gears and focus on the more important thing, healing.

This is one of my favorite times of the year.  I love Christmas.  As I watch people shopping for presents, decorating their homes in twinkly lights, mailing cards to loved ones and baking cut out cookies, I admit, I am a little envious.  Most of my time is being spent putting all the pieces of the puzzle together so I can kick some cancer ass.  Dealing with long lines, traffic and other holiday stresses does not seem so bad to me right now.  In fact, I would be happy to spend the day at a busy crowded mall instead of another Doctor’s office.  It is moments like these when I really appreciate the “normal” because, as I have learned, your life can change in a heartbeat.  I truly look forward to the day when I am faced with the decision of choosing peas or corn for dinner, not as an ice pack.  Patience my dear!

PS.  I did take some time for “Daisy Chain” this week.  We had a concert last night.  I still know how to have fun!!!

7 Responses to “Peas or Corn?”

  1. Tracey Says:

    Deanne, I’m rooting for you girlfriend. You have what it takes and this will soon be history and you will be rocking and rolling all the time and peas will be only for dinner.
    Big Hug from across the country.

  2. clare Says:

    Remember to fit your own gas mask before helping others.

  3. Rhonda Says:

    Sending healing energy your way, thank you for sharing this story. Hope your holiday flows as great as your attitude! Take much time out for you to heal yourself….holding you in healing thoughts.

  4. Mom Says:

    We will still have a great Christmas, just no pea’s and onions! We will see you Wednesday. Love and hugs

  5. Aunt Marilyn Says:

    I can’t remember the last time I prayed this hard Deanne. You are in my daily thoughts and
    prayers. I will never have peas or corn again without thinking of you.
    Have a wondervisit with your Mom and try to enjoy the Christmastime that I know you
    love. Need a new afghan to keep you suggly through this “STUFF”????? Let me know
    if you do and what color. Love you bunches

  6. Terry Says:

    You have such a great attitude and that will help you lots! I have a friend with breast cancer and one battling lung cancer. You are all very strong women with great attitudes.I know that this kind of strength and attitude has helped them a great deal and I’m sure it will help you to get through this. Sending you lots of prayers….Please do what the Dr says ! Hope to see you soon………xoxoxoxoxo

  7. Terry Says:

    You have such a great attitude and that will help you lots! I have a friend with breast cancer and one battling lung cancer. You are all very strong women with great attitudes.I know that this kind of strength and attitude has helped them a great deal and I’m sure it will help you to get through this. Sending you lots of prayers….Please do what the Dr says ! Hope to see you soon………xoxoxoxoxo

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