A few things I am figuring out, which I think can be summed up thusly: be brazen.
- Refuse shame - It's more easily said than done. But with practice, I think it will be possible. Posting this photo is practice.
- Recruit allies - The day before my mastectomy, I was dressing after my swim in the gym locker room. I was alone except for one other woman, whom I've seen often. We'd never spoken. I felt funny that the next time I see her will be post-op. She will notice, she will have thoughts. I will wonder about those thoughts. We were dressing in silence, side-by-side, when I finally opened my mouth. "I have to talk to you about something," I said, and told her about my cancer, my upcoming surgery, my nervousness about locker room dynamics. "People are very supportive here," she assured me, going on to talk about her own breast cancer, to advise me about getting through chemo, and to tell me about the swimming buddy who shaved his head in solidarity. In the middle of our conversation, the pool manager came through and chimed in about her own cancer experience. I walked out to my car smiling. You never know what will happen when you speak up.
- Don't worry about it - David Allen says "whatever has your attention needs your intention engaged." To me, this doesn't mean push away thoughts of scary stuff. Worry happens, but it's a lonely pit-stop just shy of feeling the feelings, making plans, and taking action. Don't hang out there very long.
Coming up next:
- New York - my brother D~ and I are driving to the city to visit our Dad today. We'll spend the night and come back tomorrow. But first, I'm going to the gym.
- Chemotherapy - I have a check-up scheduled for Thursday. If all goes well (and I've finally put this lingering cold behind me), I'll start chemo the next day: Friday, January 7th. Yikes.
- Blogorama - I expect my next update will be chemo-related. I'll let you know what it's like, how I'm feeling, etc. And I'll bring my camera.