Part 3 Cherry Blossom Eyelashes
Funny things happen when you tell people you have cancer, especially breast cancer. They give you "the face". The face is interesting, because it's not like a pity face or even a sorry face, it's a face that says "I'm scared shitless. What happened? If this happened to you, it can happen to me." And it can, for no reason whatsoever. That's where the scared shitless part comes in. Then they want to know details, not because they really want to know, but because they need to do their own mental checklist and measure it against yours, to see if we've done the same things.
Then you tell people what you've decided to do, and it really doesn't matter if you have no logical other choice (like me), or you have options, a look of disbelief will come over their faces and you get either "girl, I don't know if I could make that choice" which is of course, ridiculous, because, of course they could. If someone says "you do this thing or you will die," dammit, you do that thing.
The other response is "I don't think I can take away my womenhood." This is an interesting one. My tits are not my womanhood.
My swagger is my womanhood. My walk, the way I look over my shoulder or turn a phrase, and maybe the way I lower my Cherry blossom laden eyelashes and then blink two times slow while my lips are moist when I want my man to do something. And the truth is most of my friends are getting long in the tooth, so the womanhood that we think we are trying to preserve look like arrows damn near resting on your knees, so new ones
Could be a welcome change.
When they told me, I did not fret about any of the above. Instead, the anesthesia was the thing, and needed to have a word with the anesthesiologist. It did not matter that the root of fear was based on on something irrational . It did not matter that my real fear was based in an event that happened almost 50 years ago, one that I did not even witness. Somewhere in the back of my brain, I remembered being told that my mother went into cardiac arrest during some type
Of cancer related surgery. It did not matter that so much time had passed and that the science of anesthesia had changed dramatically, or that a multitude of advances had been made in oncology. It also didn't matter than I was much more fit than she had been, that I had been working on being a figure athlete so much that people now looked at me and said Things like "you're kind of
Strong-looking for a girl ", and I was in excellent cardiovascular health, I was still scared. Nor did it matter that I had been praying unceasingly; the doctor was not God. I still needed to let the anesthesiologist know what time it was.
He sheepishly entered the room. I told him I had two daughters and three sons and they needed me. I Told
Him That I had read everything I could about what they were going to do to me.
I told him to list the drugs he intended to use, and then to his surprise, I discussed their side effects. I discussed my weight and my bodyfat percentage and how that might affect my metabolism of the drugs. He listened and then he asked "what don't you like most about anesthesia?"
I paused, thought a second and told him that I did not like lost time. That and the absence of dreams. He nodded and looked thoughtful.
"Your one job is to wake me up. I have a book deadline."
He smiled. "Thank you for letting me know this. You're a smart woman. I'm the most important person in the room, " He said.
And then I woke up.