Letter to Marie

Dear Marie,

Thank you Marie for sending into the ether positive thoughts, encouraging me, sharing your journey and donating to my walk (your friend too)!

 

I am scheduled for a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction on May 8 at GTUH. And as the date approaches, I am rereading medical journals articles about DCIS diagnosis and treatment. And I’m not sure if I want to undergo this conventional treatment for my diagnosis; it seems radical.

 

My thoughts are: if I have DCIS, why is my treatment aligned with the diagnosis of invasive, Stage 1 breast cancer? What is my risk of developing invasive breast cancer? How successful are neoadjuvant therapies at decreasing mass size or removing masses altogether? What would be my short term/long term quality of life if I decide to treat DCIS as a noninvasive/a precursor to cancer by undergoing neoadjuvant treatment (with my oncologist at GT), integrative medicine (with my naturopathic doctor), and close monitoring with MRI, mammogram and core biopsy? Would I be avoiding an inevitable surgery by choosing the road less traveled? What would my insurance cover? Am I considering this as an option because I’m scared?

 

This is my work for the week! Many of the questions will not be quantifiable since there is not much data on individualized risk connecting noninvasive and invasive cancer nor studies on treatment of DCIS without surgery.

 

Following the conventional method would mean a good level of certainty, and that, in a difficult situation, provides comfort and encouragement. But there is loss and grief.

 

Some things are waiting on me…my dissertation, my travels, my mental space, and ME FREE OF CANCEROUS CELLS!

 

Love,

 

Tye

 

Homage/Ode to My Breasts

A poem and song in dedication to my breasts before undergoing breast reconstruction surgery.

I sleep in bras
cause I didn’t want you to sag
by the time I thought that was stupid
I felt uncomfortable without one.

one. one that’s mine
I think I’ll feel uncomfortable without one.

two. two sounds real good
two. I’m comfortable with two.

In fact I prefer to be comfortable with with me.

0 = My knowledg…

0 = My knowledge of DCIS before my diagnosis.

me

Wanda Coleman “Mastectomy”

the fall of
velvet plum points and umber aureolae

remember living

forget cool evening air kisses the rush of
liberation freed from the brassiere

forget the cupping of his hands the pleasure
his eyes looking down/anticipating

forget his mouth. his tongue at the nipples
his intense hungry nursing

forget sensations which begin either
on the right or the left. go thru the body
linger between thighs

forget the space once grasped during his ecstasy
sweet sweet mama you taste so

 

Wanda Coleman Mastectomy

“But, for real,…

“But, for real, the last person who sucks your titty should be special.”

said Big Kitty

Frustrating

I really thought I was doing the things to prevent cancer and disease in general. I love and eat berries. I juice…at that Kale. I used to drink spirulina with water–even though it tasted like I was drinking spoiled fish. lol!  I eat plenty of organic veggies–in fact, I had a strict vegan diet for a year after attending Tony Robbins’s Unleash the Power Within. I exercise. I take vitamins. For the last four years, I’ve detoxed at least twice a year, consisting of periods of a raw diet. I practice prayer and meditation. I’m quick to get a massage or a therapist. And I love life, and I’m grateful. And it–abnormal cells, necrosis, comedo, intermediate grade 2–is still here, in the ducts near my chest wall and 12:00 in relation to my nipple.

All that to prevent this. The new narrative I tell myself “Well, may be the health foods and the alternative therapies did prevent cancer. May be that’s why you’re stage 0 and your myoepithelial layer is intact. May be that’s why you felt the lump.” This is why I’m interested in the BRCA1/2–maybe I’m genetically more susceptible to cancer. The inspiration behind Elizabeth’s Gone Raw may be the answer, I say. But I love balance. I shall continue to tune in and listen to my body.

Still Grateful!

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My Walk

My Walk

My Walk, a portrait series explores my personal journey with breast cancer awareness, diagnosis, treatment and support.

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