The Decision is In

Well, the decision is in. It happened just like I was told it would. Being faced with the daunting decision of whether or not to remove not only one part of my anatomy, but an additional and equally important part as well. Honestly, I hadn’t been toiling over the decision as much as a person might that found themselves in this position. I mean, I thought about it on and off, but there are always so many other things happening in my life, that my focus ends up in many different places, almost simultaneously. I guess that could be a good thing, because it doesn’t allow me to dwell on any one thing. Instead, I flit around from one issue to the next, sharing little pieces of my attention respectively, much like a bee that buzzes around from flower to flower. After all, there are so many choices. I wonder how the bees decide where to begin.

On the morning of my follow up appointment with my surgeon, I woke up and I knew immediately what I was going to do. There wasn’t any fuss or muss and I saw things with a clarity that isn’t always a part of my decision-making process and for that, I am very thankful. As I lay there calmly, looking around my bedroom, the decision floated into view as vividly as the clouds in once blue skies, that signal the impending rain that is sure to follow.

Okay, so that part is done and I am content with my decision. Well, as content as anyone in this predicament could be. However, the hardest part is still to come. Yes, I have come to a decision concerning breast cancer surgery but along with this knowledge comes the fact that I will be minus two parts of my anatomy that I have lived with my entire life. My breasts have always been a special part of my body and I’ve always valued and revered their beauty, their purpose. I can’t help but wonder what a woman does when she has this mastectomy surgery that removes her entire breast(s)? How does she feel about herself when she looks in the mirror? Does she worry about how her husband/mate, family and friends will view her post-surgery? I am now that woman with all these questions.

I’ve had my share of surgeries in my life time but this one will be the most intricately personal one by far. A woman’s breasts can instill a whole lot of pride or they cause her to bear the brunt of much shame, when faced with their surgical removal. However, I will remain alive and well as a result of this decision. Beauty may be only skin-deep, but this experience will no doubt make me a more beautiful person from within. That is what matters most, right? I’d say, the decision is in!

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

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The “C” Factor

Well, it has been confirmed. The big ā€œCā€ has reared its ugly head again. Cancer has returned in almost the identical fashion that it did 13+ years ago. Wow! I’m still trying to wrap my head around this. I feel like I’m watching a movie that I’ve seen before. I’m still the main character although other players have changed. However, the results are bothering me much more this time around than it did the first time. It may have been because I was younger when it happened, all those years ago. My youth afforded me a kind of invincible mindset. Now, being more mature, the true gravity of my situation is in full view, the highest definition. The reality of it all keeps welling up in my mind, over and over again, like an unpredictable wave that comes and goes, only to come back again in full force.

I suppose it goes without saying that I got little to no sleep last night. I kept waking up to assure myself, that it had to be a dream. There was no way that cancer could have entered my life again. But of course, reality came crashing over me as I realized that cancer had indeed come to visit me again. I wish I could take the core of my being and my conscience mind outside of my body and view this next act of my life without having to feel all the emotions and damage that come with this kind of thing.

The gamut of emotions that I’ve experienced since I spoke with the doctor last night, have ranged any where from denial to anger, from hopefulness to despair. I must admit, I’ve even had a little pity party with no one in attendance but me. I must have asked myself at least 100 times, why this was happening to me again? Why was this recurring after all this time? Could it be that my faith wasn’t strong enough to carry me and drive my belief in God’s power to heal all things no matter how intrusive and disruptive to my world they are? I guess we could all use some improvement in the area of faith and I am certainly no exception to the rule.

Now, comes the painstaking discussions, as to how to proceed. I have pretty much deducted what my options will be, especially with this intruder returning for a second time. But knowing my options doesn’t make it any easier to arrive at any decisions. I just hope and pray that I make the right ones. It’s so hard to take myself out of the process when this whole thing is so personal. How do I remain objective in a situation like this? May God be with me, as He always is!

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

October 2019
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