Did you know that if you put a frog in pot of very hot water, it will try to jump out, but if you put a frog in cold water and heat it up to the same very hot temperature, it will stay put?

I am that stationary frog.┬áIf I had to travel the distance from before cancer to the latest dilemma each time, I’d go coco bananas.

So instead of reliving the cold fear accompanying the biopsy, the diagnosis, the notion of abandoning your family, the operation/mutilation, the pain of reconstruction, the fear of what you’ve bequeathed you kids, the dodgy pathology, the medical ambivalence, the toxic treatment and its long-term side effects, you put a bookmark in somewhere towards the end and take your broken self from there to the next challenge.

Which for me came in the form of this message:

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Yes I have a preference! A very strong one, and it is to Fuck This Shit. But of course, Hobson’s choices have become my stock in trade and I will respond like a good patient once I’ve made the ‘best decision’ whilst reminding myself there is no such thing, there is only best guess and living with it.

The devil is to deflate the implant and risk internal scarring, but keep it out of the way of the radiotherapy beam. The deep blue sea is to keep the implant as is and accept a bit of the beam will spill on to it. So even though it is unaffected by cancer because it gets in the way it’ll receive the treatment. Collateral damage. The real problem is down the track, when there’s a high risk of implant rejection. I’ve accepted this reality for my left foob, that the right may suffer as well seems like a bridge too far, no?

People often say, in a way that’s meant to be kind but often only amplifies my sense of isolation “I just don’t know how you get through all this.”

At this very second, I don’t either.

3 Comments on Collateral damage

  1. Sammy, you will do as you have done so far. Each day brings a new set of considerations & you talk to Ted & you use your brilliant mind, & you make the best choice you can on that day with the information you have. There is no doubt that this sucks, in a very big way. And being asked to prefer one of those options is just ridiculous, really, isn’t it? Prefer?

    I am bewildered at these conversations that are taking place by doctors with you & about you, and you having to weigh up the medium to long term benefits whilst making these vital decisions. So much medical information you are acquiring & quickly!

    I choreographed a flash mob today to ‘dancing queen’ by abba. It was organised by a friend – who is a breast c/masectomy/radiation/reconstruction survivor. She had decided to ‘do’ a flashmob for her partners 50th birthday.

    See, so, there are other decisions yet to come Sammy that will be fun & good & true. Just got afew more complex ones to go.

    in the meantime, better start thinking about the track for JP’s flash mob birthday dance.

    Love, Paige xxxxx

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