Panic. I am not ready for man touch - must stall - "Uhh Liza and i had a bet as to what you would look like. I won."
"Mmm." Said Dr. impeccably dressed and slightly unimpressed but yet somewhat curious as one eyebrow did dare to rise above the steadfast steel of his stare.
"You have glasses." My arm shot out to point at his frames and Ethyl now free from my clutches dropped and crawled under my belt to hide. ( coward i muttered as i gracefully continued to flick my right hand at his face while my left hand dug her out of my pants and stuffed her back behind the blue drape of my gown)
"Well -" said Dr. Never break eye contact - "Had i not gone swimming this morning i would have been wearing my contacts and Liza would have won as i suspect she usually does."
Liza's face broke out into a wide squinty eyed grin and the nurse navigator - who did not miss a move turned her face away as her shoulders visited her chin in a series of breathless guffaws. The resident still stood in the corner wearing her Coach Dunce Hat. ( parnters.. mmm i wonder what in?)
The Dr. washed his hands and motioned with his brow for me to get on the table. Why is that no matter where you land - no matter where you try to position yourself you always have to scootch. Scootch up and you get a wedgie. Scootch down and the paper crinkles up behind your ears. Either way - i always feel like a piece of cod. This time a very sweaty nervous little fish.
He pressed. He poked. His fingers wrapped around Mary and squeezed the bejesus out of her. The sea monkey's tried to swim up breast but he cupped the exit with his palm. What little air there was left in my gut wheezed out of me like a lost balloon under the rung of a rocking chair.
"Ok. Here are your options. I can do a lumpectomy and try to save what I can or i can do a simple mastectomy with sentinel lymph node removal and testing….dr talk mumble swoon blah blah swoon ok - committee meeting
simple? um what is simple about removing a body part… save your breast - moron how about you save your life? sentinel what is this the matrix? jeeze that is a nice watch - numb arm pit? i am numb right now - just ask kelly! chemo - lose your hair? oh but i have such nice hair - ya so you will look great as it cascades on the pillow - ya the one in the coffin - be brave kelly!! huh?
Finally i got the committee to clam down. i looked to Liza. She was sheet white. I looked at the Dr. Then the nurse navigator gave me the look. The look of a woman who cannot say but knows. Really Knows. All Kelly - let him take it all.
Our eyes locked. Ok. this is real. jokes over. funny shoes are pointless. deal.
"All please. I would like you to remove whatever you can - whatever you need whatever you find. I don't need you to save my breast sir. I need you to save my life."
Out came the paperwork. The notebook that Liza painstakingly writes everything down flipped page after page as i nodded when i though i should and simply focused on my breathing. I signed things, smiled and pretended i could hear the instructions. But all i could hear was my Mother. When she was sleeping i would sneak up and sit on the floor beside her and listen to each breath. Deep in. Deep out. I would try to breath with her. It never worked.
" K.M you creepy little child. I am trying to sleep here, and your noisy ole mouth breathing is like trying to sleep beside an asthmatic rattle snake."
I chuckled and came back to the room. Back to the present. Back to my own breath. I took a really, really deep one.
"Any questions?" The surgeon asked as he folded up the papers and tucked them in an envelope.
" Yes," i exhaled - "Is it ok to travel? I really want to take my BFF here - (as i held up poor swollen Ethyl) - my breast friend forever - to Vegas. "
"Yes." He said as he stood to leave - "But best take Liza." ( he reached to shake my hand.) " As far as BFF's go she's the best bet you've got." And with that, he smiled at the resident and motioned for her to join the departure.
"All or nothing gals." said the Nurse Navigator with the best smile ever -