Good Attitude

Y’all are not gonna believe this. I have to have *another* lumpectomy. We went to see Dr Schmidt today and he ended up sending me for a mammogram. The mammogram showed some calcifications. Calcifications, for those of you who don’t know, can be a sign of breast cancer. In the general population it’s about a 10% chance. Of course, I’m not the general population—I’m cancer girl—so, Dr Schmidt wants to do a surgical biopsy.

Now, you’re probably thinking (but you’d never have the nerve to actually say it—which is a good thing, because you might get hurt), “Why don’t you just lop the thing off and get it over with?” Well, to tell you the truth, that was my line of thinking, too. I thought, “I do not want to do another lumpectomy. This is getting ridiculous. As much as I’ve fought tooth & nail to save the boob thus far, I’m ready to move on and start planning reconstruction.” But, Dr Schmidt says we need to figure out what we’re dealing with first. So, I’ll be having another surgery in two weeks.

Of course, in the process of all of this, I had to meet with the radiologist to go over the mammogram. He came into the room to break the news to me that he was recommending a biopsy. Like Stuart Smalley, he was doing his best to be a caring nurturer, expecting me to be all emotional or something. (The whole time I’m thinking, “Yeah, yeah, yeah…can I go talk to Dr Schmidt now?” and “Man, I’m hungry—I knew we should have stopped at Panera!”) “I’m sorry,” he said, “Do you have any questions?” He seemed a little shocked when I was like, “Look, I’ve done this before. I knew the purpose for coming up here for the mammo was to help determine whether of not I get to keep the breast. It’s really not a big deal.” He commented that I had a really good attitude. I thought, “Buddy, I don’t even have my good attitude with me at this point—it’s out in the waiting room with my coffee. This is my annoyed, let’s-get-on-with-it attitude you’re looking at.”

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Wouldn’t it be great if everyone thought that way? Like, if anything that wasn’t sobbing or freaking out was considered a good attitude. Man! My life would be so much easier if when someone was sapping my will to live with some boring cancer story, I could just be really short with them and they’d still say what a good attitude I had. “You know Eunice, I thought that story about how my friend died from breast cancer would upset her, but instead she just had this really great attitude when she told me, ‘Cancer isn’t killing me, but your story is, please excuse me while I run away as fast as I can.’ She’s just such an inspiration to us all.”

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