Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Meet Clementine

When I first felt a small lump in my breast, I really didn't have time to be sick. I made notice of it, thought "hmmmm", and flew to California where my Dad was dying. I think I went out there twice, and when he passed, taking with him 95 years of my history (and prehistory, I guess), I went back to REAL LIFE

That lasted about a month. Clementine, as my lump came to be known, made herself known by quadrupling her size in three months and making my arm hurt. As it turned out, she even had a friend in there with her, a regular party going on.  I slithered in to see my doctor with...oh, I'm fine, but there may be this lump here...sidled back out with an appointment to be attended by a specialist. Nobody was saying "oh, it's probably nothing". The only question seemed to be how much, how bad, and how to get rid of it.

The week between those appointments was the last slow moving thing I remember

The tests and biopsy were on Thursday. Friday I got the call...cancer. Hmmm. I don't watch much Lifetime, Movies for Women - I had no idea how to react or what I should do next. Had a weepy little rainstorm and called my bestie. We were invited to a party but now we clearly had things to discuss. Over dinner we talked about how I felt. I didn't feel anything yet, but my arm still hurt, my boob was completely black from the biopsy, and we somehow named this parasite Clementine. I looked forward to singing "you are lost and gone forever, dreadful sorry, Clementine". These are the things we talked about an hour after the diagnosis. Silly stuff that made me ME and not Cancer Girl

Then we went to the party, high on cancer giggles and adrenalin. And later, when we were leaving, a good friend gave me Clementines embodiment, a rubber troll doll whose eyes bug out when you squeeze her tummy. 

So we are at Friday night. By Monday I had appointments with a surgeon and plastic surgeon (for reconstruction, a hilarious experience deserving its own blog). By Thursday we had coordinated a surgical date about 2 weeks hence. Friday I was on a plane to Honolulu

I TOLD you things were moving fast. The Hawaiian adventure was planned Thursday night to fill the time before surgery. My doctors thought it was a hoot and a heck of a good idea. I packed light, boarded my dog, and off we went, Clementine and I


  1. I remember when you outed yourself. You wrote that you had breast cancer and you were jetting off to Hawaii to steel yourself for the battle ahead. I thought that was an incredibly gutsy thing to do. You weren't going to sit at home and dwell on what might be. You were taking the bull by the horns, living life, and would return soon enough to fight for your life. And... I think that I recall a photo of Clementine, perfectly poised at an unnamed beach in Hawaii. She did not know that she was soon to be lost and gone forever.

  2. I am looking for that photo, in fact. Apparently it's lost and gone...well, probably not forever. But she, or her rubber avatar, was recently spotted buckled in safely in a minivan. Someone said she went to London. I only know her namesake was lumpy, bumpy, and better off gone!
    Good memory, Ms. Beesknees.
    Tomorrow I might be posting about the Tata to the Tata party at Hooters...