Sunday, April 1, 2007

The Harshest Cut

I found out last Monday that a friend has breast cancer and is having a single mastectomy tomorrow. She's my age (early 40s), single, no family close-by. She was pretty nonchalant when she announced to everyone, saying she didn't want anyone to feel sorry for her or make a big deal of it.

I literally cannot stop thinking about her and what she must be going through. Like most women I have a love/hate relationship with my breasts. They are small, always have been, so of course I always wished they were bigger, even just a little bit. Despite their size, or perhaps because of it, they are perfectly round, symmetrical and, if I do say so myself, rather pretty. I like them. I'd like to keep them.

She's about to have a part of her body removed. Yes, she will have reconstructive surgery and eventually, hopefully, noone will be the wiser. But she will always know there is a part of her that is missing, and what is there in it's stead isn't real.

I don't have any personal experience with cancer of any kind, and know nothing about mastectomy other than what I've researched this week, and I hope I never do. I have a slip in my purse for a mammogram. I'm making an appointment tomorrow.


  1. I'm so sorry about your friend. What a shitty deal. -Kym

  2. She sounds like a tough woman, being so brave in the face of such scariness.

  3. Hi Donna

    This is terribly sad, I hope that you can support her despite her brave face that she is putting on. I have never had any experience with breast cancer but my Mom died of Cancer of the Liver 27 years ago a week before I got married the first time. My Dad went on to get remarried and after three years his wife died of cancer, again!!!! He recovered from that and married a third time and his third wife also died of cancer about 8 years after they married!!! What are the odds.

    I am really slack with having my physical checks regularly, in face they almost never happen, maybe I need to get my butt in gear and get them done. I am in my late 40s now so it is probably a good thing if I do.

    My best wishes to your friend and hope for a speedy recovery.


  4. There was an article in last month's Chatelaine about the experience of a single woman gong through breat cancer. About how even though you are single, you are not truly alone. Her friends really stepped up to the plate and helped her out.
    Your friend sounds like she is putting up a brave front, she's lucky to have a good friend like you to help her through this.
    Now, go get your mammogram done!

  5. That sucks. Tell her I only buy KitchenAid pink appliances, so some of my money goes to help find a cure:-) She will beat it.

  6. Donna, I hope your friend's surgery goes well. She sounds really brave. Mine are tiny but like you said, they are mine and I like them right where they are. And I'd like to not have cancer. Yep, definately a wake up call. Sending good thoughts to your friend.

  7. My Mother had breast cancer, diagnosed in her mid-60's. That isn't what killed her. That was done by the hand of a drunk driver. Anyway, I remember her mourning the loss of her breast, but I also remember the courage she had to go forth and fight it and she did. She always told us as kids to "Pick yourself up. pull your head out of your butt and get on with life" which is what she always did. Maybe a few times in her life, short jounts on the pitty pot, but never for long. Tell your friend to fight and beat the cancer, To keep a positive attitude even when she doesn't feel like it. Not to let the illness win. I really believe that can make a difference in a person's recovery. I've seen it alot, I'm a nurse. Good Luck to your friend.

  8. She ended up having a double mastectomy after a pre-op MRI showed cancer in the left breast as well. The lymph nodes are OK so she probably won't have to have chemo or radiation. My mammogram is at 4pm next Thursday.

  9. Sorry to hear about your friend's illness. Cancer definitely changes one's life. It's up to the person whether it's for better or worse. It can sure make you appreciate what time you have. There is nothing sadder than taking life for granted and letting it pass you by. I wish your friend all the best.