Day 13: Let’s go (the double mastectomy)

January 13th, 2013 § 5 comments

Originally written on January 30, 2009 (the two year anniversary of my surgery).


I had two surgeons that day:
one just wasn’t enough for the job.

The surgical oncologist would take away,
the reconstructive surgeon would begin to put back.

Before I headed off into my slumber,
I stood as one marked me with purple marker.

He drew,
he checked,
he measured.

And then a laugh,
always a laugh to break the tension:
Surgeons must initial the body part to be removed to ensure
they remove the correct one.

But what if you are removing both?

How silly to sign twice,
we agreed.

And yet he did,
initialing my breasts with his unwelcome autograph.

The edges of the yellow fabric measuring tape he used
had purple fingerprints up and down their sides;
use after use had changed their hue.

And now it was my turn to go under the knife –
a few more purple prints on the tape.

I got marked many a time by him that year.

Endless rounds of
purple dots,
and lines
punctuating my body
with their strange, secret blueprint
only those wearing blue understood.

We stood in front of mirrors
making decisions in tandem
as to how my body should and would take new shape.

Two years today and counting.

Moving forward.
Sometimes crawling,
sometimes marching,
and sometimes just stopping to rest
and take note of my location.

Numb inside and out,
but determined.

often melancholy.

Here comes another year
to put more distance
it and me.

Let’s go.

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