Update on everything:
1. I skipped radiation today, just for today, and DAMN did that feel good.
2. I've been experiencing depression and anxiety, which waxes and wanes, and is very stressful. I don't really want to blog about it... I'm just saying.
3. I went to trapeze class last night, and it felt SO SO good to be "back," with chalked-up hands, re-building my calluses... but my entire relationship with trapeze is so different now... that is a post of its own for another time, or maybe in my trapeze blog instead of here.
4. I went to an art show at Keene State College tonight, which included an exhibit by KSC senior Jessica Yager, whose mother was diagnosed with breast cancer last year. Her mother's journey, from diagnosis through treatment, is the theme of Jessica's art, and it's incredible. I was entranced by this fountain she created, with a life-sized bronze sculpture of her mother (post-mastectomy), standing in a healing rain, in a bed of ocean stones. It's beautiful. After I stared at this for a while, I rounded the corner and was suddenly inches from this large drawing of a breast filled with lobules and lymph nodes glowing blue... that brought me to tears, as the memories of my Sentinel Node biopsy came back to me. The blue dye they injected into my areola to make my lymph nodes glow like that, too.
Jessica's art is a mixture of drawings and words (found a lump, Oncotype, mammogram, mucinous tumor), sort of all blended together, and it was so emotional for me because it was like a huge, public, visual representation of the swirl of thoughts/words/emotions that are inside of me. Part of one drawing was her mother lying on the radiation table, there under the linear accelerator, and it was so surreal to be staring at that in an art gallery... that machine that has been a daily part of my life now for a month. I thanked Jessica for her work, rather stupidly saying by way of introduction, "I have breast cancer, too!" And then I met Jessica's mother, who immediately wrapped me in a hug. She asked me how things are going for me, and I blurted out, "I skipped radiation today!!" and it turns out she, too, is about 2/3 of the way through her radiation treatments. We were both a bit teary as we talked, connecting as is only possible with a woman who's been through the same journey as you have. I cannot recall any time pre-diagnosis when there was anything in my life that led me to hug and cry with a complete stranger the instant we met... it's a very strange feeling.
If you're near KSC, check out the gallery... Here's the info: http://www.keene.edu/tsag/exhibits.cfm