Time and place: Feb 13, 2014, home….  This is part of the chapter ‘First Days Into Weeks’ after my mastectomy.

I was barely settled at home when a nurse practitioner from KU Surgery Recovery called, asked if I was sure I was doing alright, if I knew how to empty the drains and had no fever. She urged me to call if I needed anything. I posted her number on the frig.

Home for two days …    I didn’t know why I tried to write anything. Why bother?


Light snow every night created a cozy environment. I raised the blinds, wearily watched light flakes floating to the ground, their white veil sparkled under the streetlight, its glow bright as a star reflecting against the night.

Snow every day … I was hopeful my recall of things might be fresher … good luck on that. I scribbled on bits of scrap paper, between naps, during dinner and watching TV. Lots of TV. Haven’t the slightest idea what shows I watched. Dozing, I’m in lahlah land.

©home after surgery

The frock is very firmly elasticized to minimize movement — not a pretty selfie. But you see how it fits quite snug. If it’s possible to love a mastectomy garment, I loved its wrap-around design with firm Velcro, no buttons or snaps to tug on. I comfortably wore it every day. I relied on the little garment as constant comfort — Ed washed it after a week.

I crawled onto the bed, hung onto the iron head frame, pushed the covers with my feet, sank into the soft, lumpy mattress. Damn… so, so tired…

Several days go by, did not care to get dressed, as if I’d been deathly ill. I was drugged. I lay in bed or stretched on the sofa with Sasha at my feet. I sleep in that little flowered print frock for days, I am just too exhausted to care to change into street clothes. And what was the use? What would fit me? Why bother? I wasn’t going anywhere. I was like a lame horse — too fucking sore to move. I avoid any mirror in the house except to wash my face and brush my teeth and hair. I slept.

Several texts from friends and my cousins. I’ll deal with it later. I looked wretched and felt like a semi-truck ran over me.  Don’t care about the phone, just leave me the hell alone.

Snowing every time I looked out the window. This would be a long cold winter.

My thoughts fuzzy. I felt consumed by pain that was only eased by the Valium. Pardon the word flow here, I’m a lightweight, Valium is strong stuff. Words flow erratically. Like a crazy dream.

Family and friends and coworkers sent me best get well fast cards, so heart warming. Everyone sent prayers and encouragement to have faith and keep optimistic. My neighbor brought me a gorgeous bouquet; she and Christina brought over delicious casseroles as well. So thoughtful, lifting my spirits, I could not say thanks enough!waterlily


According to the In Situ Foundation, dogs can smell cancer, even at stage zero, “in situ”. Dogs have an uncanny ability to sense frailty and illness. They exhibit the uncanny ability to differentiate the scent of cancer in a person, helping to cure them sooner than after it’s too late.

004.JPGWhat an amazing, special nose! How great it must be for my dog’s own well-being not to inhale the stench of death from me now! Miraculous … she seemed to read my mind. Her little doggie world had gotten happy — that made me happy. Playing in the snow and lying on my bed, she snuggled that cold little black nose into me, her own little-doggie comfort specially for my anguish. I gently stroked her soft ear…


Part 2 to be continued..