Friday, August 08, 2014

Self Preservation

** warning, melancholy posting **

some of the 15 nuns that packed the local frozen-yogurt shop

I went and had my annual ultrasounds and mammogram. 
I have had mammos since I was 34, as I found a lump then (it was nothing)
 and have just never stopped getting annual ones.
I look at it as a mark of pride, I am taking care of myself.
This year was different, as I requested an ultrasound of my breasts as well. The read from last year said that my dense breast tissue was hard to read and an ultrasound was recommended for a better view.
I booked my pelvic ultrasound that same day...I spent two hours having wands in my vagina, having my breasts compressed and then pressed and pushed on with copious amounts of warmed jelly.

While this was happening, a friend from high school passed away after a 5 year fight with breast cancer.

I am still shaken by her death, I saw her just before my surgery almost two years ago. She brought her daughters to a shared art studio so I could explain an art-making process to them. 
She was vibrant, her daughters glowed from all the love she showered on them. I followed and spoke to her via social media and then, she was not commenting on things. I started thinking about her more and more and then the messages started to appear on her page, and I asked if something had happened. Her mother posted that she was in hospice care and that it would not be long, as she was ready to go.
She passed two days later.

I was not close with her in high school, and I lost all contact with her afterwards..and something made us find each other many years later, maybe a reunion or something silly.
Our high school was a small one and in many ways everyone pretty much knew everyone.
The loss of a classmate, even one you are not close with seems big and close.
The memorial is at the end of this month, and although it is an open invite to all who knew her, 
I feel it is too intimate and I am choosing to not attend.
Instead I am making a donation to a charity she held dear.
Call it self preservation, I can not bear another heartbreak right now. 
I am grieving in many ways for her, she is the fourth woman I know in this last year to have breast cancer. 
It is a lot to witness.
clearly nothing like having to live with, but right now witnessing it is almost too much.
I feel conflicted about my decision, but guilt should not be a motivator to attend a memorial.

I have been reflecting a lot about what is important to me; 
this latest loss has only highlighted again who and what is important in my life.

I spent last weekend with my bestest-bossum-buddy.
She was in town visiting family and to my surprise she worked a WHOLE day away from her people 
and we just spent it talking, uninterrupted and openly and unabridged.
It was a treat for us both and when I came home I found myself in deep withdrawal.
I get to see her again in a month and a half or so...
we live many hours away from one another

All of this made me reflect, deeply and clearly into myself.
it has me feeling raw and open and melancholy as well...but,
I started to think of the superhero, the one I am making of myself.
If I remember correctly, most comic book heroes have:
 extreme heartbreak (check)
isolation (check)
determination to change themselves (check)
a bumpy road of learning (check)
revelations in unexpected places (check)

I guess I am on the right course.
plus my pants finally arrived:


Mali said...

I love the ending of your post. You are indeed on the right course. And I'm sorry you had to go through all this to get there. Also ... love the pants!

Amel said...

(((HUGS))) I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. Agree about guilt not being a good motivator to attend a memorial.

Love your reflection on superheroes. The pants fit you perfectly. You look so fit, I'm inspired!

D said...

Hi! Stopping by from ICLW. I am so sorry about your friend from HS. Even though she wasn't a close friend, it is still so tough to imagine someone going through all of that. I am glad that you are being proactive and getting checked out regularly! I also love the superhero analogy and the pants. I need to get some of those, too! :)