A Puff of Absurdity: On Becoming a Woman – Mid-Life Edition

When I was around ten to fourteen, we were all inundated with information about our bodies – all the ins and outs of the magical, wondrous things that were just around the corner for us. It happened at school, but it was also the purview of some of the After School Specials that everyone watched, intrigued, ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Becoming a Woman – Mid-Life Edition

When I was around ten to fourteen, we were all inundated with information about our bodies – all the ins and outs of the magical, wondrous things that were just around the corner for us. It happened at school, but it was also the purview of some of the After School Specials that everyone watched, intrigued, ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Crazy-Making Cancer Treatment

I believe my doctors mean well, I really do, but their behaviour is not dissimilar from the crazy-making type of abuse wherein the abuser keeps telling a different story until the victim starts to question their own memory and doesn’t know what to believe any more. I’m really glad I write everything down (and tape record ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Crazy-Making Cancer Treatment

I believe my doctors mean well, I really do, but their behaviour is not dissimilar from the crazy-making type of abuse wherein the abuser keeps telling a different story until the victim starts to question their own memory and doesn’t know what to believe any more. I’m really glad I write everything down (and tape record ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Cancer Doulas

When last we left our heroine, she had just had an invasive tumour removed, but found out there could be traces of cancer left behind. She was left to choose between surgery, radiation, tamoxifen, or nothing. Let’s see what she does next… I had never heard of Healthcare Navigators before, and it seems they don’t ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Cancer Doulas

I had never heard of Healthcare Navigators before, and it seems they don’t exist as much in Canada as they do in the more expensive and privatized healthcare to the south (except for Indigenous needs), but they’re becoming more of a thing here. In Ontario, some hospitals have them, and we’re apparently leading the way to ...

A Puff of Absurdity: And the Saga Continues

Ok, so, after getting a preventative bi-lateral mastectomy, performed shortly after both a mammogram and MRI both showed zero cancer, of course they found cancer in the breast tissue sent to the lab. The good news is it’s all out, but… They found two non-invasive tumours about a centimetre each. The surgeon isn’t worried about that ...

A Puff of Absurdity: And the Saga Continues

Ok, so, after getting a preventative bi-lateral mastectomy, performed shortly after both a mammogram and MRI both showed zero cancer, of course they found cancer in the breast tissue sent to the lab. The good news is it’s all out, but… They found two non-invasive tumours about a centimetre each. The surgeon isn’t worried about that ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Back to Work Boobless

I’m really glad I decided to go back to work part time for a week. I highly recommend that path for anyone getting this surgery. I thought I’d be completely fine the first day, but I underestimated my level of exhaustion. Being home by noon was a godsend. Some people online recommend SIX weeks off. ...

A Puff of Absurdity: A Genius Kvetching Ring

An article, three years old, was in my facebook feed today. But it was insanely timely. It’s a little lifestyle piece about how to talk to people who are sick or experiencing trauma. It’s just plain common sense, but it needs to be circulated regardless!  The idea was illustrated thusly: Beautifully illustrated by Wes Bausmith ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Missing the Girls

“Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen  (Everyone’s using that bit today, but they always skip the first part of the verse.) As I started down the road towards mastectomy-ville, I wondered how weird it would feel ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Character

Now that I’ve sufficiently survived surgery physically, the psychological stuff is creeping in. Creeping is apropos. People keep telling me I’m so brave or so strong to go through it all and then to be up and at ’em so soon after. But I just happened to survive. There was nothing brave about it. I ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Preventing Ovarian Cancer Program Logistics

I went down the road to genetic testing all because of a link I noticed on facebook in early May 2015 – just before my 50th birthday, from the POCP. It said that anyone could get free genetic testing to test for cancer if they have a close relative who had ovarian cancer. So I ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Now I’m Trendy, Dammit

The NY Times published a piece last night:“‘Going flat’ after breast cancer,” about the nascent movement towards openly having a boobless chest. And here I thought I was doing something courageously original!  Turns out I’m just an early adopter, not an innovator. When I first found out I needed a double mastectomy, I searched online ...

A Puff of Absurdity: Just a Flesh Wound

This is a figuring kind of post wherein I try to make sense of it all. I have all sorts of thoughts about breasts now. I had to get the dressing changed today, so I got a glimpse of myself for the first time. The nurse at the CCAC was wonderful. She taught me to ...

A Puff of Absurdity: One of the Lucky Few?

I’ve been reading other blogs about mastectomies, and the level of pain described makes me feel like someone’s made a huge mistake, and they’ll take off all the bandages to find they forgot to remove my breasts! I’m experiencing zero chest pain. I could be taking up to 12 pain pills a day, but I’m ...

A Puff of Absurdity: And on Recovery in All its Glory

I walked into the O.R. for a three-hour surgery just yesterday, and I feel fine. I’m taking half the pain meds that I’m allowed to take because the pain is minimal. Weirdly minimal for all that’s been done to me. The worst of it is in my shoulders from gas settling there. I have an ice-pack ...

A Puff of Absurdity: On Justified Worry

I’m going to be writing more personally for a bit. I have a lot to get off my chest. Literally. I’m getting a double mastectomy today and an oophorectomy for good measure (which sounds to me like something Willy Wonka might do), because I have all the fancy genes that make my body a ticking ...