Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee….
Would You… Have A Double Mastectomy?
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
I have been thinking about something… breast cancer; double mastectomy.
You know how it is when you see things, read about things… watch tv about different topics. Well, I’ve been paying attention to information about breast cancer… double mastectomy.
You know how you begin thinking ‘if it were me… what would I do?’ I am no different… I’m always ‘putting myself in others’ shoes’… trying to understand things I haven’t experienced… thinking about ‘what would I do if… it were me?’ I’ve never had … breast cancer.
I’m a cancer survivor. I have non-Hodgkins lymphoma… I’m in remission. I am so grateful each day I’m in remission. I fought a long, dark battle to ‘come back’. I was at Death’s Door… I almost entered it.
I could see inside… I couldn’t ‘see life’ anymore. In fact, I was so sick… I didn’t know I was living. I was in a world no one could enter… the only thing I could hear, was Skip’s voice (my husband).
This battle went on for three years… I won my battle. I look back at what I can remember… when I first became aware of being alive, after my surgery… I ‘knew’ I was going to die.
The oncologist came into ICU… it sounded like she was screaming at me as I began waking up from the surgery. Skip and the nurse had just sit me up… I couldn’t see anyone. I did hear… good. I was in a gray world of fog… I never found her before she left the room.
She began ‘screaming’… you have CANCER!!! I was like a little tiny figure in my mind trying to hide in a corner. The word ‘cancer’ loomed up in my mind just as you see it …in foot-tall letters.
I heard someone crying, sobbing their heart out. Later, I knew it was me. I knew I was going to die… the morning of the surgery, I remember looking up at Skip from the wheelchair I was in… saying, “I’m so glad I’m here… because I was going to die”!
The battle was long… hard. I never was able to talk to anyone about my type of cancer… I was too ill.
Skip sat, talked to people in the waiting rooms, patients’ loved ones and caregivers,doctors, nurses… all through time… learning about it. He was gathering information everywhere we went during those three years.
Skip was by my side… helping me to win my battle; pushing me. ‘lifting’ me when I would ‘fall’; making me mad enough to fight when I’d quit.
When I knew I was going to die… he said he wouldn’t let me. He made me get up when I was very weak… go with him everywhere he went. I can vaguely remember waiting for him in our vehicle… I people-watched through drugged, and very sick eyes. Thank-God, for Skip.
I would have died … then. I would have died before seeing my child die. He would have been the one going through the heartache, grief. Even as sick as I was… I made Skip promise not to let him know. Tommy was in Germany… he would have died coming home to his mama.
I lost my hair due to chemo drugs; I had shingles from the trauma of learning I had cancer… these are only… a couple of battles I fought. I had never fought so many battles … battles with Death, in my life… to win at … living.
Our home burnt down; we lost all. Skip was in two bad wrecks… at two separate times where a woman ran a stop sign; and the other when two young girls hydroplaned, hitting his front wheel of a tractor-trailer.
Many of my family members died on both sides… it was grief after grief… so much pain. So many other things happened that were ‘bad’… I won’t write them all.
The thing is… everything eventually becomes… alright. You will always hear me say, ‘no matter how bad something is… everything’s going to be alright’. Even when my only child, my son… Tommy… died. Everything has become… alright, again.
Getting back to cancer… like you… when I hear, see something… I think about ‘what I would do’. If… I had breast cancer, I would do like a lot of women do… I would have a double mastectomy. Why?
Because … I wouldn’t want to chance it in the other breast. Not only that… I have this thing about being ‘even’. It’s something that’s in me… I want all ‘even’ on me. Call me silly, whatever… it is what it is.
What would you do … if you had breast cancer? Would you have a double mastectomy?