The Sisterhood

I don’t mean to make light of it; I can’t think of anything scarier than being told you have real cancer, not like the basal cell kind that doesn’t have the sense to move but just kinda sits there. That’s all I have – or had anyway, until Thursday when the nicest surgeon in the world, serene and cool in a sleeveless dove-grey silk dress, cut a three-inch long slit in my leg and took it out. (Giant dressing! who knew?)

I didn’t actually ‘get it’ that I wouldn’t be able to swim for two weeks, or shower. Or allow the area even to get even a little bit wet for 48 hours; that I wouldn’t be able do Zumba or Pilates or yoga, never mind jump on the treadmill or that funny Wave machine that makes you look like a roller-skating baby elephant.

She and the nurse made me lie down flat, Then they draped the area with enough bunting for a Fourth of July bandstand. Then in went the Lidocaine

“How come people don’t bleed more during surgery?”

“Oh there’s some epinephrine in there with the Lidocaine. It constricts bloodflow.”

Subtly tied down or not I did a quick sit-up so I could take a look. Bleedin’ pretty good actually! (this is after all the cleanup.)

I flopped back down fast but not so fast that she didn’t see the look on my face.

“So what would you be doing on a day like this if you weren’t coming here?” she asked cheerily, to distract me from the business at hand.

My answer made reference to the fact that even now in America it is almost exclusively we women who act as caregivers to our elderly. “So much for equality there!” I said.

“I hear that! she cried. “I almost lost my mind over the fact that before we were married my man couldn’t manage a simple RSVP !”

I sighed happily and lay back on the table. There’s nothing that relaxes us women more than a nice little session complaining about our husbands. I mean heck, cancers come and go but the sisterhood you have with you always. 🙂

13 thoughts on “The Sisterhood

  1. Glad it’s over, Terry! Too bad about the “No-swimming-no-water-at-all” clause, especially in this heat! How about sitting in the shower with your leg out through the shower curtain? I guess you will finally get an enforced summer slow-down! No exercise for two weeks? Time to take up knitting? Sketching? Bestest wishes to you!

  2. You out did me by one inch. Yes, it is a trick to bathe once you can. The old flop-the-leg-over-the-side-of-the-tub and take a 3/4 bath. Even wrapping the wound in towels and a plastic bag just doesn’t protect it enough. Because once you try to dry off, the water travels south and likes to slide down the leg. Going without yoga was the most difficult. The Dr. wrote a note to the Gym that I was restricted from the facility for a month. The gym did not charge me for that month. Now I go to the gym with a chunk missing from my shin. Ready with a story of a shark or pitbull bite but no one asks. Men could care less about appearance of the sunken scar, not so for women. Keep it dry, rested, and raised upward.

    1. I hear you Mike! I don’t know what I will do without all those awesome dance classes at the Y. Have to hunker down with my Weight wacthers plan and really track so I don’t expand in these weeks.That dent is so weird looking eh? They say it will fill in though… As one of my kids said to me as a middleschooler: No worries Mom, No one’s looking at YOU !

  3. T. glad you caught the dread C. Talk about sisterhood, I see that Tinkerbelle is visiting as you took the picture…

    1. Funny Mike! Yeah the only way I can figure to take a picture of myself is by using a mirror – and then there’s that flash covering your face (which is fine with me to be honest!) Thanks for the smile this morning

  4. As a uterine cancer survivor (sofar, anyway)–the rare sarcoma kind, not the endometrial kind that gets all the attention–letmetellya, any time you hear the “C” word, under any circumstances, is a wake-up call.

    Welcome to the club, sister!

  5. Another C member here but very lucky; it was all gotten in ’92 and so far has not returned. I remember getting the news from my doctor on the phone while I was at work! He showed me the tumor right after he removed it and I remember thinking that looks like perfectly healthy tissue to me. I found when showers were outlawed for three weeks after my vestibular surgery that the wet cloths used for bedridden patients are wonderful. You can heat them in the microwave but in hot weather I used them cool. They give the most refreshing, clean feeling and there’s no water to drip. No tub or shower walls to clean off either. Dry shampoo also works well. I’m glad you took care of yourself. Not fun for you to go through but God bless you, you will be fine. Hugs. Andrea

  6. I had two basil cells cut out this year at different times, Terry. One on my forearm and one on my shoulder, each with c. a two inch incision. Both were done in the dermatologist’s office. I couldn’t see the shoulder work, but the arm I watched the whole time since I was sitting up for both of them. She cut a football shape around the spot so I could see into my arm. It was llike raw meat but didn’t bleed. Her instructions were to wash it gently with soap and water every day starting day 2, but don’t let the shower hit it directly. Pat dry. Then apply vaseline from a tube and bandage it. It healed pretty fast. I played golf two days after the surgery. And clogged on day 3. Of course your strenuous activity requires legs!
    Good healing to you!

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