He was surprised that I had not looked under the dressing. It was going to be my first view too. It was all three of us together. Not much blood. Just a straight line of scar across the top of the breast. Tiny ugly black stitches like spiders running across my chest. The same size as other breast, a bit more swollen, a bit flatter on top. More horizontal, like a loaf of bread, than round. I don’t think I’ll keep looking, wait for it to heal more before I look again.
Thursday morning. All is calm in the house, all is going well. My sister’s time with us is coming to an end. There is no reason for her to stay longer the potential crisis part has come and gone without a crisis.
Yesterday the two of us went to see the plastic surgeon. I forgot to warn her that the plastic surgery ward is surprisingly old and dumpy. You feel like you are in one of those old Soviet movies as you sit there with the institutional green walls, peeling paint, take a number in order to speak to the receptionist. Cracked plastic chairs.
Luckily we didn’t have to wait long this time. I had settled in with my book when my sister nudged me and said your doctor has arrived. I looked up just in time to see a man’s back disappearing into the clinic area.
“How do you know it was him?” I asked, “You’ve never seen him before.”
“Oh, it’s him, alright.” Her eyes were big. Oh yeah, I did remember to tell her how handsome he is, a rock star plastic surgeon. Handsome, being that handsome, is a distinctive characteristic.
This time we got in right away. This time there were no residents. This time it was me and my sister and the doctor. He was very sweet to us, even if he is too handsome for words. He was pleased that it was two sisters in the room together. He was surprised that I had not looked under the dressing. It was going to be my first view too. It was all three of us together. Not much blood. Just a straight line of scar across the top of the breast. Ugly black stitches like spiders. The same size as other breast, a bit more swollen, a bit flatter on top. More horizontal, like a loaf of bread than round. That will change as the swelling goes down. He told us that Dr. B had taken out more than he expected, a piece the size of an apple, so the plastic surgeon had to move more of the existing tissue to fill the gap. But he was still able to do it all by moving tissue from within the lower part o the breast up to fill in the empty space. He took a picture of my chest with his phone, for his records. He repeated his same explanation that my head was not in the shot, it was only for his records and medical use. It was a short visit. It was a good visit, everything looks the way he wants, everything is healing the way it should. He wasn’t able to tell us anything about the cancer part. He didn’t start until after all that part had been done. He did know that there had been some breakdown in one of the insight testing machines, so they had to do a work around and that made the whole surgery take longer than planned. I think it was the one that tested the lymph glands for cancer cells. He said that Dr. B had given me wide margins, and removed more tissue than the plastic surgeon had planned for, so it was unlikely that they would find cancer cells in the margins and so have to go in and redo the surgery right away.
So, it’s going well. I know more than I did before that visit, but also I really don’t know anything. Not on the cancer front anyway. I will have to wait for my appointment with the surgeon. And I won’t get that appointment until after the lab results are in. Four to six weeks, they said to allow for that.
In the meantime I just keep going on with my arm exercises, my little walks, my healthy eating. And that’s it. I don’t have to wear the big dressing anymore.
It was all done quite easily and so my sister and I had time, and I had energy for a trip to the laundromat. She did her laundry, I did my laundry. We had a nice cup of coffee and a pastry while we waiting for our clothes to go through their cycles. We sat out in the back garden because it was a nice day. The owner has a nice black lab dog and we had some nice visits and pets with the dog too. Not your typical laundromat experience and I think she liked it.
Today is our last day. Tomorrow she is getting on the train to go to Ottawa and then make her way home from there. Today I’m going to introduce her to the wool store, and to the British bakery and tea place on the next block where all the wool ladies go for lunch after their shopping sprees. That will be a pure fun day.
Dispatched: May 9