My Bad Ass Girls Club
October 14, 2019
One of the first things I did after getting over the shock of being diagnosed with microcystic adnexal carcinoma, was to create a Facebook group of girls I had told so I wouldn't feel like I was going through this alone. It's original purpose was to provide immediate support while Eliza was at University of Florida Homecoming and I couldn't "announce" in a post on Facebook. It has proven to be a constant source of comfort, inspiration and connection. This morning after my consult with the plastic surgeon, I crashed. This is the SOS message I sent to my girls, "Well, my bubble has burst. Sitting in the parking lot, just had a good cry. The plastic surgeon is a bad ass. Totally for real and relate-able. She talked about what surgery she thought would be required which is a cross flap of top lip sewn to bottom lip for 3 weeks. (I didn't offer any clever response.) Liquid diet. She offered Nov 8th and I said that was the day I was hoping for. She realized she had to be in Nashville that night so I left with a working date of 11/15 and now we have to see if dermatologist can schedule the surgery on that date. Ideally, I will have MOHS surgery first case of the morning and be the plastic surgeon's last case.This appointment was all the nitty gritty I don't focus on because it makes me feel sad and overwhelmed. I could feel my knees getting wobbly as she was talking and I couldn't remember where I parked, and then hot tears started pouring down my face. A few of my friends asked why I went alone. I taught a private at 9:30 and zoomed to the appointment. I really didn't anticipate this being a big deal. I just wanted to meet her and get some questions answered. I also thought it might be a good idea to go alone as I will be the only one on the operating table. (Note to self: it was a lot more fun when Margaret was driving me around and asking all the questions.) I talked to Alan who suggested the idea of skipping our upcoming week in SF which breaks my heart. I have been living and breathing for that time away with the kids. He suggested that it might be worth inquiring as to whether doing it earlier was an option, which would give me a few more weeks to heal before Thanksgiving. It's all of a sudden messy and scary and I'm just feeling pretty raw." Within seconds, comments were coming in from the group and then my phone rang. I said hello and I heard her say,"Hi honey." Lydia's voice alone had me in a puddle. She is such a calming force; never judgment or agenda. She just listened while I cried. We talked briefly and I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Liza texted me and said she wasn't going to call because she didn't want to be upset at work but she would call later. Dylan called for a few seconds... "just to hear your voice", before he hopped on a call. Within 20 minutes, I had spoken to my sister (my first call), Alan, Lydia and Nina. Several beeps went to voicemail but I saw the names and felt the love. I decided to put myself first and take our trip to SF. When I got back from a week of sweet time together, I would be a pillar of strength for what would be next. Nina asked me to meet her for lunch. She left work and we "lunched". She sprinkled me with her magic fairy dust and I felt like I could breathe again. I came home feeling rather limp and spent some quiet time reflecting on the day's events. It was about 4:00 when I noticed a missed call from one of the wisest, sweetest friends a girl could ever hope to have. She left a message. The gist of it was, " Hi, I'm a bit late to the party on FB about this morning's appointment. I want you to know that you are on a roller coaster. Those really positive days when you can conquer anything, they are important. Crying in your car in the parking lot after the shit gets real and you feel crushed is important too. It's hard when the tears arrive and that overwhelmed feeling just takes your breath away. I love you. I'm proud of you and I'm here. Bye love." There it was; her sweet voice, genuine kindness wrapped up in wisdom from life experiences that have earned her the right to give out free advice. Yesterday I felt nothing but love. Things felt easy breezy. Today I was having trouble digesting things.The bite seemed much larger than I anticipated and now matter how much I chewed, it was still too big to swallow. I still felt much love and support. That is what carried me through. My sister mentioned that I "self corrected" almost immediately and got back on track. A little honoring of where I was, seemed essential and then just as naturally the mood shifted. I remember when Dylan was a baby and he would have laser treatments for his Port Wine stain. People would stare and mumble comments under their breath. Did they think we couldn't hear them? Little kids were just so refreshingly honest. They would say," Hey whats wrong with his face?" And we would explain. My greatest fear in having the "cyst" removed was that I might end up looking "scary", and yes, that is the right word. So here I am in a position to play that one out. I told the plastic surgeon that I would do whatever she asked me to do, if she could make me look like me when it's over. And she had every confidence she could. So my vanity, my ego or whatever the fear is, will be put to the test. Am I as beautiful on the inside. Can I be okay with whatever happens in the day to day? More questions to be asked and answered. Life has given me ample opportunity to find out for myself. I wanted to send this out so those of you following would know that I am in fact, letting all feelings bubble up. Today felt more like a volcano erupting so I've been letting things cool down. "I am strong. I am fierce. I can weather life's unexpected storms." On second thought, maybe today felt more like a hurricane that went from a Cat 1 to a Cat 4. Maybe tomorrow the wind will feel more like a cool breeze.