The house is quiet. My son is asleep and my mother and husband have stepped out for an hour. I am sitting on my couch surrounded by my 2 cats and a dog and I feel calm. It's a deep calm that has only come upon me in the past 15 minutes as the house settles and everything falls asleep as the sun sets and the darkness comes.
Tomorrow is my surgery. I will be having a lumpectomy and a sentinel node biopsy, which in normal talk means that they will remove the tumour and 3 lymph nodes to see if the cancer has spread. I have been meditating that it hasn't, and hope for the best possible outcome.
It's been a flurry of activity here the past few days. Friends I've known for ages, and then new ones that I have only recently connected with have been taking care of me, and bringing my little family all sorts of sustenance. I am so grateful for this community that I am a part of. I feel full of love, and to feel that the day before surgery, well, that feels like magic.
A lot of my visitors have been asking how I found my lump. It's a bit of a mystery to the doctors too, as it isn't detectable on the mammogram. The response to that question is a bit odd. The way I found my lump was by reading.
I read every day. I sometimes read a few pages. Sometimes 5 chapters, and sometimes a whole book. It's part of what makes me focus, an act that connects me to the human spirit, and it inspires me to live honest and true every day of my life. Reading makes me feel less alone in the world.
Now, when I read I drink tea. Sometimes I snack and I often touch my boobs. It's not a sexual thing, because believe me, after you have a baby and you breastfeed, breasts are not really sexual, they are more like comfort givers.
The upside of reading daily, is touching your boobs daily and you know what they feel like. So the moment that a funny little lump appeared, I knew that something was wrong. Fast forward to today, and the doctors can not believe that I found this myself. If it weren't for the time I spend reading and poking my boobs, I would not have found this lump, and time would have passed and the lump would be much larger and things would have been much different.
So I feel like I owe the Book Gods. I will never stop reading. I will always have a stack of books by my bed side. I will always tell people to read books, and now, I will also urge them to touch their boobies as they read.
When i was a kid there was a lot of ads about monthly breast exams. But somehow they illustrated it in a rather creepy way. I never liked them and I never really followed the instructions.
So, to all of the women and men in the world, no matter what age you are, please please touch your boobs on a regular basis. Read Books. Touch Your Boobs. It is how i found my cancer so early.
This time tomorrow I will be recuperating from surgery and the tumour will be out of my body. To me, this is a thing to celebrate. I think it will be the perfect time to start reading a new book.