I’d said goodbye, while you slept a sleep you’d never wake from. In that lullaby between life and death, I told you it was OK to leave. It was a lie. How could it be your time, if I still needed you?
When you were still alive, still cooking roast chicken with crispy skin and dishing me up crackers with cheese and thick slices of tomato, we discussed preventative mastectomies.
You told me, in our sun-dappled kitchen, "do it darling, when you are ready, please do it".
Back then your words were a lifetime away. I had parties and fun ahead of me, not a chest slashed with scars.
That time came quickly though. It tumbled into my world after your granddaughter was born. All of a sudden I knew I was breastfeeding my last and approaching 40.
You, with your blue eyes and long brown hair, were told you had malignant breast cancer at 43. That age has been a little bane bobbing over my soul.
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I had to have the surgery before I turned 40. So I made moves. I was a train in a tunnel, no deviating.
Remember your breast surgeon, Mum? How lovely he was? My breast surgeon is the same.
I had seen him once, a couple of years earlier, when I was still breastfeeding. We made plans to meet the following year and to have a mammogram prior.
Time came and went and two years later, I pulled up around the corner. I knew I was ready to discuss a mastectomy, or at least something to start being proactive.
My surgeon approached my history with empathy and genuine kindness. He suggested I try Tamoxifen and consult with an oncologist.