If you know me fairly well, you know that I don’t pay much attention to #’s or rather, I just don’t retain actual #’s such as years, ages, weights or miles. I used to say I didn’t like math, but that isn’t really true. I do like math, I just don’t retain anything numerical. Never have. I can’t tell you what I paid for my car even though I make the same car payment every month. I never remember how old people are – I have even messed up my own age.
Since I was diagnosed with breast cancer (36 days ago), I seem to be obsessed with counting things. I think that is how my brain is telling me this is real and I keep thinking these numbers will add up to mean something. I once read about a tradition of counting crows – people would count the crows in the sky and the # would mean something like one crow was bad luck, two were good luck, three were a wedding and so on. So since I realized I’m counting things, instead of counting crows, here’s my list of counting cancer things.
# of medical appointments where my “girls” weren’t touched since diagnosis on April 4, 2018: 4
# of medical appointments since diagnosis: 26
# of caregivers with nose rings: 2
…If I get to 12, that’s my sign to get one. Why 12? If you know me well, you know why.
# of mammograms, ultrasounds and MRI’s since March 28th: 12+
# of biopsies: 3
# of people who told me they scheduled their mammograms after hearing about my diagnosis: 2
…If you are reading this and are in the age group where you need a mammogram and you are overdue, please stop reading this and schedule your mammogram NOW. Please.
# of minutes spent in waiting rooms in Maine doctor offices: always less than 10 minutes, usually less than 5
# of minutes waiting in waiting rooms at Dana Farber on just one visit: 120+
# of doctors that are on my care team: 8
# of doctors who say I am “young”: 8
…working on a college campus never makes me feel young…hearing it over and over is nice in a weird way.
# days until surgery: 8
# of bras I won’t need after surgery: 15+
…they just won’t fit after my double mastectomy and reconstruction. The lemonade is the new “girls” will get to go shopping for the cute bras they never had in their old size. Same for a lot of my dresses, bathing suits, regular suits, shirts…I guess a shopping trip will be something to look forward to!
Things that Count…
# of hugs from people I have never hugged before: at least 2 a day since diagnosis
# of doctor appointments I have attended alone: 0
…my team of Jody, Priscilla, Elaine, Lisa and Tom have made it so I always have someone with me at every medical appointment, even when they were scheduled with almost zero notice.
# of times a doctor or nurse has cried with me: 5
# of times Tom has held me while I sobbed and just lost my shit: countless
# of cards, texts, calls, emails, fun deliveries at home and work, and messages on Facebook: countless
# of times people have told me they love me, that they are praying for me, that they will help in anyway I need: countless
# of ways I know I am blessed even with a cancer diagnosis: countless
“Not everything that can be counted counts. Not everything that counts can be counted.” (Albert Einstein)
~Mug Up Mermaid