No Caress; or, Boob Talk

there was no caress
before the flesh-ripping jab—
you’re all violence.
Enjoy your pound of marred meat,
‘cause of my soul you’ll get zilch

 

the (not-even-close-to) wee notes…

I was diagnosed with breast cancer 2 weeks after I started the Trinkets and Armor project. See? The universe works in mysterious and often gallows humor(y) ways. I can totally hear her say, “Stunning Brain of Magaly, you will soon need a group of fantabulous people with whom you can discuss adding yet another chronic illness to your collection. So, why don’t you start crafting yourself a wild circle?

“Um… also (yeah, for some reason the universe sounds a lot like me *cough*) you could use that space to keep your extended family and friends informed, otherwise they might drive you nuts with questions and well-meaning advice your situation, time, and energy levels might not be able to manage.” Yep, the universe is brilliant.

The cancer was caught early, so it’s treatable (thank goodness for wee-giant bits of magic). I’m having a unilateral mastectomy. I have a zillion things to do before the surgery. But… I shall continue writing and sharing poetry and such. Because… an extremely sexy (soon-to-be extremely sexy and single-boobed) wild woman said that “Poetry is ink in lust with living” and that “ink is therapy—words shaped into dark and bright to soothe hurts and more”. That’s exactly what she said. And I trust her words. I trust words and I trust her… all the way to my achy bones.

For the next few months, most of my posts (if not all of them) will look like this one. Someone suggested that I should start a new blog or join an online community “for cancer patients only”, which is moderated by the same individual who made the suggestion. According to this person, “the cancer talk is not for everyone.” A whole lot more politely than you might’ve expected, I told her thanks but no thinks. You see, my Wicked Luvs, that plan might work for her and some others, but not for me. I believe that stigma and despair are filthy soul-sucking beasts that feed on unnecessary secrets, on silence, on segregation… I refuse to go down those gullets.

Treatment and recovery will be slightly nightmarish: I will be in exquisite pain, I will be exhausted, I will be having long conversations with my left boob as she gets used to being an only child, I will be dreaming up tattoos to decorate my battle wounds, I will spend a bunch of time polishing my newly acquired single-boob innuendos, (my Piano Man’s innuendos are so much better than mine… it’s often like that when it comes to him and my bits *giggles*). In not-so short, I will need to be me more than I have ever been. So, walking away from those I know, or separating them from those I will certainly meet makes absolutely no sense to me.

If you feel uncomfortable around poetry that shows teeth, picturing lines of scars and stitches, dancing with stanzas that chant of pain and soothing, blushing (or not) at sexual innuendos, or reading words like breast (and boob) and passiflora (and boob) and mango (and boob) and coffee (and boob) and even nipple (and most of us know just how sensitive that particular word can be). So… if any of this makes you feel icky, you might want to avoid my blog (and me) for a while. I shan’t hold it against you. But if I see you around, I can’t promise that I won’t glance your way, and shout while grinning, “Dude, where’s my boob!” Yep, I’m a bit of a horror.

Cancer is scary. Cancer is crushing. Cancer’s teeth are bigger than mine. But I’m a sneaky warrior—I come to the fight with a hammer, a (slightly mad) grin, a Piano Man who loves and understands me, a Muse with ink at the ready, family (by blood and by choice) and great friends… the best weapon a wild woman could ask for.

 

 

Linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.

 

Two Eyeballs and Sharp Teeth

It seems that every time I get a new doctor, and he or she gives me an undesirable diagnosis, the inappropriateness of my lack of misery is brought up… And suggestions to see someone, who can help me deal with the abnormality of not falling apart, soon follow. And I, my Luvs, don’t get it.

If we’re friends on Facebook, you probably already know that at the beginning of this week I received an excellent report from one of my doctors. Since then, I’ve seen two other physicians who monitor the healthiness of my sexy flesh and bones, and they didn’t have great news.

Some people might think that finding out that I’m not allergic to several of my favorite foods should become inconsequential, after one doctor tells me that more invasive tests are needed in order to figure out what keeps food from traveling down my esophagus as it should… and another doctor worries at the fact that after 18 months of medications and strict behavioral changes, my innards are not getting any better. *wow, what a freakishly long sentence… cough*

Don’t get me wrong, my Wicked Luvs, I’m not delighted at the prospect of having more tubes shoved down my throat (and into other uncomfortable places). And discovering that more than a year of swallowing pills and not drinking wine probably meant nothing doesn’t inspire me to break into song. I’m deliciously uncanny, not insane; so I, too, feel anxiety over my sick gut.

But…

…living with an illness (or five plus complications) doesn’t keep me from being happy about the wonderful things in my life. First and foremost *yes, lots of clichés in this post… cough*, I am alive and grinning: I have a Piano Man who wholes me, I have family and friends who celebrate and battle with me, I can write, I can exercise, I can dance most of the time, I’m on medication that dulls some of my neuralgic pain without crushing me with negative side effects, I have two eyeballs that see well, I have a wild witchy soul that comes armed with a practical mind and pretty sharp teeth, I have me…

I wish my body was a wee bit healthier. I wish I could write as much as I used to be able to write before I got sick. I wish, I wish, I wish… for all sorts of things. But not having my wishes realized (yet, or ever) will never be enough to make me forget that I am blessed by so much more. I am Magaly Guerrero… I’ve lived. I’m living. And I will live on… for as long as there is breath in my lungs, blood in my heart, and wild words dancing out of my bones.

I am Magaly Guerrero

About two decades of me…