Tuesday, March 08, 2005
When to Say When
Somewhere along the line I have been programmed to think that being strong is noble and it may involve suffering. I can still hear Sr. Annunciata in the 4th grade telling me to “offer it up” when I complained of not feeling so well. You see, I could offer up my suffering for the poor “pagan baby” or the leper in the leper colony and somehow this pagan or leper would suffer less. Her reasoning involved a long lecture on how Jesus offered up his suffering for me and my sins, why couldn’t I try to do that for someone else?

Apparently, I am not the Messiah. I pray to God there are no lepers or pagan babies (I have a feeling these are not politically correct terms any longer) whose suffering will not be lessened as a result me taking the less noble road, i.e. painkillers. In my noble desire to be strong, I failed to inform the doctor that the amount of fluid being injected into my expanders was too much (without being too hard on myself, I really didn’t know it was too much until I left). All that talk of being his star patient and such a good trooper through this process just built me up a little too much (quite literally and figuratively). Did I think I would get a star for zipping through the expansion process at any cost? I would say that the pain I was feeling last night was somewhat similar to the first day after surgery for the bilateral mastectomy. It has calmed down a bit today, but each movement comes with pain, though somewhat dulled by the painkillers. I do think I learned a painful lesson. At least it will get better in a day or two.

On another note, my coworker, Linda, passed along this article to me and it really hit home. It says so much of what I have tried to convey in some of past postings on this site. I hope you have a chance to follow the link to this article titled, “Showing Off a Little (Inner) Cleavage.” It is written by Geralyn Lucas and appeared in the March 14th issue of Newsweek. It is worth reading.

Go out and make it a great day. And just remember, if you stub your toe or bump your head, could you offer up your suffering for me?
Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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