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My dear doctor, Jim Blechman, asked how I felt about the looming operation, and I didn’t really have an answer for him. I hadn’t allowed myself to imagine the experience yet, but that was about to change.

I closed my eyes and listened as Jim’s soothing, assured words wrapped me in a cocoon of calming confidence. First, he told me to start talking to my body, to explain in detail what was coming up, thus preparing it for the anesthetic and surgery. I was to make clear that I had given the doctor permission to perform the operation, so it wouldn’t be a complete shock to my system, and that it was all for our greater good. He then told me to picture myself in my bed the night before the big day, and from that place he took me through the entire procedure, step by step.

“You’ll wake up after a peaceful, refreshing night’s sleep,” he began, “certain that the surgery will be a total success. You will arrive at the hospital in a great mood and so will Dr. Pado.” Jim had me see the anesthesiologist doing his job perfectly, and he had me see Dr.Pado’s surgical blade going right to the heart of the matter and doing what needed to be done with divine precision. She would perform so brilliantly, in fact, that afterwards she’d be extremely proud of her fantastic skills. He actually had me hear her say, “That was the best work I have ever done!” Jim then had me waking up after surgery, feeling good and happy to see Kristi, who would tell me that the operation went smoothly and the cancer hadn’t spread.

And that’s pretty much how it happened, dolls. I did talk to my sweet tittie, assuring it that this was just a temporary glitch and we’d still be able to wear our fave slinky, strappy t-shirts. I did get a good night’s sleep and woke up without fear or a sense of doom. In fact, I was feeling quite chipper when my dear friend Iva and my ex, Michael picked me up that morning. We gabbed it up all the way to Cedar’s and in the waiting room while I filled out reams and reams of forms. One of them I signed said (no lie) that if I died, I wouldn’t be able to sue their asses. It was actually quite humorous and absurd to me.

That morning was very vivid, and as I write about it now, I am back there in the chilly waiting room with a couple downcast ladies, sitting quietly with their solemn hubbys as they wait to go under the knife. I’m sort of sprawled out in one of the uncomfortable, stiff blue chairs while Michael, Iva and I shoot the breeze — and it’s all in Technicolor 3-D. It’s been decades since I took LSD, but the air took on that same quality; every color and shape was shimmering and pure, vibrating with the thrum of life. I was wide-eyed awake and ready for anything — right up until the knock-out drops slid silently into my veins, and I was safely ensconced in la-la land.

I was still woozy, waking up from the anesthetic netherworld, but when Kristi told me the cancer hadn’t spread into my lymph nodes. I felt like doing the Twist all over the room. To quote the Four Tops, the look on her lovely face was like sunshine on a cloudy day. I made a follow-up appointment for Thursday afternoon, and went home with a little bottle of painkillers, which I have to admit, I enjoyed for a couple of days. Thrilled that I was seemingly out of the cancerous woods, Mike came over and I lolled all over him, gazing into his dreamy eyes, slobbering my adoration through a misty Tylenol/Codeine fog. I’m sure I embarrassed myself, but he was so happy, he didn’t seem to care.

Iva and Michael went with me to the Thursday appointment, and it’s a good thing they did. I was still a bit loopy, and needed their interpretation of what was said in the office that day. It seemed that while Dr. Pado was inside my precious mammary gland, she poked around for good measure, finding another little speck of crime, which was later analyzed in the lab. From what she said, it seemed she would have to go back in and remove yet another cancerous tumor. She held up her little finger, saying that another piece of me, just about the size of her smallest digit, would have to be excised. I would have to have more surgery the following week.

To Be Continued……….

If anyone reading this has anything she wants to say to Pamela, or share with us, please e-mail us at / Issue 55 - September 2018
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