Bigsy Noma (sensitive topic: cancer, female issues)

The joy of English: playing with our words… Big C, Bigsy, Carcinoma.   I don’t like to use the word “Cancer” because it also happens to be my astrological sign, but… it is the C word that gets whispered when the type is female.

To quote the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia at PubMed Health (a gov website, link here):

 “Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the body.”

It is a bit impossible to go get your boobs squished without thinking about cancer, even if your digital screen bilateral mammography takes place at a beautiful and new breast care center that feels like an exclusive upscale spa.

A silent voice on the breeze, a tiny whisper only inside my head,  wondering… waiting… ready for Round Two?  I catch myself making tentative decisions about the next to worst case scenario since worst case is obviously death.  What to do what if… as if I should decide now, before a diagnosis spins me around so fast that I cannot remember my own name.

Round One with cancer was over twenty years ago.  It threw me for a loop even though it wasn’t quite unexpected.  I knew something was wrong.   I saw cancer pretty much as I drew this monster:  as a monster, faceless yet there, not necessarily to look exactly like this one… but something that does not belong.  I wanted it out of me, out of me now.

Two surgeries later, my cervix, uterus, and ovaries were gone.  I found myself mourning the children I would never have while dealing with the sudden onset of surgical menopause.  I plea temporary insanity for all decisions made during that phase of my life, including accidentally remarrying an ex-husband.  Maybe that is why I feel like I need to prepare myself for what if, to decide while my head is clear should Friday’s mammography reveal something that needs cut out… if a breast needs removed.

Would you opt for implants?  Or just ask them to do an extremely neat job to minimize scars?
Am I nuts to even think about such things?

Thank you for viewing my art!

13 Responses

  1. Oh, Nancy, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you that it all works out. Marrying an ex? Were you hallucinating? Yikes. Hope that turned out okay. Your picture today is very heavy. Sending you good wishes and prayers.

    • Thank you Monica. It’s just routine mammography as recommended for all women of a certain age but my emotional states about doing it came out in the art. As for that marriage, it lasted all of six weeks so yeah… in retrospect, it turned out okay.

  2. I don’t think it’s at all strange to be thinking about such things during a mamo; seems like a natural train of thought. I’d opt for no implants and then tattoo over the scar but this is from someone who barely has enough boob to fill an A cup.

    I hope that all turns out well and the decision is one that you’ll never have to make!!

    • I saw a photo years ago of a one breasted woman with a vine tattooed over her scar and it looked okay, actually better than okay, so I can see that as a viable option. Yes, I hope it is a decision none of us have to make. Thanks for commenting!

  3. I think it is normal to think about those things! I do, every time I have a mammogram, especially as cancer runs rampant in my family! :( Can’t help but wonder! I hope, with all my heart, your mammogram reveals that everything is as it should be.

    • Thanks! It is nice to know that I’m not the only one who thinks such things.

      • I don’t imagine not being able to worry about it beforehand. Even if cancer hasn’t hit you or your family prior to a test. Just going to get the mammogram is a poke in the face about being immortal. I think.

  4. Aunt Louise got the implants –and got the nipple tattooed back on– and she’s delighted with the way it turned out, after all. No, it’s not unusual to think about such things, especially if one has reason to suspect there may be a problem. Having had three lumps removed, all non-malignant, I understand the thought process. The color choice, in your artwork, however, suggests the problem is probably not cancer. Mentally, cysts and fibroid tumors appear green, yellow, or bruised blue usually and cancer tends to look black/brown/red or somehow ominous. Also consider shapes: smooth edges also suggest a non-threatening “event” whereas jagged edges tend to signify something more difficult to cope with. Either your subconscious mind is trying to assure you that everything is fine…or it’s already in deep denial/”you are a survivor and you can handle anything” mode. Either way, I love you. Call me when you get your test results. -Your sister

    • Remember that woman who was visiting you soon after she had her breasts reduced back oh, so many years ago… on Broadway? I was like 22 years old when I walked in your kitchen and she ripped her shirt open with a “guess what” so happy to show anybody, I suppose, and oh man… last thing I expected and the image of her bright red fresh scars, the Frankenstein stiches around her re-sewn-on nipples haunts me to this day. Tattoos sounds like a much better option. I think my choice would depend on “one” or “two” like if it is just one, forget-about-it say no… I’d feel like a cartoon with one perky fake next to a real old lady pillow… thanks for the color/shape analysis! And of course, I will call you… odds are that they will mail me a letter saying everything is fine. Love you too, sis!

  5. NOT being immortal, I mean! Bleh…see, even I wanna be immortal! Hehehe

    • Yeah… there’s got to be a simular word for “faced with your own mortality” (that’s what I thought you meant, I use a “wrong word” too sometimes.) :)

      • Thanks goodness you knew what I meant! I hit enter and saw that glaring word and thought, “Crap”. :( But it was too late. Heheh

  6. I’ve seen photos of women who opted to just have scarred chests. I found them interesting and have thought that that is what I would do, but if I am lucky I’ll never have to face that choice. I’m way behind on my reading, but hoping that all is well with you.

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