As I’ve grown older I have to come realized that sometimes we have friends that with time we no longer have a positive relationship with or we have such big differences that we need to cut them entirely out of our lives for our own sanity and health. Today that day has come for me. This is the day I remove a couple of girls – close friends – from my life – forever!
With these two, who have been around since the summer I turned 11, it often seems like they have caused me more problems in this long relationship than it has been worth. From the moment they showed up they became the center of attention. They were always first in the room without a need to announce their arrival. Just their mere presence was enough to attract notice, stares and even more often some kinds of comments. Over the years there has been me….the introvert standing back watching….and my two obvious and obnoxious friends creating mayhem in their paths and letting everyone know when a room was cold.
I’ve spent 40 years in a very strange relationship with these two. I have wished they were different. I have worked out so hard and ridden my bicycle literally THOUSANDS of miles hoping they couldn’t keep up and would just fade away. But they have always just hung in there.
Although these two were just hanging around I’ve lost count of the number of times one of them has knocked over a drink or has accidently brushed up against anyone within a 3 foot radius. Innocent, but annoying, embarrassing and uncomfortable none-the-less.
And they haven’t always been only problems. They have helped me feed my two beautiful and amazing children. They kept any food or liquid that didn’t make it to my mouth from falling directly in my lap, thus protecting all of my napkins. They have always given me a distinct advantage while doing chest to deck pushups. And sometimes I find a tasty morsel of popcorn long after coming home after seeing a movie. So they have had some positive attributes as well.
Where fashion is concerned they have kept me from making some fashion faux pas. I never wear ruffles as they would be at my chin and appear double in size should I ever try it. I was never able to put on suspenders – even when they were cool to wear. I will never ever again own a cross shoulder strapped purse. Don’t even mention button up shirts….if I get them to fit in the torso, they won’t button at all; if I get them to fit in the bust, the torso is looser than a moo-moo.
And they’ve caused other challenges….Do I cross my arms over them or under them? They have messed with me with any sport that requires my elbows to be close together…volleyball, softball and especially golf where I have a 40 D handicap. I can even loose all kinds of weight and they remain exactly the same size – making them appear EVEN larger. And unfortunately I haven’t slept on my stomach since I was 11 years old.
That’s why it surprises me that now that it has obviously become time to remove these two troublemakers it has become the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make in my life. I have always said that if I ever got cancer I would have them both taken off without a second thought. But put in that spot, I have been hanging on to the pendulum of indecision with a white knuckled death grip. I go from I cannot get rid of them fast enough to I’ll do whatever it takes to keep them – and every feeling in-between. I vacillate back and forth from day to day – some times even from hour to hour – about how I feel about this breakup.
But today is the day I cut these two girls out of my life forever. Today is the day of my double mastectomy – a decision I did not come too easily. And even with all the things they tell me that can go wrong – infections, rejection, leaking, scarring that can lead to an unusual shape and all the other complications – even including a recurrence – I KNOW I’m making the right decision for all of us. But it didn’t come easily and I’m glad I’ve had the past few months of chemotherapy to think about it; time to ask other survivors what they did and how they feel about the procedure and the results – time to process the information and to come to terms with whatever my decision was going to be.
So here we are – just a few bittersweet hours before removing from my life both of these girls that have been with me for the past 40 years, the two most obvious things about my body…and although I’m feeling very anxious and nervous, I am very comfortable with my decision to say good bye to these two….these two trouble makers and life givers.
Regardless of what our relationship has been – you will be missed!