I was diagnosed with DCIS in one of my breasts in June 2019 and refused treatment.
Before you judge me or have my comment removed, let me give you a background.
I will be 47 years old in October 2021. I came to America in 2009, as a married woman. My marriage ended, leaving me all alone in this country, in 2011. I did manage to make work friends before I lost them [I have always been what is commonly called "a loner". I am impatient with people. I am never committed enough. I grew up being picked on and unloved so never saw myself lovable, etc]. I do have a job, not a very well-paying one, but stable. And been in a relationship with a wonderful man since 2013. A wonderful man who claims to love me and would do anything and everything for me except be there for me when I need him. This is not something he said. It is a feeling I got after I saw how he behaved the two times I got sick. After he grumbled and looked displeased, and downright insensitive. He loves doing things for others because he is a praise junkie. But he doesn't like to "take care" of people. Maybe because he does that for a living, he is a registered nurse. Or because he is the last of 7 kids. Or because he is selfish. Or white. Or American. I can't decide which. But he is truly good otherwise. Not perfect. But again, who among us is?
Still, he wasn't the reason why I refused treatment, although he grunted in agreement when I told him I wasn't having my breast lopped off like they were an ingrown nail [and never talked about it since]. I refused treatment because my surgeon started talking about "taking the other one off, too, just in case", giving me implants "that look like real breasts", and seem totally uninterested to know how I saw my body [the only property I have in this world] when I went to see her - hoping to have a "lumpectomy" and not removing my breasts. Certainly not both breasts: the cancerous one and the ticking-time-bomb next to it.
It wasn't only her, of course. I could easily find some other physician who would listen. Who would be moved by my tears. And my loneliness. And my disappointment [in God, in society, in my body]. My job, although not well-paying, has a good insurance coverage.
I said no because I am all alone in this country. My whole family is back in Africa. Because the treatments she suggested from removal onwards, felt like the kind of things only people who love life that much would undergo through. I never did! I kept myself alive because I have a mother who sacrificed so much for us and to whom I am the apple-of-the eye. My three siblings are all damaged, "no good", lost causes so I am her [only] pride and joy. The first one to graduate from university, to marry "big" [An American at that], to move to America [land of everybody's dream], and not come back divorced and humiliated.
I know it all sounds transactional but I would do anything for my mother except keep myself alive at the cost of going through everything they said I would go through at the Breast Clinic. Living one more day with a broken… toxic body that could betray me any time… in a country where people who would drag you to the curb when you can no longer support youeself or when your insurance failed to cover you? That isn't something I am willing to do, even for her.
Or so I thought, back then, in 2019, when there was no pain in my body. When I felt I could go on for a few years more, "thinking about it", debating the pros and cons, hoping for a miracle. Glad I did not go through with it, that I wasn't on chemo when covid hit. How I would have been dead by now, due to the nature of my job – where I meet lots of people [ill people] every day.
Now, this morning, after I started feeling a mild nudging in the right breast [where the cancer is growing, I can feel it] I wondered if maybe keeping myself alive won't be worth it? There would be no love/lover for me? I wasn't able to find someone to love me until I was 32, despite being perfectly healthy, having a bright mind, a decent face and a "rocking body" [where words like "spectacular breasts" were thrown about]. Why on earth would I hope to be loved after I had my breasts removed and my hair has fallen out [which they have started to, due to either lack of sleep, depression, or iron deficiency]?! [Did I mention that? I am extremely anemic and have a heart-murmur; which I have been promised would be a big problem when I get old].
Keeping myself alive would be good to my mother. To my siblings, who can't afford to lose the one person they all look up to. And to myself, perhaps. For there may come a day in which I am grateful that I am live. I am, after all, in America. Land of opportunities. I could write that book. Take that trip. Find something that would make me love life.
Or I can... have a baby. Yes. I can give my mother a grandchild [she is the only out of 5 siblings who does not have a grandkid; despite working the hardest among them to keep her kids happy and alive]. I can get pregnant from some random guy, give her a baby, make her a happy woman, and leave something behind when death comes to collect its dues—in two years or so [I have a feeling I can live with this thing until 50, at least].
What do you think? Would it be as in human as it sounds, having a baby at 47 [or 48?], if I could manage to get pregnant? Never wanted one myself, the reason why my marriage came to an end, and maybe why I got breast cancer as no one has it in my family. But, although my mom would never trade me for a grandkid, I feel it is the best consolation she can have for the loss of a daughter. The most un-selfish, meaningful way to say "thank you" for what she did for us. The one achievement from a person who tried to do her best but seems to fail at every turn.
I will wait for your feedback.
I am sorry if I offended anyone with the words/arguments I used.
Please do not remove my questions. I really don't have anyone else to talk to and no one in my family yet knows.
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