Dreaming About a Tattooed Chest

06.18.12

Friday afternoon Kelsie had a double mastectomy. Her breast cancer diagnosis came slowly because it was so rare that the first lab wasn’t sure what they were seeing when they looked at the biopsy and the second lab had to double check with a third lab. Because of it’s rarity it was almost misdiagnosed and because of it’s rarity it took close to a month to get a real answer.

So her breasts are gone along with some lymph nodes.

I spent Friday worrying. Worry is a useless expenditure of energy but one I’ve not been able to shut off or to control. Kelsie’s husband was wonderful with the updates so I worried less and eventually fell asleep.

In my dreams we were teenagers again back in high school and we were running in swimsuits and I was holding my breasts because everyone knows that running in a swimsuit is a painful and humiliating experience. Kelsie was wearing bikini bottoms and had flowers tattooed across her chest where her breasts once were. The flowers were like something out of a children’s book more so if your early readers, like mine, were purchased at the Bhodi Tree Bookstore where there was always a cat and the smell of patchouli. They were the sort of flowers you’d imagine growing in the dappled sunlight of a rainforest or a far away jungle. There were no carnations, no baby’s breath, no roses. These were not the sort of flowers one receives on Mother’s Day nor carries down the aisle. These were the sort of flowers found on an adventure where rules cannot be broken because there are no rules.

We we are teenagers again and I had my breasts and she had her flowers and we were running and my breasts hurt and she just ran in front of me with her flowers that used to hurt but didn’t anymore.

When I texted Kelsie Saturday morning part of me wasn’t surprised to find out that she’d considered tattooing her chest. Part of me thought that might be a fine idea.