I have nipples now. Yay.

Got me some nipples now. Yay.

The lack of an exclamation point here is intentional. My last (I hope) surgery was Monday and from the looks of my body they treated me something like a steak on the operating table. It’s like they flipped me over and pressed certain fatty areas for doneness, smeared a little BBQ sauce in the form of that orange disinfectant that medical personnel of all types like to believe keeps every e-coli or boli at bay, and then dabbed at the bloody spots with napkins, I mean gauze. I have bruises and stitches as complicated as the Middle East.

Sorry if I’ve grossed you out. Not sorry. I’m venting. I have no doubt that when everything’s said and done, I will look, if not like Angelina Jolie (who was her surgeon anyway?), at least better than I did at the start of this detour into freaking Lady Macbeth’s Netherworld.  

As they were prepping me for surgery, I tried to make small talk. Something I’ve found myself doing a lot. I don’t know why, maybe because I think it will endear myself to the doctors and this will make them all the more careful and precise when I’m under the knife. I’ll be a real personality, like a cousin or a co-worker, as though the threat of a lawsuit isn’t enough. In my latest attempt, I knew Dr.______ was an Eagles fan, and even though I knew they had lost the night before, I thought it might be just the sort of connection that would move me up a notch into the realm of person not thing. I don’t watch football and in truth don’t know the difference between a tight end and a wide receiver, so I said what surely, had to impart, a safe, football-ish alliance, something that must have happened at some point in the game; I said, “Did you see that catch?”

He didn’t smile. Crap. Of course, there was a fifty percent chance the other team had had a phenomenally good catch. It had been a risky thing to say and from the looks of Dr._____’s face, I lost. Before I could add a disclaimer, I mean it was obviously a bad call, a nurse was pressing some half-loopy mix into my vein and it was too late to correct myself. As I began to fade I went for the last option and mouphed a floggy pform of the owny phing I could phing of, lawphoot, lawphoot, and… I’m out.

The reason it’s not only the two quarter sized areas on my chest that have been traumatized is that Dr. _____ needed to fix a few things. (Honestly, he’s a good guy.) Plastic surgeons by nature are perfectionists and I guess that’s a good thing. This entailed taking a bit of fat from where fat tends to accumulate and placing it where it doesn’t tend to accumulate and surgeons do that with, basically, turkey basters. Turkey basters attached to electronic sucking machines that leave bruises the size of braided challa bread wrapped around your torso, and it’s really weird that I used that example because I’m not Jewish. Sorry, I’m grossing you out again.

So yes, I am approximately ½ inch thinner below and ½ inch fatter above, and before any of you prone to vanity (I realize that’s everyone reading this) experience even a spark of jealousy, I assure you, if I were to take off my clothes—which I won’t, I promise—your jealousy would dissipate into pity in a matter of seconds.

My oncologist told me I’m supposed to feel for lumps under my arms.

And she wants my blood work done every few months to make sure there’s nothing in my bones.

And MRI’s for the same reason.

And I could get a blood clot, or a heart attack, or depression (check. Even as I’m writing this, the monster’s right at my feet).

One of the things about going to the oncologist is that when I get my shot I have to go to the room where patients sit in the big, comfortable chairs as they are fed poisons that decimate cancerous them in hopes of saving personal them. It can make my knees weak to see these people. Not so much because it could be me, but because I imagine their personalities, their names; and the names of their parents or husbands or wives or children.

Yesterday I was thinking about names. Revelation 2:17 says that God will give us a white stone with a new name on it known only to the one who receives it. Jesus renamed a few of his disciples. Simon (shifting sand) became Peter (the rock). It would be such a kick to be renamed by Jesus. All the goodness, even if not realized yet, is prophesized to be by the one who loves us more than life (remember, he gave his own life for us).

I won’t just be Kate. I’ll be Kate the victorious, or Kate the pursuer, or Kate who sees. I don’t know exactly what my name will be, only that it will be. I am not a piece of meat or someone here only to say what I think others want to hear. I am my father in Heaven’s child and he’s oh so carefully chosen exactly what he will call me and it’s different than every other one of his children and it will make me so happy to hear him say it, like he’ll speak it in both a whisper and a shout so that, my God and my King, Abba, Daddy, I am yours and you are mine.