Ashe Elton Parker

A Writer of LGBTQ+ Characters in Speculative Fiction

Betrayal

I’m generally a pretty cheerful, happy person. I don’t let things get me down. Not even the cancer. There is, however, one thing which hits me every so often, so hard I can’t help but focus on it to the exclusion of all else for a few minutes.

I’ve been betrayed.

My own body betrayed me.

My body developed this cancer. I didn’t ask it to, I didn’t think it would happen, I made no plans for it. I wasn’t prepared for it!

I can’t trust my body any more. Definitely can’t trust my breasts. What if I get another tumor? How will I find it if it’s deep in my breasts? Will I feel it like I did the last one, even if it’s deep within the tissue? What if I don’t feel it? How long will it take me to realize the new tumor is there? How could my body do this to me?

No, I don’t cry. I’m angry. I want my body to be trustworthy. That it isn’t frightens me. Being scared of your own body is no fun. Knowing with a certainty my body could do it again, form another cancer, terrifies me at times.

Even though my BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are without mutations, those are the only genes they know to look for mutations on. There could be a gene they don’t know about which has influence over my body’s predisposition to cancer. It could, like the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, also induce other cancers.

I want to get rid of my breasts. Always wanted to get rid of them anyway, but knowing I got cancer in one of them once already makes me want them off even more now. That’s years away, though. I have to save up for the surgery, and there’s no way I can do it on my current income. I also want a full hysterectomy, for the same preexisting reason I want to remove my breasts, but now also ’cause of the fear I might develop another cancer.

Yes, I know, prognosis is very good for my type of cancer. They got all the cancer out, I’m in chemo, I’ll do radiation, and they’ll put me on hormone suppressants. That doesn’t stop the mistrust of my own body, though.

And it doesn’t stop the fear of it happening again.

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