Shannon’s Journey 2


Vesta and I went with Shannon and Shelby to see Dr. Janiga, her plastic surgeon and Shannon seemed pretty relaxed. I could tell Vesta and Shelby might have been a little nervous. I was terrified. I suppose, cuz I never really thought about what went breast cancer was all about.

However, I’m pretty doggone sure if penis cancer was as widespread as breast cancer, I’d’a known every little thing there was to know about it.

Just imagine the rampant fear that would strike the world’s male population if they had to live in fear of their little friends being hacked off.


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Here, Shannon and Shelby are waiting for Dr. Janiga’s assistant to tell her it’s time to go back. Janiga’s office is as plush as you’d expect of any successful plastic surgeon. Plus, his wife has a successful dermatology practice, which she runs out of the same office.

I had a character in one of my stories who was in need of plastic surgery, so I had to read up on it and I went to all the sites of the ones in town and I spent a lot of time on Dr. Janiga’s, cuz I’d come to the conclusion he was one of the best Reno had to offer.

In the end, I cut the character outta the book, but the silver cloud of that lining was that I learned about facelifts, how they’re done and why I probably would never get one. Now, I’m learning about breast cancer and I thank the Lord above it’s a worry I don’t have to worry about and I have a whole heck of a lot of appreciation and sympathy for woman who have to deal with it, especially my mother.

I just wish I would’ve know now what I knew then. But, I suppose everybody wishes that every now and then. Anyway, Mom, if you’re reading this from wherever you are now, I’m sorry I didn’t know, sorry I didn’t find out, sorry I wasn’t there for you when I shoulda been.


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This is just what it looks like. Shannon’s getting her Temp and BP taken. She’s still calm as can be.


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I almost passed out when Dr. Janiga made that first line with his Sharpie, cuz I thought that’s were he was gonna make his first incision. And I had to asked, cuz it just seemed so awful. This wasn’t open heart surgery.

But he told me that, no, that’s not where he was gonna cut. He was making reference points on her body, cuz she was gonna be in a lotta positions on the table and he wanted to know were her exact center was, along with some other reference points.

He seemed so matter of fact, so precise with his sharpie. So matter of fact.

“You’ve done this before,” I said.

“Sadly, once or twice a week,” he said and I think those words sent shivers sparking up and down all our spines. It’s a thought too horrible to think of, plastic surgeons all over America, all over the world, marking up women to cut away the breasts.

We need a cure, that’s for sure.


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Again, the doctor is marking Shannon up and some of those marks are where she’s gonna be cut. I’m guessing that’s pretty normal and I’m betting even heart surgeon’s do it. I don’t know for sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

But maybe they don’t, cuz they’re just slicing down the center, cracking the ribcage and fixing a broken heart. And through all that, I’m thinking they don’t roll their patients around on the table too much.


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Because Shannon’s had Breast Cancer before and because she had radiation and because the radiation damaged the muscle under her right breast, they have to pull the muscle behind where that half moon mark is and pull it around under her breast.

And that flying saucer shaped Sharpie drawing is where Janiga is gonna cut away skin, which he’s gonna use to cover up where he’s has to go in and pull the muscle around.


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And here she is, all marked up and ready for surgery. This isn’t funny, not in the least, but to show you, if you dig deep enough, you can find a little laughter anywhere, even when the tears are frightening. Shannon’s daughters, called these her Egyptian Eyes.


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This is an expander. They’re gonna put a pair of these into Shannon and gradually inject solution into her breasts. The needle will go straight in breasts and if you wanna see how they do it, you can follow this blue link to the info on the Johns Hopkins website.


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This is a silicone implant. When it’s all over, when she’s all better or at least as better as she’s ever gonna get, she’s gonna have a pair of these inside her for the rest of her life.


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Here, she’s good to go. Home that is. It’s great she’s wearing a smile and this woulda been a beautiful photograph, save for the Sharpie mark.

It’s chilling that mark. Just chilling.

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