Monday, November 5, 2018

Same Story, Different Boob

Social media memories and boobs, together in one photo.

I am currently on an 869 day streak with the Timehop app. Even if it is not something you use, you have likely seen people share their old photos from X years ago today, even before Facebook began the daily resurrection of old memories. I understand how gamification works, but I still need that damned dinosaur to congratulate me on visiting the spirit of social media past each morning. Sometimes it turns up cute old photos of Mushu or reminds me how much I used to love wearing skinsuits in the mud in the fall, but a lot of the time it just makes me roll my eyes at the inane stuff I used to tweet when I used Twitter for more than just pushing out a link to blog posts when they are complete.

My use of social media has changed a lot in the last few years. I was really into Twitter during the height of my paleo phase, so I followed a bunch of paleo personalities (yeah, that was a thing) and tweeted a bunch about organ meats. Looking at my Facebook feed even now, the majority of the people are from my OVCX days. Facebook was super fun back then, when Monday morning was dedicated to searching to through Kent Baumgardt’s albums and looking for a new tongue-free photo to become our profile picture. It's a little weird now to watch how everyone has moved on with their lives, and yet the algorithms still want to keep me updated on a world in which I don't exist anymore. I even recently gave up on trying to keep up with everything in my Instagram feed when spotty cell service for most of our August bike part trip kept me from checking it regularly, and then I realized that I was happier that way. I mean, I got a husband out of that deal, so what more do I really want at this point?

The reason I think of this is that I recently found out that I have to have surgery on my right breast similar to what I had a couple of years ago on the left. Same story, different boob. For as much of an over-sharer as I have been in the past and sometimes still am, I’m struggling with who tell and how.

On one hand, it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Last time, the pain was super minor, and the recovery was super easy, so I don't expect there to be any big interruption in my life that I need to explain to anyone. I’ll miss one day of work, and my boss knows why, but otherwise, it feels almost too trivial to share with my coworkers. Having been through this once, I’m not scared of the surgery, and even if this one turns out to be DCIS again, I understand my options. I struggled through the whole radiation decision last time, but now I have enough information to make a pretty easy go/no go decision this time, if I need to.

At the same time, it feels weird not telling people. Despite it logically not being a big deal, there is still an odd emotional weight to it. So far I’ve told Frank, my mom, my boss, and the one friend with whom I discussed my surgery the most the last time around. Otherwise, I guess I’m struggling with passing that weight on to others when it doesn’t feel quite worthy.

So instead I’m placing this weight onto my oldest form of social media, the place I go to overshare without fully forcing it in the faces of the unwilling. Plus, it’s a long, cold stretch until my next bike race, so I might as well used what material I have. I will point out, however, that so far in my bike racing career, every time I’d surgery in the off-season, I’ve won a series the follow year. So watch this space for podium pics in about six months…