BRCA Surgeries: Stage II and a Clean Garage

Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean. So goes the old nursery rhyme. They are often depicted something like this:

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Sprat

I sold Jack Sprat an old file cabinet for seven dollars this morning at my neighborhood garage sale. His wife bought a graphic calculator, a cookbook holder and a toy.

Grizzly Adams was next. Turns out the legendary California mountain man is actually a car restoration buff who snapped up my husband’s model cars. Studebakers and Model T in hand, he ambled off with his catch. He looked like an older version of the seventies TV character albeit with less perfect dental work.

Grizzly Adams

The stream of humanity that passed through my garage this morning included an elderly woman pushing a baby in a shopping cart. She was looking for a stroller. Another woman yelled out her car window to see if I had a sewing machine. She gave me a friendly wave from her Mercedes as she pulled away. I had no sewing machine and she was on a mission. A neighbor who I seldom see came by to say he was still using an ancient television he purchased at our garage sale more than a decade ago. He left with a perfectly hideous $3 lamp for his wife. Sweet.

At the end of the morning I was some $75 richer, my junk was someone else’s treasure and the garage was neat as a pin. The best part was I could participate in this everyday, ordinary activity without assistance. Three months earlier I could barely pick up a cat and there I was, moving furniture, cleaning the garage and haggling with a plump Hispanic gentleman who spoke no English but coveted my spiffy backpack designed to hold a Playstation 3 gaming system. This post-mastectomy body, so fragile and weak a short time ago, is doing just fine, thank you very much.

Must be time for more surgery.

Yesterday the plastic surgeon snapped a few photos, asked questions and typed notes in my electronic chart. The date isn’t set but it won’t be long before Stage II breast reconstruction revisions and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy will have me back in that baby-poop brown recliner in the family room once again.

I plan to spend my garage sale loot stocking up on dark chocolate to combat the inevitable post-surgery blues.


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