Short, Striped, and Revealing: The Worst New Year’s Eve Dress Ever

Short, Striped, and Revealing: The Worst New Year’s Eve Dress Ever
On New Year’s Eve, I put on a gown. It was a blue- and white-striped number, short, tied at the waist, and opened in the front. This little get-up wasn’t a slinky party dress to ring in a new year, but more a “standard issue” for the place I found myself that New Year’s Eve day. And there was another woman in the room wearing the exact same outfit. After my husband found the hard-as-a-rock, walnut-sized lump in my right breast, I took the first available appointment for a mammogram. So, on the last day of December, I put on the Sutter Hospital “go-to” that all the girls wore and wished I were somewhere else. “I know where you can get cheap chemo,” the tech told me while my boob was crushed in the machine’s vise-like grip. Her words echoed in my head, but I chased them away. After all, even if her unauthorized diagnosis was correct, there wasn’t a thing I could do about it that afternoon. When the exam was over, I tossed the gown into a bin and made my way home. That night, my family and I got dressed up for a New Year’s Eve party at my friend Lisa’s house. I decided to wear a twinkling silver skirt, a soft-as-a-kitten crop top, and sky blue earrings that lit up with flashing LEDs. That ensemble was a departure from my usual style, but I had a feeling that my chance to wear super fun clothes was closing in on me. I also suspected I might lose my hair to chemo, so that night, I spent a little extra time with the blow dryer, too. Suddenly, the limp baby-fine hair I had always cursed didn’t seem so bad. When my diagnosis was confirmed, things moved fast. Triple-negative breast cancer is aggressive, and mine had already spread to my lymph nodes and sternum. Typically, throughout December, I make resolutions in lots of differe
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