|Photo Courtesy Connie Malone|
After a reasonably short wait, my mammogram doctor contacted me and said everything turned out fine and they would see me next year. I take nothing for granted, especially with my health so I was naturally pleased.
Others are not so fortunate I realize but I didn't remember Connie's wife had the different response from her doctor that no one wants to hear. Here is Connie's comment:
" It's good to hear that your mammogram went OK.
This may sound selfish of me, but I had never felt the urge to fully come out to her more than I did at that moment. She knew that I was "cross dressing" and hiding myself, but I had reached the point where my gender identity had far surpassed the activity of cross dressing. Of course, I wanted to be there for her, but, because of my ever-increasing withdrawal, I had become unable to be fully there for her as the husband she so much wanted me to be. That doesn't mean I didn't do my best to try, however, so I quickly de-feminized myself and went out to be with her. That dichotomy of love and guilt/shame has never been so intense for me.
Throughout my wife's radiation treatments, surgery, and chemo, I suppressed my femininity as much as I could. I tried the beard growing technique and began lifting weights. My wife was suffering from her perceived loss of femininity after her surgery (I never thought that she was any less feminine, myself), while I was trying to overwhelm my femininity by letting my testosterone aid in my physical masculinization.
My wife has been cancer-free for many years now and, thanks to reconstructive surgery, still has amazingly perky breasts for a woman in her 70's. I'm so jealous of them, of course, but I'm also happy to have shed the beard and musclebound body that I'd developed. Her attitude toward life changed after realizing that it could be cut short at any time, and I'm sure that is the biggest reason for her acceptance of me being the woman I am today. I don't recommend this method for coming out and transitioning, at all, but I think this proves that happy endings can come from tragedy."