This has been an emotional and scary couple of days for me. I noticed a change in my breast way back in December but…well it’s May. I wasn’t up for an annual mammogram until March. I’m over 40 so now it’s an annual event. I know I should’ve contacted my doctor when I noticed it but I just didn’t. I had scheduled a mammogram for just after Spring Break but then the Pandemic started. I did contact, virtually, my doctor and another doctor responded saying it’s probably ok but keep on eye on it. It was in the beginning of the pandemic and clinics were shut down.
I had kind of mentioned it to a friend of mine and she said I should call the doctor again. I know I know… Early last week she texted me and asked if I contacted the doctor yet. It was a gentle push to take the initiative. My doctor virtually responded quickly and got me in the very next day. At this point, most appointments are still done virtually but obviously that isn’t going to work with a breast exam.
While the doctor was doing the exam she told me she did feel a couple spots but that they could just be fibrous tissue and she wanted to get them checked out as soon as possible. So there I am starting to panic. What if I have breast cancer?! What if I’m the next one?! I’m a mom of 3 kids that NEED me. How bad will it be? Who should I tell? Am I going to have to tell my kids that Mama has cancer? Are my kids going to have to watch me get sick? The questions just wouldn’t stop coming. I was so sad and scared. Terrified. I couldn’t call my best friend because I didn’t think I’d be able to speak. Actually I didn’t want to tell anyone.
My husband said I needed to tell my mom. I didn’t want to worry her. But my husband said if it were her you would want to know. I called her and tried to keep it together but she’s my mom so I instantly burst into sobs. What if I die Mom? I didn’t want to worry my mom because she’s alone during this pandemic and several hours away. She said she would pray for me and we’d get through it.
Later I talked to Binks and lost it again. You guys waiting to hear if you have cancer is brutal. It’s pretty surreal and I don’t like it. She offered to come with me. Later that evening she sent me this video of her aerrating her grass with shoe attachments. Her text, “Me using my new gadget to aerate the lawn. Good butt workout too. Haha”. I got the giggles, it was just what I needed.
I tried to just move on and stay busy. Now looking back I’ve been in a big fog all weekend. But on Friday I finally talked to my best friend and she said I needed to try to get in earlier. I was going to have to wait from Wednesday until Tuesday the following week to get a STAT mammogram and ultrasound. She offered to make calls for me. I told her I would have my husband call. I just didn’t think I could handle it. He did but I ended up having to leave a message at a nurse’s number and of course burst into tears again.
This most wonderful nurse, Jill, called me back and gave me so much piece of mind. She changed my course of thinking. She gave me the gift of time, conversation, and compassion. I cried and she validated that it’s very scary but that the appointment was the very soonest because things are so different during this pandemic. She told me these few days weren’t going to make or break the situation. The conversation with this nurse Jill changed how I was going to approach this situation. She gave me peace which was the best gift I could have been given. From that moment on I just stayed busy and went on with life.
Later that day I told my other sister about the situation and she told me she had a similar scare a couple years back and everything was fine. That also helped me feel better. We don’t have a family history and for that I am thankful. It was time to just move on with the weekend and stop obsessing about what could happen.
Then today I woke up early after a pretty restless night and went to get checked out. During this process I kept taking pictures of myself thinking is this the last picture before my whole life changes. Because of Covid I had to go all by myself. They didn’t allow anyone to accompany me. I had a multiple people ask me if they could come. But I had to go all by myself. I brought a locket a friend gave me after my dad died with the first picture I have of us and the last picture I have of us. I wanted my dad with me!
Well thank God after a extensive mammogram and ultrasound ALL IS OK!!!! It all came back negative. Oh My Gosh I’m one of the lucky ones. I don’t have to worry about my kids seeing me get sick and maybe die. I don’t have to go through chemo and radiation. I don’t have to tell my family and friends that I have cancer. The relief is overwhelming! I wahooed to the doctor and thanked her for the incredible news! I said I’m so thankful I’m one of the lucky ones. She said you sure are and congratulations. I got into the car and again burst into tears. Tears of Relief!!!!!
I informed the few people that knew I was getting the mammogram that everything is fine! I know it was heavy on them too. I am surrounded by some pretty amazing people and for that I’m thankful. They all responded with relief.
It is not lost on me that I am one of the lucky ones. I’ve know several people who’ve had breast cancer, two of them didn’t make it. They had to say goodbye to their children. Their children had to say goodbye to them. That is the worst thing I can think of. For now, my family gets to stay as it is. I am grateful and relieved. And even though my news was what I hoped I still feel rattled to the core. I guess it opened something in me. My anxiety has been on high alert. My emotions are all over the place. I want to cry a lot. I feel so completely overwhelmed with my life right now. This isn’t how I thought I’d feel. I am relieved, obviously, but I also feel like I need to detox the anxiety and worry I bottled up for a week. I’m hoping this doesn’t last long because I don’t like it.
So for now I guess I need to allow myself to feel the feels and appreciate the gift of health. I need to allow myself to take in my surroundings and frankly just breathe.