Yeah, I know. The original writing challenge was to write about my feelings for someone. First of all, I would be too shy to publicly write about such things, especially since they don’t even know I exist! But my feelings towards pizza is strong. Yes, pizza is a food item, but my feelings towards pizza is one of epic deliciousness and when I fold it like I do “Brooklyn style”, time stands still. Pizza, my love! How I love thee pizza! Mmm. You are hot, hot, hot!!
I’m going to give you two versions of this writing challenge just in case you may not want to read the details.
Here is the short version:
Recently when I went to my doctor and had my breast exam (October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month), she felt a lump on my left breast. My doctor was concerned and wanted me to immediately get a mammogram and an ultrasound. I was in shock, of course and got an appointment 2 days before Thanksgiving. Initially, the mere chance of having breast cancer just rocked my world. Waiting a month was going to be tough and I had to learn not to stress about it and just stay positive. The day arrived and my mammogram and ultrasound did not show anything. My boobs were clear of anything and looked healthy. I was so relieved to hear this 2 days before Thanksgiving. This was my recent scare on so many levels.
Here is the longversion:
This topic is geared mostly for women, but if my male readers want to read along, that’s fine. But I must warn you, I’ll be talking about boobs…a lot! If you don’t want to hear about that kind of stuff, my challenge tomorrow is about writing a poem. I suck at poetry, so that should be interesting. Anywho.
October was a weird month filled with mixed emotions for me. Hearing about my youngest sister’s death wasn’t the best way to start off the month either. So I went to my doctor October 26th to have the usual lady exams and I was lying there and my doctor says to me as she is touching my left breast, “I’m feeling something. It feels like a lump.” She continues to carefully move inch by inch, going over the same spot to make sure. “Yeah, it’s definitely a lump. It feels smooth, which is a good thing because it could indicate a cyst. I’m going to have you get a mammogram and ultrasound to make sure what’s going on.” At this point, I don’t know what to say. I am shocked. I am not scared, just shocked. How could this be? I always do a self exam. How did I miss this? And a mammogram? Technically, I am under the age you’re supposed to get a mammogram (you have to be 45 years old), but I know in other States it can be 40. However, mammograms can be given at any age if the doctor says so due to finding something during a breast exam. I’ve never had a mammogram before, I am going into the unknown. I’ve only heard how it can be painful from other women. I felt like I was walking off a plank. That’s the best metaphor I could think of.
Once I returned home, I then started to panic a little. I called my bestfriends and cried over the phone trying to tell them I might have breast cancer in between my sobs. Lucky for me, my incredible bestfriends (I have several) all calmed me down. Three of my bestfriends are guys, so even though they didn’t exactly know what I was going through, they were extremely supportive, patient and caring. I started to miss my mom. So I made an appointment and the earliest I could get was TWO DAYS BEFORE THANKSGIVING. My mom passed away ON Thanksgiving day, so finding out whether I had breast cancer so close to when she passed away was really surreal to me. Either it was going to be a bad Thanksgiving for two reasons or a good one. I had to wait a whole month almost. I decided early on not to stress about it. There was no use for it. I would just keep busy and stay positive.
The big day finally arrived and I was given specific directions of what to do before my two exams. I got into my robe and sat down. Other women came in, but they were all in their late 50’s to mid 60’s. I could only guess what they were thinking when they’d look over at me. I was obviously the youngest there. Did they pity me? We all had a silent understanding that the reason we were all there was because our doctors all sent us there. I felt like one of those wooden mannequins during the exam because the technician kept telling me to move one way and “freeze and don’t breath!” for 10 seconds, then come back and make me stand at an odd position and “stay still and don’t breath!” for another 10 seconds. I felt uncomfortable there. It wasn’t painful, I just felt strange because I’ve never had a mammogram before. This was truly so new to me. I couldn’t tell if the technician saw anything, but she was busy clicking away on the computer screen and making sure to get every inch of my boobs. The more she clicked, the more scared I got. Why was she clicking so much? Is she seeing something? If she sees something, is she taking lots of pictures to prove there’s something? I put my robe back on and was quiet. I’m usually pretty outgoing, but I was silent and somewhat shy that day. To everyone. I sat back down and waited for about 20 minute in the lounge. They called me back again for the ultrasound. This is the part where I almost cried laying there. The ultrasound lady was an angel. She was so sweet and gentle to me, not just in examining me, but the way she spoke to me. As she was moving the doppler thing around my left breast, she said, “Hm. I don’t see anything. Why did your doctor send you here again? Do you know how to do a self breast exam? Do you know what to look for?” I told her I didn’t know my biological mother’s health history because I’m adopted. As far as I know, she never had breast cancer. She kept looking and said, “You look fine. We didn’t see anything on your mammogram nor am I seeing anything here either. Let me go talk to the radiologist to confirm everything. I’ll be right back.” I closed my robe still laying on the table and tried real hard to keep it together. I was relieved. But I also felt so bad for the many women who had come to the exact table and were told that they had breast cancer. I felt sad for them because I now know how scared they must’ve been and not been so lucky as I was to be told I had healthy breasts. I had tears of joy, but also tears of sadness for women that didn’t hear the good news. Luckily, women who have come to that same table have gone on to become survivors and continue to live a wonderful life. And that my friends is something to celebrate everyday. Even if your doctor may be wrong in her findings, it’s always good to get checked out. Self breast exams are very important. I knew I didn’t feel anything weird, so that is why I was so shocked my doctor felt something. The technician said my doctor might have just felt tissue that day because she went over and over again during the ultrasound in that area just to make sure and the radiologist even said he didn’t see anything. But I’m glad with technology they can confirm that my doctor was wrong. So I got the good news 2 days before Thanksgiving.
So that was my recent scare. I know I tweeted something on Thanksgiving Day like “I’m thankful for life.” Sometimes my tweets have hidden messages in them.
JavaGirl’s Life is my former blog name, in case you were wondering. 🙂 I just happen to like this picture and wanted to share it.