About a month ago I had a serious life check. My routine mammogram went awry, I went from receiving the “see you next year” form letter to the “you need to come in for a sonogram” and depending on how that goes a needle biopsy. Holy shit. Talk about fear factor, the panic that quickly sets in ,when life as you know it is challenged is daunting. My tear making mechanism was working overtime. Never having any health challenges before, combined with losing my brother three years ago to colon cancer and my paranoia of needles, I was a basket case. I knew how devastating cancer could be, I had also lost my father to throat cancer and my mother is a thyroid cancer survivor.
Right away I went into research mode and started reading everything about breast cancer, I found comfort in reading breast cancer survivor blogs, story after story of courageous women who beat this disease. Until you are confronted with a potentially catastrophic diagnosis, the thoughts that invade your mind, are debilitating. What about my family? Friends? The “what if” s filled my head like a hard drive almost full, about to crash. I would find myself subconsciously reciting The Act of Contrition, a little catholic prayer I used to say in elementary school. btw I have not been a practicing catholic for over 35 years.
The day of my biopsy was the most frightful day of my life, between the procedure, the 24 hour wait for the results and the thought of what would happen next, I was SCARED. More than any of my top 10 list of my most frightful experiences.
1. More than when I got hit from behind by a big rig and I was in my little convertible BMW
2. More than childbirth, (and that was scary)
3. More than an icy black run with my intermediate skiing skills
4. More than swimming in the open ocean with the sharks
5. More than a colonoscopy
6. More than my first brazilian wax
7. More than any “risky” behavior I may have had in my entire life
8. More than sitting in the deans office being asked to leave college
9. More than being attacked in New Orleans
10. More than IRS cleaning out my bank account
So my husband knowing I was more at risk from passing out from the procedure due to my level of fear, gave me some sedation so I could relax before the biopsy. So imagine this, I’m in the waiting area in my gown thingy, waiting to be called by the tech, the drug is working and I start doing yoga in the middle of the floor. By the time I was called I was in another world, all I remember was that I walked into the room and I sat on a table and then I woke up the NEXT morning in my bed with a ice pack and a bandaid on my left boob. My husband told me that when I came out that I told him I wanted to go to “high tea” and he took me to Chado Tea Room in Pasadena and I ordered Mauritius my favorite tea, of course I have no memory of this what so ever.
The next day I did my usual routine, Reggie left the office early so he could be would me when I made the phone call to find out my results. After going through the voice messages and pressing the correct numbers, I reached the nurse who gave me the news that my biopsy was benign. Frozen for a moment, then the tear mechanism started again, and a sign of relief came over me like a gentle embrace. This experience made me realize how fragile we really are, and that each day is special and should be enjoyed to the fullest. I’m thankful for my results, but I know when faced with an obstacle our bodies will amaze us with the strength they have to fight.
Treat your body well, love your life and get check ups-early detection is part of the cure. Strive toward a vegan life style, exercise daily and take time and eliminate your stress. Make time for those important people in your life, don’t keep putting things off until tomorrow and put a smile on your face daily.