Word is out that I had The Call after my routine mammogram, and the texts and emails and kind and encouraging words are pouring in from all sides. I am so touched, always, by the care other people present to and for me. Friends near and far sending me hugs and good thoughts and kind and funny and touching stories about their experiences.
Having been down this road a couple of times, I am truly not especially worried. The phenom of dense breasts and fatty tissue in breasts and all sorts of other things it could be rather than cancer surround me. And even if it were that … well, let us just agree it presently seems unlikely and leave it at that. But you know I have a plan tucked away for the just-in-case possibility. No need to pull the ripcord on that parachute until I am sure i have been shoved out of the plane.
My sister died of breast cancer. She found the lump, then waited 8 months and until it had grown to the size of a walnut before going to see her doctor about it. She was gone 3 years later.
I, on the other hand, found my first pea-sized hard thing at age 34 and had a hysterical, tearful meltdown on the phone with my gynecologist’s office that I had to be seen THAT DAY. I don’t think the crying stopped until they agreed to squeeze me in on the same day to look at it. By the time I got to the office late in the afternoon, the little pea-sized lump had moved on, and I was kindly counseled that this was likely a hormonal cyst in conjunction with my impending menstrual cycle. I cried all the way home, in relief this time.
So yeah, I take the breast cancer screenings pretty seriously. And while the annual mammograms (since age 40, because of my family history) are not something I look forward to each year, they have gotten easier as the years pass. I dislike going to the dentist to get my checkups and have my teeth cleaned, too, but I am always happy walking out with sparkly clean-feeling teeth and freedom for another 6 months.
The silver lining right this minute is the random emails and texts from friends and family members. I love hearing from distant folks, even if they only live across town from me. I just wish it did not take something like this to bring us closer, to reach out and say hi. I am as guilty of it as anyone. I should not wait until someone is ill or potentially ill or passes away to reach out and express myself; I should do so more because it’s Tuesday and someone crossed my mind in a random thought or memory.
But for today, thank you universe, for the kindness and the kind words, and the big giant positive embrace. The week is busy, too busy for worry about the unknown, but never too busy for kindness and news from old friends.
I am a very lucky woman.