Anything But Courageous
I didn’t realize how much I was dreading today until today happened. I have a number of friends who are teachers. They are pretty distressed after the events in CT. They all know, we all know, it could happen to any school. I also have school age children. We all know or fear it could happen to any of our children. As I headed of to work, I recognized a deep sense of malaise within me. I felt tired. Weary of the evil and darkness. Weary.
Today was the appointment for my follow up mammogram. The “closer look” that everyone seems to be so casual about, but which I know from experience is anything but casual. I dawdled around as I cleaned up my desk and packed up my files for study later at home. I headed out to my imaging appointment with dread and resignation.
I walked in to the Breast Center’s waiting room. This was a new place for me. I’d somehow had the opportunity to switch imaging centers. I’ve heard that it is a good idea to stick with the same imaging center throughout the course of one’s treatment. I had already had two different imaging centers look at my innards. When the opportunity to try out the imaging center right next door to the location where I underwent my radiology treatments last spring came up, I jumped on it. I’m glad I did.
Last week when I went in for my annual exam, instead of walking into a crowded waiting room and having to go through the crazy, tedious and annoying check-in process, I walked into an almost empty and peaceful waiting room. The check-in process was immediate, took about two seconds, and in less than fifteen minutes from entering the place, I was back starting my imaging. As nice as the entire experience was, it was not fun to get the news that I needed magnification imaging.
Today, I drug myself in. Signed in and in less than ten minutes I had changed and was the imaging room. The tech, a young woman in her late 20’s or early 30’s with purple peekaboos, was pleasant enough, but I was tired. I was tired of this entire process. I was ready for the fight if I needed to endure. I was ready to be positive and deal with my lot in a way that, hopefully, modeled some courage for my children. I was not feeling positive this afternoon. I was anything but courageous.
Now, let’s talk turkey. What I’m dealing with is not that serious. I mean, it is 100% curable. It’s also 100% inconvenient. Being 100% weary of this year and all its drama, I was 100% less than my usual positive persona. I was simply tired of dealing with this year and it didn’t look like 2013 was cracking up to be any better in the health category.
After exactly two quick images, I returned back to my dressing room where I was told to wait until the radiologist looked at the images. Imagine my surprise when before I could even get my cell phone out to discover I had no service, Purple Peekaboo returned with these words, “The radiologist suggests you come back in six months. She doesn’t see anything to be concerned about here.”
I’m still stunned. Relieved. I just didn’t have it in me to attempt courage today.
Of course, cynic that I am, I’m holding out on the celebration until my radiology oncologist has a look-see, but still…that’s a very different response than I got last year at this time. The radiologist at the other center didn’t give me a report, he merely told me I could go on my merry way. I somehow don’t think that they are going to give me a false positive when there’s no substantial reason for it.
I’ve spent the last year dealing with disappointment. These days, while my courage is present, my energy is waning. I was feeling anything but courageous this afternoon. I’m not sure that has changed. I am more than anything deeply, incredibly, eternally relieved and grateful. I don’t deserve this gift, by any means, but I’ll accept it gladly.