Isn’t it funny how sometimes in life the biggest issues, problems, crises, or challenges seem to just silently occur? My day was filled with such things. In fact, the last month has been particularly filled with such events as has been the last 5 years since leaving my second husband. I think these quiet appearances of the most dramatic aspects of life may have always occurred, but I just didn’t pay attention to them…until I was truly on my own and found myself forced by circumstances to do so.
Today was a big day. It was one of those days that will not easily nor quickly be forgotten.
While most folks were winding down the year preparing for the annual celebrations and celebrating the usual annual celebrations, I was doing the same thing I always do about this time of the year: annual checkups. It seems crazy to add one more housekeeping item to an already full list of things to do at this time of year, but it somehow works for me. I have a two week break when the kid are out of school and during one of those weeks my kids are all away at their other home. It’s a great time for me to get caught up on all the medical check ups and doctor appointments that must occur, now that I am over a certain age. That certain age was, for me, thirty-five instead of forty like it is for most women. You see, my mother had a full masectomy in her late 50’s or early 60’s. She also had an uncle who died of breast cancer. For women in my family tree, breast cancer is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when. So, this year, when my annual mammogram indicated a need for a second look, which led to the need for a biopsy, I was not really willing to dilly dally around. The day I heard the news that they wanted a biopsy, I insisted my doctor write up the order, I walked it over to the radiology lab myself and scheduled an appointment. This is just one area I can’t afford to stick my head in the sand and pretend it will all go away. We all know better; it doesn’t go away.
So, biopsy scheduled and done. Here I sit awaiting the verdict.
I think I’m beginning to understand the most difficult aspect of any health-related, potentially life-threatening diagnosis is waiting on the test results.
I remember as I sat in the radiology center after my second mammogram in two weeks, thinking that I really didn’t know what to think. Should I be worried? Should I not be concerned? I didn’t know. I was finally released with the standard response informing me that my results would be sent to my doctor within a certain period of time and that my doctor would then contact me. I thought, “Okay, no news will be good news.” Ten days later I was in the doctor’s office going over the results which she had to request from the clinic and a week after that I had a biopsy.
Not exactly my idea of a fun way to spend a Friday afternoon.
I’m still thinking, “If it was really serious, I’d be in serious surgery right now.”
I’m also surprised at the exhaustion I’m feeling post biopsy. Thank God my children are all old enough that I can tell them what is going on. Thank God modern research and technological advances in the last 20 years helps us detect and deal with problems before they become diseases. And, once again, I’m incredibly grateful for my health which, this time, enabled me to bounce back with no pain except fatigue. It’s not just physically stressful, but psychologically demanding as well.
I’m not sure this is the best way to start a New Year, but it has made me even more aware that each day we have our health and life is a good day.
Today, I have my health. I am alive. I have children that I love and who love me.
It is a Happy New Year.