Every time I sit down to write, my heart starts to race. It is hard to go back to the feelings of that day and that time in my life. This is a constant and ongoing journey. My heart breaks for others on their own journey. I hesitated to use the hashtags. I hesitated to be raw and open. I hesitated to talk about something so few will. It is like we are never to talk about it, its effects, and its reality. The reality is that any sickness or disease is crippling to your spirit and to your daily life. Why not talk about it?
It was late October. The breeze was cool that morning and I was questioning everything. I was only 27 and found a lump in my breast. I had scheduled my yearly check-up and made mention to my doctor. Of course, there was need for a follow-up with a mammogram.
I remember calling my mom. She had her own story. My sweet mother had a mastectomy at 27 years old due to benign tumors. There is more to it but that is her own story to tell.
Her emotions on the phone that day screamed, “Not my daughter, too.” She walked me through what to expect at my upcoming appointment.
“The nurses will check you in. Then lead you to a special room to get change. You might have to wait before they take you to the room with the mammogram machine, so take a book. The mammogram is uncomfortable, but doesn’t really hurt. The plates will squeeze your breast and the technician will then step back and take a picture. Usually it is not a long appointment. And they often give you your results right away.”
I had a few more questions and then we said our ‘I love you’ and goodbyes. My appointment was the next day. So, I anxiously waited.
Everything happened just as my mom described. Except, they called me back for a retake. Then they called me back for an ultrasound. I was trying not to panic, but panicking at the same time. The verdict came with the site doctor coming in…” Your tissue is very dense. Currently, we are don’t see a reason for immediate concern. However, we recommend you have ongoing scans.”
Well, that was 14 years ago. 5 months ago, there was a change in my scan. The doctor requested a follow-up mammogram next month. Whereas I hope and pray that yet again there is no reason for concern…you never know. This is my pink scare journey. I want it to end and to not have this anxious feeling.
My heart breaks for those who have traveled this road and have been diagnosed with cancer. It sucks. I have witnessed family and friends win and lose this battle. Please, heed your care providers advice and get a mammogram as directed. If you have a family history of issues tell your care provider…you might be just in time.