The last two weeks have been a blur. What started off as a routine mammogram; a 40th birthday present from my gynecologist, turned into an odyssey of anger, fear and extreme compartmentalization (a super power that I was unaware that I possessed, until now.) In a moment, this control-lover had no choice but to relinquish everything to "what might be" and just move through.
I'm not squeamish about medical procedures or even overly modest, but I have to say that breast biopsies rank (in my experience) among the least tolerable. They're not too painful, but seriously violating. Lying half-naked on a cold table with four chatty women adjusting, groping, twisting and smashing you from below, is not my idea of fun. I was horribly unprepared for the length of the procedure and how I'd feel afterward. And I now have such respect for all those who have walked this path before me. And who went on to walk it longer - through much harder terrain.
The physical discomfort of lying frozen for 90 minutes while they compressed, xray-ed, sampled and repeated, was nothing compared to how I felt once we left. Double-tight Ace-wrapped with a hematoma and, I guess, a temporarily half-broken heart, I cried most of the way home, unable to share with my poor husband why I was even crying. I'm not a crier and I suppose that made the whole thing even worse for him. But I had been storing up all my "what if's?" and "how will I's?" for two whole weeks while looking into the eyes of my children. Every time I felt happy, which was often, I immediately went to a different place and then, thankfully, I was able to sweep the fear away. When I needed it most, my ability to set it aside and wait without surface worry kicked in with a vengeance. Who knew I could do that?
I don't mean that I didn't have a few sleepless nights or dark moments, I did. I've had my share of issues health-wise this year and I'll admit that I felt some serious self-pity. But I survived it like we all do. We do because we must. And because we can.
And now I feel like I've won the lottery. Standing from atop Relief Mountain, I'm too aware that I could be in Victim Valley, if one microscopic cell was different on a slide. I am grateful beyond words that what I feared is not the path I need to travel. I've been given the gift of love and support from those who knew what was going on, and I'm so thankful for that, too. "Thank you" doesn't even come close to conveying how I feel.
All that's left to do is move on and live this precious, blessed life to the fullest. Let's get going!