There is only this – the before. And tomorrow will be the after. Today I am still a little sore, and bruised, but still live in the unknown. It’s a weird place to be. The not knowing.
This time tomorrow I will know. I’ll either be relieved and feeling a bit foolish for worrying when my gut kept telling me to keep calm. Chastised for being a drama queen. Or, I’ll be feeling ….
What? I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t expecting the bad news any more than the good news, and that I don’t really know how I feel either way. It reminds me of that time flying home from California, thinking that if I perished on this flight I would die at peace with myself and with God. (I know what you’re thinking – WTF? – maybe I’ll explain another time.)
What I do know – right now – is that I was more scared of my own mortality during my cervical disc replacements three years ago than I am of these results tomorrow.
He said it was unlikely to be concerning, but out of an abundance of caution we’d like to Ginsu your breast and glue it back together slightly better than a 4-year-old gluing cotton balls on a bunny cutout. Don’t worry about the yellow and purple and do not, under any circumstances, push on it. No, not because it might open up. No, because it might hurt. Probably worse than that time Veruca slammed her brick skull against it 13 years ago.
It was a rough weekend in case you didn’t know. And then I posted that I was “numb” and even Todd was like, oh no you didn’t, and said he considered posting a follow-up comment declaring, “she’s drunk.” I wasn’t so far gone not to recognize that we are ALL suffering in some way. Nobody’s life is perfect.
On December 26th I was able to more rationally and compassionately think about my life as compared to those around me. The friend who posts wonderful photos of her grandkids and their adventures is mourning the giant hole her mom left behind. The friend who continues to power forward with the gaping void left by the love of her life, in the prime of his. The family who lost their child in a horrific four-wheeler accident. The friend who is starting over with nothing, because it’s a hell of a lot worse to continue living with an abuser. Another who is forever undergoing testing/biopsies for a condition no one can seem to put a finger on. Perspective, people.
Then I was scrolling Facebook and read this beautiful piece of poetry someone wrote in support of another woman struggling through a toxic divorce. I snapshot it so I could read it and re-read it when I needed to. (At this point I have so many quotes/ reminders/ inspirations I’m going to need a second mirror in the bathroom.)
I just had my first Christmas with my kids in 10 years. They have finally had enough of their narcissistic dad … it’s been 8 months since they’ve seen him and they are different children. So happy, confident, less anxious and angry. There were so many hard times as a single mom, and so many dreams I’ve needed to give up on, but I know for every second I had gotten away from the constant verbal and emotional abuse I have given my children the gift of not being destroyed by it 24/7. We only get one life, don’t waste it being treated like you are less than magnificent. Because YOU ARE! (If she reads this post, I want to say THANK YOU and, also, I’m sorry I didn’t ask if I could use it.) *
My biopsy results were benign. (Thought I’d cut to the chase. You’re welcome.) My appointment was yesterday morning and I arrived 15 minutes early like they asked and then didn’t get called back until my appointment time. I had to fill out this pain questionnaire LIKE I remember day 1, 3, and 5. Day 1 is a no-brainer, day 3 – what day was that? And day 5? Was that, like, yesterday? Or? Pain was minimal so I just put down a “2” for each one and laid down my pen.
It took FOREVER for the doctor to come in and I’m sitting there, feet dangling from the table, imagining it takes time to read over my chart and results and prepare to tell me I’ve got cancer. So I’m wiggling my feet and thinking, WTF. How can they make you wait a minute longer when your heart is in your chest? (Remember, Anxiety.)*
I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and tried to form a cohesive prayer and then I heard it – He said, do you trust Me? And no, I’m not crazy. I heard Him loud and clear, like rain on a tin roof.
Anyway, my boob that looks like it’s been through a meat grinder is “healing nicely.” He did not push on it, thank God. I have to have another mammo in eight weeks for a new “baseline” and I don’t need to come back to see him. He is every bit the great doctor I read about and I’m grateful.
I walked out to my car in the damp air, poured myself some more coffee, popped a Klonopin, and started to cry. I texted Todd, mom, and dad, and started the drive home. In case ya’ll wondering why Todd didn’t come with me – my anxiety, believe it or not, is better when I’m driving alone. So he went out on errands and we met back at home. I ate a handful* of those Dutch butter cookies that come in the blue tin that he bought for me, had three sips of Earl Grey, and fell asleep on the couch for … FOUR HOURS.
*Part of the quote is highlighted in bold by me. This is the most important part.
** If the mention of cancer comes off as flippant or insensitive to anyone who is/has experienced it, it was not my intention. I know the seriousness of this diagnosis and I am so very grateful that I am cleared.
***It may or may not have been more than a handful.