The third and final part of my blog therapy about this horrific summer…as I type that, however, I realize that even though the summer has been rough, there are people who have it a lot worse. And even when it seems awful, I am VERY blessed. I have a family that I love and that loves me back. I have incredible, amazing friends that I am grateful for every day. I have a man who loves me and two great dogs that are, literally, the light of my life.
I’m over the insanity of the summer. It seems as if it has been one piece of bad news followed by another…and I have been on the ropes taking the blows. Losing my aunt was a horrible thing for my family to have to endure. While she was fighting for her life, my great uncle lost his battle with brain cancer – leaving his wife of 50 years heartbroken. I return home to find my dog Jory is extremely ill and then on the same day that he is diagnosed with Cushings, my doctor finds a lump in my left breast. (Really? In my mind, I was thinking, “Enough is enough. I need a break.”)
To be honest, I don’t even like to say the word breast in mixed company…I am blushing as I type…even though I realize we all have them and it isn’t as though I’m ashamed, but I honestly just try to avoid saying it.
When the doctor tells me that I’ll need to have a mammogram I really don’t catch everything she’s saying. Everything after “lump” is a little fuzzy because, at that point, I am mentally locking down and preparing for battle. I leave the office and try to retain my composure and my sanity…Heidi Thorne would be the person to say whether or not I pulled this off because I had a very lengthy call with her the minute I was leaving the doctor’s office. I didn’t mention my “news” because I was still grappling with what it meant.
As I returned home, I told my boyfriend, called my dad and brother, text messaged my friends…and I decided not to tell my mom. I was afraid and I was afraid that she’d be afraid and I couldn’t deal with that. We had just lost my aunt less than 10 days before to cancer. I did not want to start a flood of panic.
So, I did what I do. I called the doctor’s office, “When can we do the mammogram?” Their response, “It will take a few days to schedule, to work out the details…blah, blah, blah.” So I waited.
I call again a couple of days later and then a couple of days after that. At this point, I am starting to get a little hysterical. How can they give me that news and then tell me to wait…for a week! And that’s only to schedule the appointment. (By the way, if you are under 40, this process is even more delayed, which doesn’t make any sense. Does cancer care how old you are?)
When I receive the information for my appointment, I am devastated because it is more than a month away. How in the world am I going to wait that long? I need to know what is happening, will I be ok, what should I do, does anyone think this is an issue…
Unbearable. But I can wait. So I do. I can handle this, I think. Until, I find out that my boyfriend will be out of town when I have to go for my appointment; I really don’t want to go alone. So, I make the call I dread the most…I ask my mom to fly out for a visit. She knew something was going on, so I explained the situation, which she handled like a champ. We planned for her to arrive on the following Wednesday.
The Saturday before her arrival, I received the news that a friend’s father had passed away. I needed to return to Indianapolis, but I knew I couldn’t stay because of my impending doctor’s appointment. I was literally in Indy for 24-hours and then came back to California to face the music.
My appointment was today. I am fine. All of my results indicated that it is just tissue and that there’s no need for additional follow-up. WOW. Relief is still surging through me…I really didn’t know what the day had in store for me, but I am so very grateful to be healthy. The summer just shifted a bit for me, from devastation to hope. Hope for happier times ahead. Hope for a continually grateful heart.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I’ve used this blog in a cathartic manner for the past couple of weeks…I think now I’ll switch back to business. I might actually be capable of concentrating without that cloud hanging over my head. Although, I may table my ambitions until Monday and just spend some time with family:)
Amber, I just finished reading your post and found myself holding my breath until I saw that you received good news! After supporting my dearest friend through her breast cancer journey, I find myself listening to other women much more closely, calling friends more often, etc., I love that your post will serve as a reminder to other women to get checked! Amber, I’m so glad that you will roll into fall with a clean bill of health. Be well, warmly, Lea
With everything that has happened with you, i want to thank you so much to take the time to come to dads funeral so much! I could not of done it without you! So it’s been 3 weeks and I haven’t moved any of dads stuff and shelby is just now realizing! Hope our near future gets better!
Pingback: The Saga Continues… | Amber Cleveland's Blog