I think everyone is tired. We can all use some more sleep. We have apps for white noise, machines that produce it and activity monitors that also monitor sleep. I bring this up since I notice that in many circles it seems that the more tired you are the better it seems you are. You’re not really living unless you’re bone weary from ferrying children across town for multiple activities, attending a social engagement, and taking a cooking class. The more tired you are = how important/exciting you are.
I had my first mammogram on the 16th of last month. My doctor had recommended that I get a baseline at 35. An appointment was made and I went in on a Saturday morning. I wore my gown, stood still and held my breath when directed to.
Six days later on a Friday I received a phone call. A nurse told me that I needed to come back since things were not clear. It was 4 o’clock when they called me and radiology is shut at 4 and doesn’t open until 8 on a Monday. I spent the weekend trying not to panic.
When Monday finally came I dialed Radiology as soon as the clock struck 8. I gave the woman my information, such as m name and medical record number. She instantly said, “Oh yes, right breast. You’ll need an ultrasound and mammogram.”
The nurse who had called me prior had no mention that there was something found on my right breast. As always, the information is with the servants. The first available appointment they could get me was Thursday at 1:35.
My mother and father had planned a cruise, they had never ever been on one. The tickets came a week after she was diagnosed with cancer and they had to send them back. Anonymous and I are planning a family trip. I was thinking of this, of how the past echoes in the present.
The department was backed up so I didn’t get called back until 2:10. I walked into a ultrasound room and saw the mammogram of my right breast with a circle around an area. As I was going towards the bed my phone rang I looked at the caller ID, it was my Dad. I quickly rejected the call and silenced my phone. The sonographer began the exam, moving the transducer and clicking away on the keyboard. She then stood up and announced she needed the doctor and scurried out of the room. Call it cliche but that is never a good sign.
The doctor then came in and told me they had found a 1cm mass. It had been visible on the first mammogram and it had been found with the ultrasound. Now the question was, what was it? I was told that I needed a diagnostic mammogram. It would be done today and the results given to me immediately. I went back to the waiting/holding area where other women were either sighing heavily in anticipation of their exams or grimacing because they had just endured a biopsy.
I was called back to another exam room. I was warned that the diagnostic mammogram would hurt more and it did. Nonetheless, I wanted it done.
Then I was sent back to the waiting/holding area. I compare the waiting/holding area to purgatory. There was nothing I could do until I had an answer. If it was cancer then we can go forward with treatment. It if was benign we can go forward with more surveillance. However, I had no clue as to what I had so I couldn’t move forward with any plans.
The answer finally came, Fibroadenoma, non-cancerous. I will go back in six-months for another ultrasound and diagnostic mammogram to see if the mass has grown. If it has, then it will be removed. If it stays the same I will go back in another six-months for another round of scans. Then it will be a year.
I know I will have surveillance for the rest of my life and I’m fine with that. What I am not ok with is the smiley face ingratiating way breast cancer awareness is portrayed. I hate the facebook shit of posting some god-awful enigmatic status update as cancer awareness. Whenever I get the invitation to participate in this cryptic nonsense I always post, “Get a mammogram”. People are aware of cancer, awareness is one of these hijacked words. Smokers are aware that smoking causes cancer. What should be posted is almost a polite bullying. You need your friends and loved ones to make you go. Nobody really wants to go to the doctor. Yet no one really wants to die either.
In 2007 I changed my name. It was the second time I had done so. The first time was 2003 when I married. 4 years later I changed it again when I became a Mom. It is rare that I hear my given name. For the past 8 years I have been an at-home mom.
Tomorrow, is something new. I will have both children in school. I will drop both of them off and pick them up. I’ve written before about landmarks, tomorrow will be one of those landmarks in my life. I hope with this change that other landmarks will appear on the horizon. I’m also trying not to get ahead of myself. Yes, I will have time alone but I won’t be able to paint my entire house in that time. I need to be rational and logical in my approach to things. Many of my peers have said that when both of their children were in school they would celebrate with champagne. I always said, “On that day, I’m going to be able to fold laundry in 20 minutes instead of two hours!”
I don’t actually know what tomorrow will bring. Will I increase my domestic goddess powers? Will I find a part time employment? Will I devote more time to volunteering at the school? I honestly don’t know. All I do know is that tomorrow will be different.
When Anonymous and first married we had mish-mash of items in our apartment. We soon bought things together to fill our apartment and then our first home. One item I particularly enjoyed was our coffee table. It had slots for magazines and remotes. The top was kept clear save for some votive candles and drinking glasses (on a coaster of course). Having our first child and breaking my leg necessitated the removal of the coffee table. We had in the garage before a giving it to a neighbour who had expressed desire in it. Another item which was removed from our home was stemware. We had a few pieces yet with children and moving to a new pieces were lost. For awhile we had these stemless plastic type wine glasses but we never really used them.
On Friday we went out and purchased a new coffee table and stemware. It’s nothing fancy, the table is not some great piece of carpentry made from rare fallen wood. The stemware is not hand-blown by some artisan. However, the return of these items has made me feel that I am once again an adult. Our children are old/tall enough not to run headlong into the furniture. Also they understand that plenty of other rooms are designated for play. After 8 years we have a coffee table and I feel genuine happiness. It’s true what is said about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. With the base needs met the wistful wishes of a coffee table can be fulfilled.
Now perhaps I’m just being nostalgic but the 80’s had some fine music. Going through my library and listened to Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads. As kid I thought it was just a funny song, now I listen to it and think of people going through a midlife crisis. I’m 35, mid-life is my age. I don’t mind being halfway to 70 in fact I like it! Yet sometimes I find myself asking, “How, did I get here?”
My blog posts have been wan of late, (all right it’s been nearly six months). It’s not that things are boring I just find myself giving the excuse of no time. That is a bit of lie, I do have time I just don’t apply it to this. There are a lot of Mommy blogs out there and I don’t want to become another woman bemoaning and praising child-rearing in one breath all of the time. It’s strange that while sometimes aspects of my life infuriate me (this happens to all of us) there are people that would love to have this.
A woman I knew in a Company I danced with is having fertility issues. It’s such a benign term, fertility issues. As I read about her experiences I’m struck by her deep longing. I’m sure she has asked, “How, did I get here?”
I do hope her and her husband’s journey is not to fraught with heartbreak.
I’m glad I have the kids with me for they are able to bear witness to some of the things I see. One morning I woke up and went the kitchen for coffee when a brown blur launched over our brick wall and into the front yard. I was so taken aback I blinked hard and wondered if I was still asleep. The brown blur then coalesced into a form–a coyote. I went the front window where the coyote was just hanging out on the lawn. I shouted for Sean to come over and see (to confirm I wasn’t crazy). It then jogged off the lawn across our driveway.
One day we were coming home from an outing when I noticed a man at a corner waiting patiently for his turn to cross the street. He had a bike with him that seemed odd. It then occurred to me that it was half a bike. “It’s unicycle” I blurted. The kids then asked, “What’s a unicycle?” and I was able to point.
Lastly I was driving Sean back from the dentist. I was about to change lanes so I checked my mirror when I caught sight of something very large and flapping. The car passed me and on top there was a huge stuffed gorilla So with unicycles and a giant stuffed toys the carnival must be in town!! Don’t take my word for it, I have pictures.