Category: Life & Death Perception

I think I can write this now

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.

 

 

 

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Talk

Today I encountered one of those milestones.  Sean and Anonymous went to drop off an item for a collective yard sale for the Children’s Center.  The woman was a bit upset since her parent(s) had recently died.  Sean got upset at the thought of death and came to me for comfort.  At first he thought he was the only one that was going to die.  I held his hand and told him, “Everyone, everyone is going to die.  You, me, your sister, your teacher, the garbage man, the guy who cooks burgers…everyone.”  He laughed at bit and I could see he was feeling a bit better.  I then told him in terms he could understand, “It’s like Minecraft, you will want to get the farthest you can, do the best you can do before a zombie pig gets you or you fall in lava.”   At this he wiped his tears and went off to play with his sister.

We dealt with this topic before when Anonymous’s mother was dying.  He asked where she went and why she wasn’t here.  We told him about death in terms he could understand at that time.  Children have questions and we as parents need to answer them.  I just hope I can answer all the questions that come.

What I said last night

Last night was a t-ball game.  It was fortunate to be at 7:30 in the evening so it was a tad cooler but unfortunate since this meant it was after nine before we got home.  It was funny in sad sort of way since Moms and their moms were there to watch the game but all they did was bicker.  They fought about phone calls and who does what it got so bad that I actually said, “It’s times like this I’m glad my mom’s dead”

Now first let me get one thing straight I am NOT glad my mother is dead.  I miss her and my mother-in-law every single day.  What prompted me to say what I said was I couldn’t believe that these women were fighting!  Also it made me think if my mom and MIL had lived longer would we have turned into this?  Was is something that progressively happened? Like a body breaking down would a relationship break down too?  Many of the people laughed and one woman asked me for more information of why I said that.

You see last friday  I had talked with other moms about Mother’s day and as soon as I said, “Do you have plans for mother’s day” their faces fell and shoulders tensed.  One woman began, “My kids get carsick real easy but my MIL wants us to drive up the mountain to see her.  Now do we stop twenty times to let the kids adjust and have it be triple the amount of time or do we just give them barf bags and let them be miserable?”

Another woman, “We’re having a party which means I am throwing the party.  More work for me.”

Yet another woman, “We’re seeing my mom.  I don’t know why she can’t come and see us…I’m a mom too you know!”

There were more comments from other women about so called evil mother in laws, and about calling siblings to pawn off their own mothers and other things.  This has lingered in my brain and last night at the t-ball game it made me blurt out that ridiculous statement.  My mom told me long before I had gotten married and had children that she would make no demands that we see her if and when I had children.  She did not want to impose the way her mother did.  I still can remember every sunday we went to Nan and Granddads house.  It was the unofficial yet expected thing.  My MIL was also a wonderful woman and also made no demands to see Sean.  In fact even when she was sick we always asked her if it was ok for a visit.

I would give almost anything to have them both back for 10 minutes to show them all the things Sean and Evelyn have done but I know I don’t have that option.  I also hope that if they are still both with us still in some form they understood my intent which was enjoy your parents–stop bickering about the small stuff.

second most painful

So yesterday I was puttering around with Sean and Evelyn.  I made a late breakfast ate it then thought nothing of it.  Later I got the worst stomach ache.  Right above my navel then it started to move towards the right. I gobbled some tums but that made it worse.  I took tylenol still no relief. My two friends both have had their appendix out so I thought that it was now my turn.  I called Anonymous but I couldn’t get through, I called the front desk and a search party went out to find him.  My stomach hurt so bad that I called Ahouseholdkate thinking that she could come over and I could drive myself.  Ahouseholdkate was en-route when Anonymous called. He came home and took me to the hospital.

By the time I got there I felt a bit better so the voice of my Mother starting yapping at me.  “It’s only wind!”  The triage nurse had me sit down she placed her fingers below my ribcage and pushed.  I yelped, then she simply stated “Gallbladder.”

Anonymous took the kids to Ahouseholdkate’s house while I had tests run.  My ER nurse was betting on appendicitis.  I had an ultrasound then the results came in–Gallstones.  In my minds eye I could see my mother mouthing “sorry”.  So in the future I will most likely become a member of the parts missing club.

I must say this episode was the second most painful experience I’ve had.  The first being the broken leg and the third being childbirthImage

Hand it over to Neeson

Remember Liam Neeson and his words of wisdom on acting? “The training is nothing! The will is everything! The will to act!”  I find that in the New Year many have good intentions, they resolve to do things but actually doing them is different.  A few days before the New Year anonymous and I did demolition work in our garage.  I think adetailedhouse would have approved.  Due to circumstances of our location, deaths in the family and our neighborhood we do not have an intricate support system when it comes to free time.  When Anonymous and I do find a babysitter we will generally have dinner or lunch then go a home improvement store to purchase things.  Our last wedding anniversary was spent at Home Depot buying screen doors.  Our old babysitter Miss C. was in town and offered her services.  We took advantage of it, my brother had given us a gift of a steak dinner so we took it then we came back to demolish drywall.  It was such a good feeling to actually accomplish something.  When we first moved in we had made the decision to rent a dumpster and take out this weird alcove so Anonymous could park his truck.  It was well over a year before we actually acted.  The next day Miss C. was hired again for a few hours so we could take the debris to city refuse center.

 

When I was younger I would act some would say it was done a bit blindly but I would just go off and buy that item or go to that event without research.  It is different now, I research everything and I find I have become bogged down.  I don’t seem to perceive the best case scenario.  I will act in this New Year and perhaps leap without looking…well perhaps just a peek.
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July Recap

So July was mixture of things, good things, funny things, whiskey tango foxtrot things.  My Dad had his gallbladder removed early in the month and since his wife was on call at the hospital I was a back-up. Just to make sure he took his pain medication and carried no fever or other sign of infection.  It was the first time I had ever spent the night away from Evelyn since she was born.   I have been away from Sean and all of those were hospital admittances.

After carefully weighing our options we sold the Tardis. CarMax was a great experience and the Tardis didn’t stay on the lot a week until someone bought it.  I truly hope that the Tardis is giving some young teenager or a new family some joy. For us Galactica is now our primary vehicle.

I came home one day and found a Scorpion in our kitchen sink.  Yes I did type scorpion not spider. Bugs on a whole don’t weird me out, don’t get me wrong if they were in my bed I would freak but on the most part I can deal with them.  Scorpions are tough suckers!  I don’t own boots so I couldn’t smash it and if it was a pregnant female smashing them causes the babies to run out.  Get this you cannot drown them, they can survive in pools.  This thing rivals the Xenomorph running around the Nostromo!  So I sprayed it with bleach cleaner it squirmed for a bit before dying and then I could get rid of it.

My children continue to surprise me and I know that sounds cliche but it is true!  They are so different and the same but the difference on this particular day reminded me of that nursery rhyme of Jack Sprat. However, in my universe it goes

Evelyn Claire could eat no pasta and Sean James could eat no beans.  Between the two they picked the plate clean

I had my six month surveillance by my GP as instructed by the genetic counselors and all seems well.  My GP is actually going to send my case to the radiology department for their input.  According to him I am in the weird age bracket where there are a whole host of opinions of what to do.  So he is going to get the radiologists opinion.

The last day of July saw the last lesson with Sean and his swim instructor, she has made Sean water safe and proficient and we can’t thank her enough!  Sean has had her since just before he turned 4.  It is her last summer at CSUSB before she goes off to bigger, better and more grand things.  Sean made her card and a key-chain and she posed for a photo.

Don’t Feed It After Midnight

The Tardis shall have a new owner.  Today we took it to CarMax and let the Car Gods smile or frown upon our offering.  The Gods were kind and the process was painless.  I don’t know if Gremmy is still in the boot or whether he has found another vehicle more suited to his needs all I know is the Tardis is out of our hands.  To me that car was a tool I never fell in love it with it.  On the other hand I mourn my truck, I loved that thing, I have many fond memories of it.  The Tardis got me through the last portion of grad school, Anonymous and I had a memorable vacation, it provided Sean and Evelyn their very first car ride but it was also a source of frustration.  I have no feelings of joy or sorrow that it is now gone I simply hope the new owner can bond with it.  Also the last rule of the Mogwai I feel is appropriate.