This is not necessarily the kind of post that you are probably used to from me. In fact, my blog always focuses on the happy. On the fun. And (quite a bit of) on the crazy.
I had NO intentions of even writing about this... however, Kev has really encouraged me to share my experience due to the incredible amount of kindness I received this past week. Not to mention some major life lessons learned.
And luckily, this post DOES end with a happy ending. Also, luckily, this post does NOT have any pictures.
Two good reasons to read on....
Now I feel like I need to start off by telling you that I HATE HATE HATE the doctor. As in going is my worst nightmare. I am one of those people that believes that what you don't know won't hurt you. And if you do know... and a doctor doesn't confirm it... then it will probably go away.
So, it should be NO surprise that I haven't been to get my extremely uncomfortable annual women's exam in FIVE WHOLE YEARS. And yes, I realize that is extremely risky. Especially at my age. But it is what it is. I'm stubborn. And good at making excuses as to why I'm too busy.
Until two Mondays ago. When I found a lump. And it wasn't the kind that Fergie sings about being lovely.
I literally just stood there and stared in the mirror for I'm sure an unbelievable amount of time. Hoping it would go away. Hoping that I was mistaken. Wondering when my skin got so saggy.
I decided to keep it a secret until I knew for sure. And then waited THREE days before I even called the doctor.
And I worked out a ton hoping that it would become miserable with my constant activity and would leave on it's own.
I went to the doctor on Thursday. The 23rd. It was confirmed immediately.
And then I lost all composure. I couldn't help it.
Even though I was trying so hard to act brave. The tears just would not stop.
I was in the room alone when the nurse came in. She was so cheerful and uplifting. She gave me the biggest hug. She told me that she was a 13 year breast caner survivor. And all we had to do was think positive. And every thing was going to be just fine.
Unfortunately, she had NO idea how completely dramatic I am. I mean... I should have a stage in my back yard where I perform weekly installments of Little House on the Prairie. ( that would be the only "show" the people of Gaston would be interested in seeing.... that or maybe the movie Deliverance)
An appointment for a mammogram was scheduled immediately. In fact, they were hoping for a sooner appointment... but due to my work schedule... and the fact that I didn't want anyone to know.. I had to settle for Wednesday.
On my way out, Annie ran up to me and gave me her phone number. She told me to call her as soon as I got the results. Gave me another hug. And told me I was going to be just fine.
I was floored.
If that is not "above and beyond" then I don't know what is.
I held on to that number like it was a piece of gold.
And then waited to tell Kev.
Kev is the best person to tell your bad news to. He is sympathetic. But NEVER overreacts. And is determined to keep living life as normal until told otherwise.
Thank God for him.
It gave me no choice.
So, I kept my days extremely busy and pretended that nothing was going on.
Wednesday ( the 30th) was my mammogram.
And let me tell you that I have heard horror stories. Like basically the little bit that I have left was pretty much going to be chopped off and sold for parts.
I went alone. I was determined to prove to myself that I was brave.
And from the minute that I walked in to the Lexington Medical Imaging Center... I was treated with more kindness that I ever knew could and would come out of a group of strangers. Every single nurse, doctor, and secretary that I encountered went out of their way to make me feel comfortable. They communicated every single detail with me every single step of the way. And above all, made me laugh. A lot.
As I've said before... Laughter is the best medicine. At least it is for me. And they had me laughing so much during the actual procedure that I barely even remember what happened.
The mammogram did show a mass. And the sonogram confirmed it again.
So, a biopsy was scheduled for Thursday morning. ( I have never been to the doctor this much in my entire life).
Nan, the technician, told me that she was going to change her schedule for Thursday so that she could be waiting for me when I got there for the biopsy.
And she was. She was waiting for me Thursday morning with the biggest smile on her face. She was so positive and uplifting and hilarious. The doctor was so amazing as well. She explained every single detail. Showed me pictures. And showed me what the samples of the mass looked like ( GROSS!).
The procedure was actually so easy and smooth that I felt like I needed crutches or something to make a more dramatic exit out of the hospital.
I've been known to do things like that.
Dr. Smith told me that she felt pretty good about every thing.
Exactly what I needed to hear.
I left that day feeling so much better. Despite the fact that I was told I could do nothing... lifting, carrying, bending over, raising my arms above my head, dancing. Um. I work in retail. There is no way around any of those restrictions. Especially the dancing.
So, I went to work. And did the best I could. And waited for the results.
I got the results yesterday. And the mass is benign! HOORAY!
And I can go about my business and be extra thankful for my health.
Kev knew it would be fine all along. Because he is a positive thinker. ALL THE TIME.
Except when it comes to the weather and traffic. But that is a story for another time.
So, now the part you have all been waiting for. The lessons learned.
Kev says that the lesson I should have learned is: To not overreact.
Sorry Kev. That is impossible for me. I was born with overreacting genes.
So, the actual lessons that I learned are:
1. Lexington Medical Women's Center TRULY has the most amazing people working there. Genuine, caring, uplifting people. If I thought baking them one million wedding donuts would show my gratitude... I would. But then I would probably eat the majority of them while driving to the hospital... so, I will stick with a letter telling them how much they meant to me.
2. It is SO important to take care of yourself!! Go to the doctor. Check yourself regularly. Get over your fears. Do it for yourself. Your family. And your friends.
3. Mammograms are actually pretty fun. Especially getting to see how much perkier I look in picture than I do in real life. It gave me a flashback to my youth. And made me want to sing 80's hit songs.
Except for I do that every day anyway.
I'm already looking forward to turning 40. Because that means I get to go back for another one.
I can't believe I just said that I'm looking forward to turning 40.
It must be from my lack of sleep this week. :)
And never fear... my next post will be back to my regularly scheduled life. In fact, speaking of kindness.... wait until you see what I received in the mail last week!! I will give you a hint... it makes me run VERY fast!