When I got out of the tub, before I had a chance to wrap myself in a towel, a tiny voiced called "mommy". I wrapped up and raced upstairs. I crawled under the covers to join the two mounds on the mattress. I beckoned P Bear to go back to sleep. He tried, but did not succeed. It was ok because I got in some good snuggles. We breathed together in a tight embrace and I was able to linger in the moment and take in all the love. That really helped.
Eventually we all got up and went downstairs to brace for the day. As I stated in a previous post, I had received that letter telling me I had an abnormality on my mammogram. Well, this morning was my appointment. Statistically speaking, I knew everything would probably be fine, but that chance, that one little chance is what kept assaulting my thoughts. The dreaded "what if" was devouring me, chewing on my cerebral cortex and swallowing my positive energies.
I sucked it up, put on my happy face, got ready and kissed my guys goodbye. In the car on the way there I listened to peace and quiet music, as Pax likes to call it. I spoke briefly with my mom and then went back to the music. All the while my mind was going.
Here's the thing... I wasn't afraid for me. I really wasn't. I'm a pretty tough chick. I did my childhood growing up with three brothers in Texas. I did my adult growing up in NYC. I have a thick skin and am fairly resilient. I can change a tire and after 8 years living in hell, I figured out the hard way I can take a punch. I knew if something went wrong, I could handle it. It wasn't me I was worried about. It was them. My guys. What would that kind of adversity do to them? Pax is 3. He wouldn't understand, but he'd wind up having to understand and that isn't fair. I remember my beautiful Fe at that age. Fe is my cousin Stephanie's daughter. My cousin who fought hard, but ultimately lost her battle with cancer. Fe was 3. Then there's Shawn. He is incredible, but no one truly is Super Man. That is just so much for one man to take on... I can't even put my mind there... what it would do to him, to them. That is what kept hitting me in the solar plexus. That is what kept knocking the wind out of me. I was having a hard time breathing for them.
I got to the office about 30 minutes early, and they didn't make me wait. They put me in a room. Take off everything from the waist up, robe open to the front. Then I came out and sat in "the chairs". I was surrounded by pink. Pink everything. The robe was pink. The staff wore pink. The table across from me was covered in brochures with pink headers and pink letters and ribbon icons. There was a giant pink ribbon poster with signatures all over it. Dedications. Celebrations. Thanks you's. In honor of's. It was a lot to look at through the lens of fear. I understand it. I get it. I know why it's there and why it's important and how it helps, but in that moment I truly hated pink. I resented it. It simply sucks that there has to be pink and ribbons and walks and bracelets. It just sucks.
The diagnostic mammogram was the first step. It hurt. The girl giving the exam was unbelievably sweet. I'm sure she has seen a lot in that office. Too much probably. What she does is so needed, and how she does it is even more needed. She walked me through the whole thing with the most gentle nature. She guided me and let me choose to not talk. That was a gift. Words were caught in my throat and getting them out wasn't an option. I think she could tell.
The mammogram resulted in me having to get an ultrasound. The left looked fine, but there was a "density" on the right that needed further investigating. I was ushered into the ultrasound room. It was dark. The girl in there hadn't been given the soft grace of the first girl. She had a Baltic sounding accent and a more direct approach. For some reason I could talk to her. I told her of the too many people I know who are fighting and who have fought the battle. She seemed genuinely shocked at the ages of women I mentioned. As I said it all out loud I understood my fear more. That's a lot of people in one circle. The tech went through the procedure for me; she would take the ultrasound, the doc would look at them. If all was fine I would go home, if not there would be more testing on the spot. As I swallowed hard, she made a point to tell me "I'm not a doctor, I only take the pictures". I understood.
Eventually the doc came in, took a closer look and told me I could go home. The density was a clump of glands. It's a little unusual, but nothing to be afraid of. She asked if I had any questions. I was so relieved I just wanted to get out of there and said a little inappropriately loud no. She chuckled a knowing chuckle and said, "We'll see you next year". I got up and got to my dressing area fast. As I came out I was greeted by the first tech girl. She gave me a giant hug and said, "I'm so glad you got good news". My heart broke in that instant. I wondered how many times she got to give that hug vs the times she had to give the other hug, the hug that says "I'm so sorry". There are too many people who get the other hug. I am a lucky person and I don't take for granted that I was given a gift today. I do not take lightly that I got the good hug.