Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Three months later
I had no idea that I'd been holding my breath until I found myself waiting my turn to see my breast surgeon yesterday.
Sitting waiting for my turn on the third floor of the hospital, my farmer boy reached over and put his hand on my leg to stop me jiggling it. I hadn't even realised I'd been jiggling. But after I stopped jiggling my leg, I started tapping my toes, then opening and shutting my fingers, then scrolling through photos on my phone and then I started jiggling my leg again. It seemed I couldn't sit still.
For days I had answered anyone who had asked that I wasn't nervous about my three month breast check up. I felt confident that the lump had responded well to anti-biotics and time and shrunk so small that I had to really feel carefully to even feel it at all. And sometimes I couldn't. For three months I had been taking Chinese herbs and tissue salts and homeopathics. In three months I had been working on and changed so much of the way that I dealt with my world and it was feeling wonderful.
And for months I had kept my left breast lump incident at the back of my mind to keep me moving forward. I told the story of what had happened often. I kept the conversation open with my girls. I cried whenever I heard stories of women dealing with their own lumps. And on Monday night, just before bed, I sat down and reread the blog posts I had written back then.
I never, well hardly ever, read my old blog posts. Sometimes I look back at the photos but not the words. The words make me feel strange. Those times have passed, things have moved on. But reading through those blog posts took me straight back there and reminded me of how fragile things are. How quickly things can change. How important it is to live the moment. And how terrifying those days were.
Yesterday morning we waited for about an hour to see my doctor. My farmer boy read his book and I jiggled. I felt anxious, out of control and right back there three months ago. Eventually we were ushered into a different consulting room from the usual. A mirror image one. I felt disoriented and paced the three steps back and forth from the window to the door, over and over until the doctor came in.
He asked about my lump. I told him it had shrunk so much that it was barely, barely there, but that I was disappointed that it was sometimes still there at all. He told me he thought that if there was a lump, he'd probably need to remove it, but he'd decide after he'd felt it for himself. I stripped down to my jeans, lay on the table and told him I hoped he had warm hands.
He felt around for a bit and then told me the lump had gone. That he wouldn't have to take it out, because it wasn't there anymore. He said he didn't know what had caused the lump and the infection in the first place, but that it had disappeared. When farmer Bren asked, he said that if I had presented right then for the first time that he would tell me it was all clear too. But he asked me to come back in another four months to keep an eye on things. To keep me in the system.
And then we took the elevator down to the street and I exhaled. And I laughed. And I jumped up and down a few times. And then we celebrated with coffee, with black skinny jeans and with the most delicious lunch.
Again, I have no idea why I am allowed to walk away from this so neatly and easily. Why I am allowed to fold up all of my worst fears and put them up on the highest shelf out of reach. But again I am enjoying the luxury of hindsight and foresight. I am seeing the beauty and the fragility of all that is my world. And I am using this experience to go forward and keep living my life in a mindful way. I am more grateful than I have words for.
These are the links to the four blog posts that I wrote back then. I'm not sure I have ever done this before, but somehow it feels right, like it completes the picture.
My left breast.
I choose kind
I hope you have a gorgeous day my friends. I hope your sun comes out and shines on your face.
Now go and check your boobies.