Recording my thoughts as I drive and as I sit in a parking lot and while I am in the radiology waiting room. I can’t remember how this started. Middle of the night insomnia, and a self-exam out of 3 a.m. boredom.
Yes, I don’t actually know anything. Yes, the statistics are in my favor. All of the statistics. I am under 40 years old and I am healthy. While I did have clogged ducts while breast-feeding I never developed mastitis. There is no history of women in my immediate family developing breast cancer, at least not that I know of. And yet here I am, after going in to question a lump I discovered a few weeks ago. Here I am less than a week later, rushed in for a mammogram that I thought I would not experience until my 40s, when I would have to begrudgingly make that silly appointment. I have to get an ultrasound on my right breast to find out what those- not one – but two large lumps actually are. And I’m confident that it is nothing. Except right now I am not confident. Yesterday? I was OK. Saturday evening I was swell, with a beer in hand and sarcasm in my voice as I talked to a friend about her experiences with silly offices and boobs and whatnot. But on this sunshiny but cold Monday I am scared to death.
It would be more likely that I would get hit by a semi in an intersection and die from that than to have breast cancer, which doesn’t even necessarily translate to fatality. But here is the bile in the back of my throat and the insomnia for days on end from unspoken fears and here are the jittery and watery scatterings in every interaction I have today.
I had a huge binging episode on Saturday and briefly again on Sunday. But I also drank away my fears with a good friend who had loads of excellent input and made me laugh and had pop culture references that were on par with my own. Teary-eyed texts went to another who I miss dearly and know has been through a similar situation and would be holding my shaky, clammy hand right this effing second if she could.
And then today I stupidly searched Google for images of what a positive ultrasound looks like just in case it comes to that. I googled what it would look like to have a cyst or to have one of the many other possibilities of this foreign mass in my body and then I dragged myself into the shower and cried for 30 minutes straight. I wrote a workout for this evening’s gym HIIT class that seems a lifetime away but really is only in 3 hours. I forced myself to eat some ham lunch meat to stop the coffee churning in my stomach, and then I sat and watched a fluffy movie. I gave my kids extra hugs and watched them play sweetly (and bicker just the same). I dry-heaved until I didn’t and ridded myself of the measley protein I had consumed. I grasped my husband tightly before I left the house.
And now I can’t delay any longer, and I have to leave my car and all I want is to curl into my children and my husband and love and be loved.
But instead, it’s time to squish a boob and take a super expensive picture.
Let’s do this.