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You’re shitting me, I thought when my routine mammogram turned into two hours of close-ups and an appointment to come in for a biopsy. I wasn’t dreaming and this wasn’t last year’s nightmare. It was a whole new kind of ugly. The good news- Your left breast (the one with a tumor that sucked away my summer of ’09) looks great. The bad news, your right breast has microcalcifications. These look like specs of sand on a mammogram. I had five specs. Five. Five f&%king specs that could turn my life upside down again. 80 percent of calcs are benign. You get a little metal clip in your boob, a pat on your head and be on your way. 20 percent come back malignant and you’re back on the operating slab and then on to radiation. I’m starting to get how people could just stop treatment altogether and say f*&k it even if their odds are good.
Every six months I have to go through this hell? This dread that it could be back. Canser. The bitch is back? And even if it doesn’t turn out to be canser, my breasts will be Swiss cheese. So this Asian radiologist is describing what will happen next and all I’m thinking is how smudged her glasses are and how I want to pull them off her nose and clean them off for her. Maybe she was just seeing the dirt from her lenses? But then I see the evidence for myself. Those little fricking specs. And I want to run out of the room and cry. But I can’t. I have to sit there and pretend like I’m listening to my dentist explain how to floss. I nod my head. I keep my cool. I’m going to have a stereotactic biopsy she tells me. It shouldn’t hurt too bad and it won’t leave much of a scar.
The procedure involves me lying flat on a coroners’ table with my breast hanging from a hole in the center. Lovely. They numb me up then send a giant needle straight to the place where they ‘think’ the calcs are and vacuum them out. The tissue gets sent to a lab and 48 hours later, I will know.
I talked this all over with Ryan last night. Up until then I guess it hadn’t hit me. I was fine all weekend. Even forgot about this ‘issue’.
As I described what would happen to me today, I scared myself. Regardless of the pathology, this is my life now. Every six months for the next five years, at least, I will be forced to deal. I can never put it in my past and pretend that was someone else it happened to. Can I be strong and stoic forever? I got a copy of “Somewhere in Time” just so I could have a good excuse to ball my eyes out. I don’t like feeling sorry for myself.
My doctor tried to make me feel better. “It’s too soon after chemo for this to be anything bad,” she said. “I’ll see you in six months.” God I really hope she’s right.
I brought in my Zune and watched a movie while they did their thing today. It helped. Not sure if it was a smart choice to watch “Crazy Sexy Cancer”but I only had 15 minutes left and I wanted to see how the documentary ended. It took my mind off what they were doing under the table. The hot pain of the lidocaine needles, the dig of metal into my ribcage, the snap of the vacuum sucking out my insides. All were slightly dulled thanks to my headphones and lack of focus. The movie ended and I was helped up. The nurse pushed firmly over the wound to squash the bleeding but also to keep me from freaking out when I saw the hole. Oops. Too late. But I didn’t freak. In the scheme of things what’s one little hole compared to a 2″ scar on your nipple??!!! I’ll take the hole.
It’s been a rough day. Did I mention my Homeowner’s Association is breathing down my neck? I got a certified letter today telling me I can’t rent out rooms in my house because it’s a single family dwelling and that if I stop renting they won’t pursue the matter further. NEWS FLASH- single family dwellings these days are defined as three unrelated people living together. That’s what I got. And don’t you people have anything better to do with your lives than scour Craigslist looking to ‘catch’ me? My Prepaid Legal lawyers are all over this one. As much as I’m irritated by their Nazi-like abuse of power, I do appreciate that the HOA actually took my mind off canser for the rest of the day. Thanks, guys. I spent all afternoon researching the laws and combing through my CC&Rs. I’m ready to walk- head high- into our annual homeowner’s meeting tomorrow night. That should be fun. NOT. I wonder if the person who complained will speak up if I’m present. Or will they be chickensh*t? Stay tuned….