I was sore and tender. My husband took me to our favorite little family diner for lunch. We laughed and talked. We returned home. I worked on computer things. I remembered that I had started shaking a little bit after the procedure was over and willed myself to stop. What if? I hoped the doctor would never call me. Maybe he will forget.
I went for a walk. My usual fitness routine was too strenuous for me for the first 48 hours after the biopsy. I talked to my best friend as I went around the park. My phone died. I hoped that wasn’t an omen and then scoffed at myself for being a sissy. There were tons of women in this world worse off by far than me. I e-mailed a dear friend in a far away land who comforted me. My husband was the kindest. All would be well. I had no assurance I would be healthy.
I woke up today, read the news and had coffee. My husband kept on telling me that everything would be fine. How does he know? We decided to go to morning yoga together. It’s a Yin class and I told the teacher (who is a nurse) that I had had a biopsy yesterday and she was extremely supportive. The class was a godsend.
After yoga I still had a few rounds of sustaining exercise to do. Things heal better with gentle exercise. While I was on the treadmill, the biopsy doctor called. I answered sounding very wary. He sounded positively cheery. I though, “Oh, no, he’s cheery…there is something wrong, I know it. He is trying to lull me into a stupor and then he is going to give me the bad news!” “Mrs. Christenson, it turns out that the spot we saw on the mammogram was benign.” Oh, happy happy day. I was so relieved and I didn’t even almost fall off the treadmill! Just happy and utterly in control. I thanked him heartily and called my husband. What a relief.
I know that not everyone gets that decision. There are plenty of women (and some men, too) who get bad news about breast cancer. For all of my worrying, I did remember to think that I was having yearly mammograms, following up on them when I needed to, and that the risk of my suffering a catastrophic surprise of rampant disease was vastly lower than if I had skipped all the unpleasantness of the mammogram and biopsy. That fact alone was the one I clung to during my worst fears and anxieties. My life would have been far more miserable if I had not had that to remember.
I do so hope that even though it’s getting to be the end of October, that you will have your annual mammogram (if you are a woman) and don’t put it off because it’s a bother or you don’t like the machine pinching you or whatever you don’t like about it. It really does save lives and makes treatment much less extreme if anything is wrong. Getting your mammogram done at the same place every year is a very wise thing to do as well. So, if you haven’t scheduled your mammogram, please do it now even if you end up having it in November.
All my best, Fabienne from Possets