Tomorrow I will be spending most of my day at the Wesley Breast Clinic having my annual mammogram and ultrasound.
Every year I go along and every year I feel the same range of emotions. So far, fingers crossed, I have been given the all clear and sent home, but that doesn’t stop me getting anxious. I start off feeling ok and actually looking forward to a morning of reading my book – forced reading I call it and I love it! As the day wears on these emotions change to worry and anxiety, followed by relief when I am finally allowed to go home. Cancer free.
Sadly not everyone gets to do that. I currently have a lovely friend who is battling secondary cancers after being treated for breast cancer some years ago. The lovely @SeraphimSP from Ah The Possibilities also blogged about her dear friend yesterday. Chances are every one of you reading this blog will have been touched by Breast Cancer, whether it is you, a relative or a friend.
Going to the Wesley Breast Clinic is exactly the same every year. When I arrive, I walk into the waiting room and I cannot believe how many women are sitting there – fifty at least. I quickly scan the room for a familiar face, don’t find one, so I sit and start reading.
First call, in to see the doctor, easy quick chat and back to the waiting room.
Second call, in for the mammogram – what an antiquated ordeal that is. Boobs squashed flat between a piece of perspex and some xray thingy. I don’t think boobs were made to be squashed like pancakes! Last year I was pre menstrual – OMG the pain. This time I am good. But, someone has got to come up with a better invention, and soon. It is horrendous. As an aside, I asked the lady do they ever hire male radiographers for this job and she said no. I’m glad of this because there is a lot of boob handling to get those puppies in between that perspex.
Back to the waiting room – still feeling good – no anxiety or worry. Back to the book. I am usually feeling a little peckish by now.
Third call, in for the ultrasound scan. This is the point where I start to worry. Each time I have the same thoughts, what if the lump is bigger? What if there is another one? I didn’t finish off the dishes at home? Who will pick up the dog? Every time she hovers around one particular spot I worry that it is a lump. Really worry. I almost have a panic attack. Every single time.
Back to the waiting room – feeling quite worried now and unable to focus on my book. I start looking around wondering which of the ladies has had cancer, which have been sent here because of a lump or which ones are just here for their check up? There is a story with each and every one of those ladies. Unfortunately, for more of them than I care to think about, the ending is isn’t happy. Not at all.
Fourth call, back into the doctors office – stomach churning. Get the good news, delivered in a couple of short sentences. We will see you in 12 months time. I leave feeling like I have just been given a new life. I leave feeling relieved, but also feeling sad for the women who didn’t get good news like I did.
For a brief time I got to imagine what it would be like if I was to have cancer and what I would do … I play out a scenario in my head yet I know it wouldn’t be anything like the reality.
Tomorrow I get to go through all those feelings again. I wonder if I will feel exactly the same, or have I possibly become more complacent about it all?
I am incredibly grateful for my health and so thankful I don’t have cancer or any other insidious disease.
An old italian aunt always says, “if you have good health, you have everything”. We only have one body and it is so important that we take very good care of it. Be kind to your body … it is everything – without it we are nothing.
Don’t put off having your mammogram. Are you over 40 yeas of age? Have you ever had a mammogram? Why not? Make an appointment now!! Please.
If you are under 40 please, as Sarah pleaded with you yesterday, give yourself regular breast examinations. You really must.
Did you do something kind for your body today?