Friday, October 31, 2008

Holding My Breast...




You many have noticed that I, Dear Gabby, have disappeared for most of the month of October. There is a reason for that. In light of it being Breast cancer ( the c word does not deserve to be capitalized) Awareness Month and because of the whole thing with Christina Applegate being diagnosed with breast cancer, I decided to get my first mammogram. It was not a pleasant experience. They tell you to put your arm here, put your hand here, face your feet this way, turn the top of your body that way, keep your head up, hold your other boob this way, don't move, and then pull-smash-crank-clamp-don't breathe...OUCH!

Not fun, but I was happy that I was doing it and happy that I was getting it over with. On the way out of the office, the receptionist said, "See ya next year!" I was happy yet again to hear those 4 little words as I thought I would not have to endure this again for a whole year. Yes!

And then the next day, I get a voicemail from the Breast Center saying that I need to call them back. I didn't like that message but I figured that maybe they needed more insurance information or something like that. I called back right away and they said that I needed additional scans on my right breast. That didn't sound so good so I called my mom who was having drinks with a couple of friends and both of her friends said that they too had had to go back for more scans on occasion. This made me feel better.

The next available appointment that they had was on my birthday. I politely declined that appointment. For one thing, I was planning on spending my birthday in Palm Springs and the other thing was I didn't want to have my right breast scanned on my birthday! So, I had to wait another week for the second mammogram.

I went in and they told me that they had seen "something" in my right breast. Cancer runs in my family. Not breast cancer but cancer none the less, so that is not something that a girl wants to hear...EVER. They pulled and squished my boob again and stuck me in a different room while the doctor looked over the results. The results were that the doctor wanted me to go back in the mammogram room to get pulled and squished some more. Then I was sent back into the (waiting/examining) room again so that the doctor could review the results, all the while wearing a pink poncho that ties in the front. The nurse came back again and told me that this time I was getting an ultrasound. So, off I went in my pink poncho to get the ultrasound. After the ultrasound, the nurse left me on the table and placed a towel over my boob before she left the room. By now you would think that I would be hyperventilating or sobbing, but I wasn't doing either. I was comfortably numb.

The mysterious doctor who I had yet to lay eyes on up until this moment, walked into the room and started doing another ultrasound. While he was doing this, he was asking me questions about my right breast. "Have you ever had surgery?" No. "Have you ever had a biopsy?" No. "Have you ever had radiation?" No. "You've never had any surgery?" NO.

In between all of this, he is all, blah blah blah to the nurse in a language that I don't understand. The medical language. So at this point, I interrupt them and say WHAT DO YOU SEE? He said, "I don't see a mass and I don't see a nodule, but I see a breaking of the tissue which looks like scar tissue." This makes me feel good and sick to my stomach at the same time because after all, he does see something and he is concerned. He then tells me that he will call my doctor and decide if I should have an MRI or if I should get a biopsy. I'm hoping for the MRI because as much as I want to know and get this over with, I'm also not crazy about a needle going into my boob!

Two days later my doctor calls and says that I'm getting an MRI. An hour later, one of her people calls me and says that she now wants me to see a breast specialist. I of course, think that there is hidden meaning in all of this. Why did her person call me back? Why am I now seeing a breast specialist? WHY? WHY? WHY?

So, I took a chill pill and called the specialist...4 days later. I know what you're thinking, but it took me a while to chill. I needed to sit with it for a few days. When I finally did call, I got an appointment for November 11. That was the soonest they had, until yesterday when I got a call from them. They said that they had a cancellation and could get me in on November the 5th. This was good news but it was also terrible, awful, awful news. Why did they call ME when they got the cancellation??? I didn't ask them to do that. Do they need to get me in there fast???? Was I 1st on the cancellation list???? What's up with that???!!! WHY? WHY? WHY?

To say the very least, I have been completely paranoid and on edge this month...holding my breath. Every time I see Christina Applegate on TV or anywhere else, I think it's a sign. She had breast cancer and there she is so I must have breast cancer too. And then I tell myself to CUT THE CRAP AND CHILL THE FUCK OUT!

So, that's what I've been doing this month. I lost my shit for a while but I am getting it together and re-entering the Earth's atmosphere now. No more hiding. I'm cutting the crap and chilling the fuck out. One moment at a time.

I'll let you know what happens on Wednesday after visiting the breast specialist. If you would, say a little prayer for me:)