Friday, July 31, 2009

I've Had Enough For One Day

One chiropractor visit, one screening mammogram, one diagnostic mammogram, 120 miles driven, and one pair of Capri's with a "suspicious stain." Yesterday was such a lovely day.

(I also found out that my dad had to have unexpected surgery yesterday to remove his gall bladder. Love you, Mom and Dad!)

The chiro visit went fine. The doctor gave me a list of of stretches including a few that were recommended in the comment section. It's nice to know that some of you have tried the stretches already and found them to be helpful.

After the chiropractor, I was on the road to Raleigh for my mammogram appointment. Halfway through the (very fun) process, I asked the technician when the scans would be read. She said that as a rule, screening mammograms are read the following day; if all is well, a letter is sent out the next day. She added that if there were any problems, the patient would get a phone call before the letter arrived.

Then she looked at the screen and said, "Hmmmm."

Don't you just love it when medical personnel say, "Hmmmm?"

Me neither.

After she had "Hmmmmm-ed" for a sufficient period of time she added, "From what I'm seeing here, I can just about guarantee that you're going to have to have additional scans."

Don't you just love it when medical personnel say, "You're going to have to have additional scans?"

Me neither.

I explained to her that I done my best to get my mammogram done before August because our insurance is changing the first of the month and our co-payment and deductible will be higher.

I said, "Is there any way the follow up mammogram could be done tomorrow if I hand delivered the films somewhere today?"

She ran off and made some phone calls and before I knew it, I was out the door with a huge pile of films and reports under my arm. My understanding was that I was to deliver them to a doctor who would look at them and call me back in the morning.

Instead they sat me down in the waiting room. So I commenced to wait.

What I really wanted to was get up and get a magazine (since I am a compulsive reader) but unfortunately, all the magazines were in a basket.

And the basket was on the floor.

Unfortunately, it is very difficult for me right now to bend over; I have to spread out my legs like a newborn giraffe and then lunge forward in as speedy a manner as possible in an effort to decrease the amount of time that my back is in a "stretched out position." It is not a pretty picture.

Since there were other patients around me, I was not real comfortable doing my "baby giraffe, lunging woman" routine in front of them and so I sat and stared longingly at the magazines. And rubbed my aching back. And wondered what in the world the technician had seen on my mammogram. And longed for chocolate.

After about twenty minutes, the nurse came back out and said, "The doctor looked at your films and said you definitely need additional mammograms done on both sides; do you have time for us to do them right now?"

Now what is your first thought when a doctor asks for additional views of an area of your body? You immediately think, "Oh no. They've found something."

Stress, stress, stress.

So far my day had included: Chiropractor visit, back pain, stiff neck, a drive to Raleigh, screening mammogram, a race across the city with scan results, strong desire to lie down and take a nap, and now being informed that there is "something" on my mammogram.

Maybe I should add, "Lie down in the fetal position and suck my thumb" to that list?

To make a long and tiring story shorter (but still tiring), I went through a very thorough round of additional pictures all the while wondering, "What in the world did they see that is requiring all of this extra screening?"

After the technician finally disappeared to show the films to the doctor, I groaningly lowered myself to a chair to rest my aching back. As I sat there in my attractive blue gown, I nervously tapped my fingers and contemplated the unthinkable.

She finally returned and told me that there were suspicious micro-classifications in both breasts, but they were more prevalent on the left. The radiologist said that some physicians might recommend a biopsy on the left side; however, he was comfortable with waiting six months and re-scanning to see if anything had changed.

Great. Just what I need. Mysterious "somethings" in both breasts that I have to wait six months to investigate further?

Oh goody! I was just hoping for more stress!

I have always been an "interesting" case to my doctors in the area of breast health. Over fifteen years, I have had multiple cysts drained, I have had lumps examined, biopsied and/or removed, I've had calcifications biopsied by way of stereotactic surgery, I've been put to sleep for several procedures and surgeries, and I have spent hours and days worrying and waiting on results.

With all of those things being factors in my health, my various doctors have had two ways of looking at things.

The first is this: "Well yes, you have had a lot of 'issues' but since everything has been benign so far, that seems to be in your favor."

The opposite view I've been told is this: "Since your breasts have a habit of producing abnormal, irregular tissue, it's just a matter of time before something that is produced will turn out to be cancerous."

Have a nice day.

Let me just say that by the time I staggered out of the radiology clinic (back aching, head swimming) got back on the loop around the city, realized I was going the wrong direction, got off an exit to turn around and then couldn't find a place to get back on the loop, and then fought rush hour traffic, I was just a wee bit tired. And stretched. And exhausted. And weary.

After I got home, I told my family the whole story, ate dinner and then went upstairs to put on my pj's for an early bedtime.

Much to my horror and dismay, when I took off my pants I happened to notice (right below the "seat" area) this lovely sight.




I obviously sat in some sort of "chocolate conglomeration" at some point in the day. And when that was? I have no idea.

What I DO know is that I sashayed through three waiting rooms (chiropractor and two doctor's offices) and I walked through many halls with many medical people.

I don't even want to guess at how many people saw that "mysterious stain" and I don't even want to guess as to what their guesses were concerning its origin.

Once I saw that stain, I gave up on the day. I flung the pants into the laundry, took two Benadryl, some more Tylenol and collapsed into bed at 7:30.

And I said to myself something Nathan used to say when he was quite small and quite tired. "I've had enough for one day."

11 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Anonymous said...

Good Morning Becky. You are very brave to go all through you did yesterday. Be good to yourself and have some chocolate today :)
Love
Kim from TN

Marysienka said...

Wow you deserve a chocolate party after that day! :)
Hope today goes smoothly!

Hugs from Canada,

Renee

Hope said...

Sorry you had to go through all that. I would have met you at the appts. in Raleigh, if I had actually thought of it before. Hope you have a restful day.

Hope
Raleigh,NC

MaryH said...

Oh, Becky, you certainly had enough and then some for one day! Eat some chocolate and think of all of us thinking of you. Hope today is better.

Jan said...

Oh Becky, what a day you had! I'm so glad, though, that you were able to get it all taken care of in one day.

I'd send chocolate, but we're having a nasty heat wave (107 degrees on Wednesday!), and the chocolate would be mush by the time it got to you! How about if I eat some and think of you while I do so???

lifebythecreek said...

It seems as though there must be something beyond plain chocolate to compensate for a day like yesterday. I'm not sure what..maybe chocolate fondue? A fountain of molten chocolate that will just pour into your mouth (without leaving any suspicious stains on white pants)? I'll keep thinking. In the meantime, I opened a devotional book just now, and what verse should come up but "He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty". Psalm 91:1. I know that is a favorite verse of yours, and I am imagining you under His wings right now. The next verse I saw was "Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and not delay." Habakkuk 2:3. It's hard (VERY hard,actually) for me to see God's timing in all that has been happening in your life lately. And yet, I know His timing is perfect (and I know that I am NOT patient, especially when it comes to watching my friends hurt). I'm praying... for relief for you.. for peace in the waiting time, and joy in the valleys.. for patience and a feeling of being surrounded and held by His love and grace. Sometimes, the Fearings (remember Hinds Feet Upon High Places?) surround you... Much Afraid called, and the Good Shepherd came running to drive those Fears away. Praying that He runs quickly to you..... and wrapping my "virtual" arms around you in a great big hug! Pam

Sue G said...

I am resisting the urge to send you a box of Depends because I think at this moment Steve might be the only person in the house who is tickled by it.

So, now, seriously, I know what this is doing to you, I know what you're thinking, and I know the toll it is adding to an already overburdened psyche. My one comfort is also knowing that your trust in the Lord and faith that He is involved in every aspect of your life right now is right there in the same head/mind/heart to help allay your fears and concerns. (Could that sentence have been any longer???)

Becky, we all tend to live on a rope and there comes a time when we reach what feels like the end of it. This morning I literally broke down and cried in the grocery store! Definitely not me. But pain and fatigue for months on end do take their toll on a person. You have been living in limbo, waiting for a sign of what lies ahead for your family. Add to that the recent pain in your body, combined with the pain already in your heart, and I know it is beyond trying.

So many people are praying for you and your family. God hears our prayers. And He knows your needs. Answers are on their way. And while that is little comfort right now in this moment, please hang in there and know that this too shall pass.

When I think of you and all you have had to endure, I know it is monumental. But it isn't always the first thought I have when I think of you. The first thought is of a loving family that truly enjoys each other's company, that laughs together more than they cry, that supports one another and believes the best in each other. I think of a mother who has raised two children and helped them feel secure in an insecure world. I think of a husband and wife whose love for each other extends beyond the vows they took and overflows with pure joy in knowing the other one is always there. I think of best friends and game nights and wordless supportive gestures like the simple act of giving you a piece of chocolate while you are on the phone with a doctor. I think of all the gifts you have been given: the gift of music, the gift of laughter, the gift of communication and writing, the gift of sharing your heart, the gift of a life filled with the fruits of the spirit.

Rest, my friend, and relax in the embrace of God's grace and your family's love. Meanwhile, I will be praying for the gift of patience. . . because in time, all things will be revealed and you will begin a new journey of joy and hope and possibility.

As my mother used to say in Yiddish: From my mouth to God's ears. :-)

Pam D said...

Well said, as always, Sue...

becky in buffalo said...

well it looks like you had some chocolate when you were wishing for it just not where u wish it would have went,lol. i wish you well and don't worry about it. if you are them by all means tell them i'd rather not stress for 6 months about this it does no good for my back and quite possibly for what's in my breast so can we not chance things and take a closer look.

Saffyres said...

Ummmm....

Becky? Why in the world would you agree to wait after what you went through last year?

Speaking as someone who's been down the breast cancer road, there is no way on God's green earth I'd have walked out of there to "wait six months" for another test.

Six months is a heckuva long time to wait, especially IF (and I'm hoping it's not) it's cancer.

I'm just sayin' but I'm also beggin you to call them back tomorrow. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night.

But that's just me.

~Stefanie in St. Louis

Anonymous said...

Good Morning, Becky! There is no more I can add to the wonderful comments already here, except to say I could only bow my head in prayer for you AND don't wait 6 months! Love you, Guerrina