Monday, August 20, 2007


Until last Friday, I didn't think it was possible to hold my breath for an entire week, much less six months. Funny thing is that until I received a letter from a radiology facility, I didn't fully realize that I was holding it.

As part of my 2007 New Years Resolution to take better care of myself, I scheduled an appointment with both my OB/GYN and GP on January 31st. I hadn't been to see either in about 3 years, so I figured I'd knock both appointments out in one day. Since it was 6 months past my 40th birthday, my GYN ordered me to submit to a mammogram. I scheduled the appointment as soon as I left his office. It was set for the sixth of February. I finished my day feeling quite virtuous.

Less than a week after my mammography appointment, I received a phone call from my GYN telling me to schedule a follow up sonogram ASAP. I was terrified! My cousin who is only 2 years younger than I was just diagnosed with breast cancer, involving her lymph nodes, stage 3 or so. I scheduled and kept the appointment within the week. My doctor called a week or so later giving me a provisional all-clear. I was to schedule a 6 month follow up exam in August. While I was somewhat relieved, I still had a heightened sense of anxiety. There were some pretty big words hurled at me, of which I understood only 2: No Cancer. When I hung up the phone, I immediately picked it back up and scheduled my next appointment for 13 August, 9am. Best to just get it over with!

Monday, thirteen August dawned bright and beautiful. I headed to the Grammarcy Park area for my visit with the Breast Crushing machine and the sonographer, and when finished, went about my day. The rest of the week I waited for a phone call that never came. I tried to reassure myself that if there were anything really wrong, the phone would ring. I checked my message light on my home, work and cell phones constantly. Finally, Friday evening, when I came home from work and the gym, there was a envelope from the radiology facility. All clear. Schedule your next appointment for a bilateral exam in February 2008. It is now three days later. I have the letter with me to schedule the appointment.

I didn't spend a whole lot of time talking about my increasing level of anxiety. Neither did my husband, and I know he was just as nervous as I was. When he realized what was in the mail, he nearly tore it out of my hands once I had read it! The relief was palpable. Looking back, it was almost a state of suspended animation that we were living with. I am fine, but the prospect of not being fine was daunting to say the least. Maybe that explains the slightly reckless streak I have been on lately. Now that I can breathe more freely, I think I will take some time out and just be.



seagrape said...

whew! what a relief that must be...glad all is well :)

Random Magus said...

Second that! Congrats, it must have been such a relief

The Real Mother Hen said...

waiting is plain scary.
i'm going to do what you do too, ie take some time out and just be..

Epimenides said...

Glad your results were all good! Now you can have a glass of wine, kick back and relax!!! :)

JYankee said...

yeah the waiting is a killer but glad you are in the clear

eastcoastdweller said...

That must be one of the most terrifying scenarios in a Woman's life -- and for the men who love them as well.

How could a part of You that gives pleasure and maternal sustenance, suddenly become the enemy?

I, too, am glad that all is clear for You. My Sweetie just went for Her annual exam and She certainly wasn't Her normal cheerful self in the days leading up to it.

Blur Ting said...

I'm so glad for you. That must be how my mum is feeling after being diagnosed with a tumour in her head. She's been scheduled to see one doc after another at the hospital and guess what? Her appointment tomorrow had to be rescheduled to next week. Afew more days of anxious waiting!

The World According to Me said...

Hi Rebecca

Just been catching up with your posts, my work load has interrupted my blogging.

Very relieved for you indeed. Exhale, and a glass or red.

SOUL: said...

soooooo happy to hear the great news rebecca!!!! i have lived that holding of the breath, along with my family before, and no it is not easy nor is it fun. the releif is almost as exhausting as the dr saying "we found something". horrible to go thru, but thrilling to be passed.
cheers to you and your family !!! (of course, i'll pass on the wine and just have tea?) :))

take care, and enjoy the good news!

Rebecca said...

Thanks everyone for your good thoughts! We have a dart board in our hallway, so after Chris went to bed, Brian and I enjoyed a couple of rounds of Jamisons and a game of darts to celebrate--and I finally beat him. Soundly. HA!!

I will be around to see you all shortly :)

Marty: said...

I've went through a similar kind of week a year ago. You described your emotions so perfectly. I didn't write about it, even in my journal, because I didn't want to examine it all too closely. Thanks for doing it for me! I appreciate your comments on my blog, especially knowing what a good writer you are.

Bridget said...

Congratulations! Here's to a better night's rest!