Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Most Important Operation Beautiful Note

I've disappeared for a few days.  Truth be told, I needed a few days to just BE.  I continued to function in life, go to work, return phone calls, eat, run (no, I didn't bag on that!), but I've walked through the past 2 days more out of habit than anything.  I debated sharing this on a post and realized that I really have an obligation to share it.  If I can follow my gut and take a step to save my life,  then you can too.  As most of you know, I've been through quite the ringer over the past 3 years (and see no real break for at least 3 more....that's being optimistic!)  But, I have been given the gift of hope.  People have often gotten angry at me for being able to see the best in everything, looking up when something slaps me down and always knowing tomorrow brought something better if I just held on.  I was even asked once to just "be mad already and curse at someone."  But God made me the way I am and even though there are LOTS of things I think I might want to change, the truth is that I'm the best ME there is.  Now I know some of you may roll your eyes and think I'm a bit cheesy, but, well, think it, it's ok. 

Anyway, through it all, the one thing I've held onto was my health.  If you put some effort into taking care of yourself, you should say healthy, right?  Well, that's not always the case.  And, even though my common sense told me that sometimes things just don't go that way, they seemed to for me, so I just kept living my life with this false "control" over at least that part, if nothing else.

The bottom line of this story is that I'm ok.  But I may not have been and what it taught me is of more value than I can put words to.  I found 2 lumps about 6 weeks ago.  And, as is my nature, I kept that information to myself, pushing it back just far enough that MAYBE it would go away if I could distract myself long enough.  STUPID.  My gut wouldn't let it go away.  I talked my way out of being sick a million times over the past 6 weeks.  Then I stopped being stupid and sucked it up and went to the doctor.  She confirmed my findings and sent me for THE BIG M - a diagnositc mammogram and sonogram. 

Sitting in that chair on Monday in a room with 8 other women  -  all of us in the same fabulous little cotton "shirt", I was never so scared in my life.  My mind wandered ALOT in the 6 weeks before, but not as much as in those 10 minutes waiting for my name to be called.  I wondered what I would feel if I was told I was fine, what I would feel if I was told I wasn't, who would care if I was fine, who would care if I wasn't.  How quickly your health, and you entire life, could change!

For those of you that have been through the procedure, I don't have to tell you - IT'S NOT FUN!  And the side with the lumps, even LESS FUN!!!!  But, I made it through.  Now all I had to do was wait for the doctor to call me for the sonogram and the results.  WRONG.  My name was called again, but just for another grueling session of pulling and prodding and squishing unlike anything natural.  And those of you that have ever seen me, there's not much to work with - THAT DOESN'T HELP!

But I made it again.  And then my name was called again.  Finally... .to the specialist for the sonogram and the results.  Yes, I was justified in going in.  Yes, there are lumps, but not 2, many more than 2.....great!  Good news is that I'm prone to cysts, bad news is there is some calcification going on and the stability of that has to be measured every 6 months  for the next 2 years to be sure I am clear.

I don't know if my emotions were any different hearing I was ok for now than if I heard I wasn't ok because I had no real thoughts.  They should really make you have someone drive you to and home from a diagnostic test like that, because I don't remember much of the ride home.

So, the post title.  My Most Important Operation Beautiful Note.  When I was in the dressing room getting into my pretty "shirt" (aka behind a curtain putting on a curtain), I thought, what I wouldn't give to hear something positive right now.  So I paid that forward.  The next however many women that walked behind that curtain would hear something.

A couple of things I learned:
Keep taking care of your body - you only have one
Follow your gut and get things checked out, stop pushing them aside
Be grateful to God for the life he has entrusted you with
You don't know what tomorrow brings, so don't take anyone or anything for granted
Love and give with all of your heart

Have a peaceful night of sleep.


  1. How could you even wonder who would care. You have to know how much you are loved and not only by your family. You have so many wonderful friends who are so much like family.
    This world, my world, would never be the same if you wern't the biggest part of it. Love you.

  2. I can say this in all honesty and not just out of politeness for your situation. I know EXACTLY how you feel. Because of the close family history I have with breast cancer (Grandma and Mom mainly) I did have a lump removed when I was 18. I thought that was scary then. Ever since I moved to MA, I've been having physical exams by my gynecologist and MRIs on both breasts. She thought them necessary due to mine and my family's history of cancer. I'm glad she did. About 2 years ago, I went for my MRIs. I sat in my pretty "shirt" with the other women until I was called. When it was my turn, I prayed for it to be over and for all to be good. I get a call a few days later from the radiology department. I was immediately put on full alert; they only call if there's a problem. They believe they had found 2-3 lumps in my left breast; the same breast that had the lump removed when I was 18. They want me to come in and do an ultrasound on the lumps and a possible biopsy on them. Somehow I managed to keep myself composed until I was off the phone then collapsed into uncontrollable sobbing. Gio held me until I could finally tell him what happened. All I could think about was what my Mom went through, what my Grandma went through. Would I lose my breast or can they just cut them out? I found out I have 3 lumps in my left breast. They were measured during the ultrasound. For the next year, I went every six months to see if they changed size. So far they haven't changed. I'm due in for my next imaging session later this year. I always dread going. I've pretty much not thought about them this past year. If I do, I start crying because I'm so scared of one day. That day may never cone. They may just stay as cysts, but there is the possibility of them changing. So in this I say I can fully understand what you are going through. Just remember that you have people that love you dearly (myself included). And these people want you to be healthy and happy, physically as well as mentally. This is a very big deal. I know it is your way, but I've found that sometimes talking to someone helps ease the anxiety, if only temporarily.

  3. April, I am so sorry for what you have been going through. I have admired you for seeing the best in everything and for being so optimistic since I first met you! I wish I could be like that! I was worried when I didn't see any posts from you in awhile. It is better to talk to your family and friends because they are the ones who care and can give you support. Thank you for sharing what you have been going through. The Lord will watch over you and help you to overcome many obstacles in life. Please know that if you ever need to talk, I will always be there. You know how to reach me. Take care of you!