The Scariest Word Ever Said to Me

Fear - girl covering eyes with her hair.

It’s been a while since I last touched base—longer than I intended. As I stated in my Finish the Race post, November is a terrible month for me to do a writing challenge—last year even more so. December wasn’t much better with on and off illnesses in the family, end-of-the-year events for every extra-curricular activity, and Christmas prep. I had hopes that come January, I’d be ready to start fresh and hit the ground running, but one word put a stop to that—biopsy.

In mid-December, I’d gone in for a mammogram. There was something on my left breast they saw, and they wanted me to come in for some re-imagining and possibly an ultrasound if need be. On January 2nd, I went in. The zeroed-in pictures still showed something off, so they went ahead with the ultrasound. It did not pick up on anything, but the sonographer said that sometimes the mammogram can pick up on things that the ultrasound can’t. To be safe, the doctor ordered a biopsy based on the mammogram results. The appointment was scheduled for nine days later.

I’m not really sure what I felt at first. I think I was more numb than anything. Thomas said he sees it as a positive no matter the result—if the biopsy is negative, then YAY! there’s nothing wrong; if it’s positive, then we caught it early and something can be done. It made logical sense, and I adopted that same mindset…until the Sunday evening before my appointment.

I was driving to the grocery store and thinking about what’s going on this coming week—not an uncommon occurrence. I noted that my biopsy was this Thursday. This Thursday. Before it sounded so distant and far away, but “this Thursday” sounded so…imminent. Real. Scary.

Thursday came. I didn’t even realize how nervous I was until I sat up from the table after the procedure and felt light headed. My adrenaline had been flying high, and when I was finished, everything came crashing down. I knew I wouldn’t get the results that day—I was told when I made the appointment that it would take 2-5 days to know anything. And so, the waiting game began.

I did the best I could to push it out of my mind—I know…good luck with that. But Monday morning—last Monday morning—I received a call. All was good with the biopsy. It was a huge weight off my shoulders.

I still have the sore where the biopsy needle went in, and the bruise that came later. They’ll both heal with time. But what if I did have cancer and never went in for a mammogram—never had a biopsy? While the experience was scary and the waiting torturous only to find out there is nothing wrong with me, had the results been different, it would have been a race against the clock to kill it.

Breast cancer ribbon

I’m grateful that the results were in my favor. But this experience hasn’t soured me from future screenings. On the contrary, it’s made me see them as that much more important. And even though this experience will be fresh in my mind when I go in for another check next year, I’m not going to let the scary take over because sometimes letting things go unchecked is much worse. And I have a lot of stories in my head that need to get out before I go.

‘Til next time!

Amélie

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