*Note: The following post contains my raw thoughts and emotions about a very sensitive subject matter. My intention is not to upset anyone who has gone through this, is currently going through something like this or knows someone that has, but to share a side of me that most would not see.
Did I ever tell you that I hate the color pink? I think I really started to despise the color in the 8th grade. The formal was coming up and I picked out, what I thought, was a gorgeous silk pink dress. When I wore it I felt sophisticated, classy, all things that a 13 year old with frizzy hair, thick glasses and braces did not feel like on a daily basis. I felt so beautiful in the dress, until a friend came up to me while I was talking with a bunch of kids and decided to lecture me on why red-heads should not wear the color. It would be years again until I wore the color again.
But even before that little embarrassment I didn’t really care for the color. While girls would pick shades of pink to color with, I would lean towards purple when needing to pick a girly color. Much later, when I found out that I was having girls, I made it known to friends and family that I would prefer anything but a closet full of pink. Unfortunately for me, I could only hold that true for the first year or so of Lily’s life, then she discovered the Disney princesses and Barbies. I now start to twitch if I stay in our front room, which doubles as their play room, for more than 10 minutes at a time.
Why do I bring this up? Well, yesterday my hatred for the color pink was pushed over the edge.
Sitting in the specialist’s office with little pink ribbons littering the walls I just wanted to throw up. I wanted to hop off the table and start picking off the ribbons with reckless abandon, but the nurses came in before I had the chance. They were cheerful, courteous, friendly and compassionate. I wanted to bash their fucking heads together and stuff the pale pink paper ribbons down their throats.
I kept thinking, I’m 28 I shouldn’t be here. I tried telling myself that I was here for just an ultrasound but it did nothing to make me feel better. I thought my dog just died, Eric is in San Francisco and I’m in the breast cancer specialist’s office by myself. As I sat on the paper clad table I shook my head at the fact that it was just the day before when I sat in my gynecologist’s office for my yearly and casually mentioned what I thought was a non-issue, thanks, in part, to my internet research.
I almost regretted saying “Hey, I got a question….” to my doctor because it led to “Hm, I’m sure it’s nothing, but let’s check it out.” Which brought me to sitting on another table about to get accosted by cold fingers… again.
My heart clenched. I thought I have two little girls that need their mommy.
The nurses did their thing and I was sent off for an ultrasound. Which wasn’t too bad; the bed was kinda comfy, the room was dark and the gel was warm. Is it weird to admit that I kinda liked that?
After the doctor read ultrasound she ordered a mammogram. I felt as if all the air left the room. My lungs constricted as tears stung my eyes. The nurse took me to the x-ray room and before I knew what was happening my boob was being squished between two plastic plates. The tech praised my flexibility and ability not to complain about the pain. I found myself smiling and reassuring her that I can handle it. I had an odd moment of “WHY THE HELL ARE YOU REASSURING HER?!?!” But that’s me. I’m scared out of my mind, but I need to make sure the tech is ok and comfortable with her job. Nice.
I waited for about 10 minutes after the tests. They took me to a small room; really if it was bigger than a broom closet I would be surprised. It had three chairs with a little table that held a light, that only lit that corner, and a tissue box. Oh, and the table had a little fake flower on it… pink. sigh
The doctor knocked on the door before she walked in with another nurse in tow. They looked solemn and their smiles were kind – I was scared shitless. The doctor sat to my right while the nurse settled into the chair to my left.
“I looked at your ultrasound and mammogram. And you’re fine. They both came back negative.”
I wanted to bitch slap her. Odd reaction, right? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been so relieved in my life, but the ambiance of the room and their demeanor had me figuring where I could go to find matching bandanas for the summer dresses I just bought.
I’m not out of the woods yet, due to my age and this abnormality I have a surgical consult next Tuesday, but really, it’s not cancer or anything serious so I am on cloud nine! I understand their want for me to be checked out by another professional and when it comes to my health, I’m a-okay with that.
(And just a side note: The doctors, nurses and techs at this hospital were first rate. Even though I was scared and wanted to inflict bodily harm as a way of dealing with fear, I did feel safe with them, cared for. They are truly special people to deal with this subject every day and I admire their strength and compassion.)
I don’t need to tell you what a scary and hellish experience this was. I lost an aunt to breast cancer several years ago and I know first-hand the heartache it causes. But, I learned a lot from these past two days.
Life is short, friends. Surround yourself with people that make you happy, that support you and pick you up when you’re down. But, don’t forget to be that person in return. Go out and enjoy life, you only get one turn on this roller coaster. (Unless you believe in reincarnation, then I guess you can pick a different ride. )
There are some things you can’t control, accept that and focus on the ones that you can. Make things happen for yourself, strive to be the best, don’t dwell on your shortcomings (we all have them) but accept them as a part of who you are.
And, remember, that each day you wake up, is a good day. It’s better than not waking, right?
Now, get off the computer and go out and enjoy your life