Monday afternoon my phone buzzed while I was at work. We aren't allowed to use cell phones on the sales floor, so I normally just return calls on my break. This time, I could tell the number was coming from my health care group. The week before, I had an unpleasant three day game of telephone tag with my primary care physician, so I rushed off the floor to take the call.
“May I speak to Victoria?” the caller said.
“This is she,” I replied.
“I'm calling to remind you about your biopsy on Wednesday at 9:00.”
“Yup,” I said. “I'll be there.”
As if I could forget. As if I had been thinking about anything else. Lately, I've been more distracted by breasts more than a fourteen year old boy. My mind is not where it's supposed to be.
Last week in my rush to get dinner on the table between the boys' music lessons and Boy Scouts. I accidentally shut the oven off twenty minutes after I put dinner in the oven. The chicken takes forty minutes to cook. Fortunately, I realized my mistake before I served Salmonella Cordon Bleu to my family.
Thursday night I came home from working the night shift. The sports bra I had worn to work seemed unusually uncomfortable. I chalked it up to being preoccupied with the upcoming biopsy. Upon closer inspection, I realized my bra was on backwards. It's been that kind of week.
It's also been the kind of week that has made me extraordinarily grateful.
After I was told I needed a biopsy, I prayed for my health. I pray pretty regularly. Mostly prayers of gratitude for the blessings in my life—my husband, children, extended family and friends. I often find myself praying for situations in the world or of friends who are going through a tough time. Sometimes I pray for strangers—like the customer who told me her husband was just diagnosed with bone cancer. In the darkness of my bedroom that night, I couldn't remember the last time I prayed for myself. And that lead to even more prayers of gratitude.
Wednesday was the day of my biopsy. I had a great friend with me—one smart enough to tell me she was coming with me instead of asking if I wanted her. There were texts and messages of encouragement throughout the day. By the time I was in the ultrasound room I was pretty calm and together. The radiologist had told me I would feel some pressure, but no pain. The last time a doctor told me that it was a big, fat, lie. This time however, the only thing I felt was a small pinch from the novocaine needle. The biopsy itself only took a few minutes.
An hour later, I was sitting in my favorite diner with an icepack in my bra eating the most fattening breakfast they had on the menu. I ate every bite. Calories don't count on biopsy day.
Most of the discomfort is gone now and the waiting for results begins. I should know something by Tuesday or Wednesday. So far, I've managed to keep the “what ifs” at bay and concentrate on the things I know:
- I have loads of people pulling for me and praying for me—some I've never met in person (thank you blogging community!).
- The medical professionals I've dealt with lately are wonderful—including a PCP who went out of his way to get in touch with me (when he wasn't even on call) to make sure I made an appointment for my biopsy.
- Mammogram techs have heard every boob joke ever uttered. But they will laugh at them anyway, just to make you feel better.
- The sound of my boys' laughter is therapeutic and their hugs can work magic.
- My friends have given me support, laughter, and bourbon to get through this.
- Twenty-something years ago I met a cute guy at a keg party. He turned out to be the love of my life. His calm strength have helped me through tough times before and will continue no matter what the results of this biopsy are.
- Besides, it's probably nothing.