Friday, December 08, 2006

Internal Fatalism

Last week this time I had the worst 5 hours of my life. I had discovered a breast lump earlier in the week and had much pain in the same breast. I used to work with a surgeon who treated many cases of breast ailments so I was pretty sure what I was experiencing was a cyst. However, I also knew that if it was a simple cyst I shouldn’t be experiencing them at this point in my life. Not much panic at this point, huge amounts of concern.

Last Friday, I made an appointment with one of the female providers I work for to see if she was going to feel the same lump that I did. It turns out that one of her long time patients had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer after having had a negative mammogram. She entered the exam room fraught with anxiety over her patient and began my exam. I also had a negative mammogram recently. When she found the lump she froze for a millisecond. Enough time for me to internally panic. She finished the exam, told me to get dressed and that she’d return momentarily.

When she came back in my room she had an order form in her hand that had me scheduled the same day for another mammogram, an ultrasound and a biopsy if indicated. Engage internal panic mode. I was fairly convinced that what I had was no longer a simple cyst. This particular provider is very conservative so her urgency to get me in that day freaked me right out.

I had to wait 5 hours until my appointment, I was very lucky to be able to be seen the same day, but the wait was agony; too much time to think. In my case, knowledge of the outcome was a very dangerous thing. I wished I was ignorant to the whole process; it may have been easier to endure the delay. I stayed at work trying to concentrate on the tasks on my desk hoping that they would squelch all the thoughts that were running through my head. It was mildly effective.

Once I got to the radiology center and was brought back to get undressed, my mind went into overdrive. I had convinced myself that after the visit I would be diagnosed with breast cancer. I would have the surgery and begin chemo and radiation. Would I be bald by the time my niece arrives in early March? What hat would I wear to the Billy Joel concert I’d be attending in Raleigh in March? Should I even keep my hair appointment for the following week? What would be the point of touching up roots that will no longer be there? Would I be one of the lucky ones who would kick cancer in its ass?

Twenty minutes of internal fatalism. It was brutal. Finally it was my turn to be seen. I was taken to the ultrasound room first. I was pretty sure my internal panic was just that, I wasn’t crying hysterically or anything, the very kind radiology tech knew I was upset and was trying to get my mind off the reason I was there. She was really great. I was positioned and the radiologist came in and began the test. Thankfully, my ailment was a cyst but not just one, five of them all concentrated to one location; thus making the lump an odd consistency.

I am very strong for friends and family when they have any type of ailments. I don’t take the fatalistic approach. I am strong and optimistic for everyone else. When it comes to me though I take the fatalistic outlook so that I can only be pleasantly surprised; I prepare myself for the worst thinking that will get me through. I don’t recommend that to anyone, it ages you.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am glad you are ok Wicked, honestly. I am not a Dr. and have no idea what you are going through as I do not own a pair of womans breast's. It is my opinion that the next time you need an exam you can give me a call!

Anonymous said...

Glad you're okay after all that anxiety.

Too much knowledge on your part.

Fat, dumb and happy is the way to go through life. Just ask, Santa.

Miss Britt said...

Oh babe - I'm sorry you had to go through this. I'm sooo glad you're ok, but it's never fun when we age ourselves.

Wicked H said...

Dave: Thanks, me too. Um if you are going to do the exam, you think you could take me out to dinner first? We'd have to get your better half's approval first.

t2ed: Knowledge, bad in this case. Fat, dumb and happy sounds so much better. Thanks!

Miss Britt: Thanks! I did need more hair dye this time, I will try not to age so quickly next go round.....

Anonymous said...

Can we just drink dinner?

Wicked H said...

Dave: Sure. Why not?

HotForSimon said...

I'm glad you won't have to wear a funny hat to the Billy Joel concert....

LOVE YOU

((HUGS))

lil mermaid said...

Glad it all worked out ok. Don't worry so much (I know, easier said than done)

sophie said...

So glad everything turned out okay. I was even holding my breath while reading.