so I went to the doctor on Monday. A week after I found a lump in my breast. But for me, more like a bump on my chest. Not very big, smaller than a pea. But something abnormal definitely. I was in the car (driving) and something felt weird so I tried to massage my shoulder thinking it was maybe a tight muscle from lifting weights. It was Saturday and I had lifted the day before, so soreness is normal. This was not.
So, for a week, I thought maybe I was dying… I could have breast cancer. Breast cancer runs in my family. Both my mom’s and dad’s sisters have had battles with breast cancer. It’s just a matter of time before I get it too, right? So this shouldn’t be a surprise…
Or, it could be nothing.
The bump was found on Saturday afternoon when the doctors’ offices are closed. Nobody works on Sunday, so I called on Monday. Got the messaging system at my Obgyn. Left a message and waited for a call back. For two days. Nothing. So I sent my primary care physician a message on Tuesday (he uses email so I could send the message in the middle of the night). I got a quick reply on Wednesday morning saying he could see me on Monday, but try my Obgyn again. Called the Obgyn and finally got a person to answer the phone, and got an appointment on Monday.
So, from Saturday night till the following Monday afternoon… I had no idea if I was okay or dying. You think of a lot of strange things when you could be dying. And I guess we’re all dying a little bit everyday, we just don’t really think about it much and go on with our lives like nothing’s wrong. Like there’s always going to be a tomorrow.
For a week, I tried to pretend nothing was wrong. But my perspective changed. I didn’t waste my time with stupid things that don’t matter. I tried my best to concentrate on things that mattered to me.
I still went to work, because I need the money. I still went running, because I love it and it makes me feel good and it helps calm me down. I still spent lots of time with my family and my dog. The Saturday night I found the bump, I went to book club to see my lovely lady friends and talk about fun things. And on Friday night, I went out with my work friends to eat Korean food and have fun venting about work. We went shopping for useless toys to add to my collection. Because having cute things make me happy.
And I prayed. I forgot how comforting it is to not be alone. I can talk to God whenever I need to and he listens. I prayed for strength and patience. I didn’t pray for the bump to be nothing. I prayed for comfort. He blessed me with all these things. No matter what the doctor said, I knew He would be there for me, and that meant that yes, everything would be okay.
I took the whole day off to go to the doctor on Monday. I didn’t know if I could go back to work after getting bad news. I didn’t know if my doctor would send me to surgery for a biopsy. It should’ve been simple to get the day off, but it wasn’t. Nothing is ever easy. I put my request for sick leave in and emailed a supervisor to approve it. I waited two days. Not approved. The supervisor would be on his weekend the next day… “Are you going to approve my leave? I don’t want to be AWOL.” The response was a smirk and “don’t worry.” I wanted to tell him to go fuck himself. But it would’ve seemed like an inappropriate response, since I didn’t tell him what the leave was for. I didn’t tell anybody. Why would I tell him? So, instead, I quietly said “okay.” And retreated. I waited till he left for the day to check if he had approved it, and thankfully, he did. I’m so unimportant that my leave doesn’t matter, so you put it off? You don’t care. I get it.
So the doctor’s visit was okay. I’m surprised my blood pressure wasn’t higher. I was nervous. But the doc came in, talked to me for a few minutes, did her exam and wasn’t worried at all. She was so gentle and kind. She told me not to worry, that we’ll monitor it. It doesn’t have the characteristics of cancer. I’ll go back again in a few months.
It’s been two weeks now, and the bump hasn’t gotten bigger or smaller. It’s still there reminding me of my mortality.
I’ve learned to be kinder. Nobody knew what I was thinking… How I was feeling. But I noticed when I was greeted with a smile, when somebody did something polite like hold the door, and when I was thanked for doing something kind myself.
You never know what others are dealing with. Best to be kind. Always. Your small act of kindness might make someone’s day. Might make all the difference for somebody going through a rough patch.
So, I’m going to do my best to be more empathetic. I’m going to try and not be rube. Try to be patient. Because it’s really not worth getting all upset over stupid things that don’t really matter anyway.
I very thankful for all the blessings I’ve been given. I have so much, but take much of it for granted. I’ll do my best to never take anything for granted ever again. After all, we don’t live forever.