The last week or so I have been contemplating my future. Not that I am not always doing that anyway. But, I found a lump in my breast.
I am a lactation consultant, I know what breasts feel like. Some are lumpy, but when a lactating breast is lumpy, it is usually a plugged duct. I have not been a lactating mother for a very long time. So, I did not imagine I had a plugged duct.
I was quiet about it for about a week. I was able to get an appointment with my gynecologist to get an order for a mammogram. I could have gone to get one without the doctor's order, but, I wanted her to write the order in a way that assured that the lump would be seen and studied.
I kept saying, "it's fine". "I am going to be just fine". "It's probably nothing". But I had not really convinced myself.
I had always told myself that if I had breast cancer I would be fine and get through it. If I needed to have my breasts removed, I would be okay with that too.
Then, for a brief moment of my life, I faced that possibility. And I felt sad. These are the breasts that fed my babies. That have known life and love. They are a part of me.
The fear of the practical things in life getting disrupted. Like who would run the weekly drop in breastfeeding cafe' that I have held weekly for the last seven years. Who would water my house plants, and keep the bird feeders full. What would my kids think? How would they cope?
And I kept smiling and telling everyone "oh it's all going to be fine".
Yesterday I had a very complete mammogram, a 3D mammogram and an ultrasound. When the tech said she was going to get the doctor, I braced myself for ...well.. whatever would come next.
The doctor came in smiling. She shook my hand as she introduced herself, and she said I am just fine. Nothing wrong. No cancer.
I texted my sister because I know she was as worried as me if not more. I texted my husband, and told him I was on my way home VIA the bird seed store.
I stopped at the grocery store and came home and cooked a good dinner.
And when I went to bed, I wanted to cry. Cry hard. I have had too many friends who did not have good news. I cannot imagine how they felt, but I am sure they cried.
But, I didn't cry. Nick came to bed and he read the names of various community center courses which we re-named into silly words and activities. We laughed and laughed. And I slept better than I have in a long time.