Do you ever take life for granted? Even just a little? I really didn’t think I did either. This week I had a close call with reality. Through this little ordeal I did realize that I did take life for granted. I was kind of ashamed of myself.
I went and did a mammogram on Friday the 13th ( of all days). I was bad I never had one before but held my head up high and went and let the machine squash one boob and then the next. It was basically painless and quick. I even wondered to myself why didn’t I do this before, It wasn’t that bad. They said I would probably hear from my doctor that afternoon or Monday. I waited..I waited … and waited some more. Monday I got the call no woman wants to get. The nurse explained the findings to me ” they found a nodule to the right breast”, and “you need to go and get an ultrasound to make sure it is nothing bad”. I was in shock and had her repeat what she just told me. My youngest daughter overheard my conversation with nurse and went into a “freak out” of sorts. You see in the back of all our minds was events that unraveled 2 years ago, my husband received the news that he had a large mass in his abdomen that went into his liver. My husband fought through surgery and chemo. He was so weak, so sick, so proud. He fought but cancer won and he passed away about 9 weeks later. The image profoundly stuck in all our minds. My daughter remembers, she remembers everything, all the things that cancer took away from her. Her daddy, her everything. Cancer can be evil. She knows he would not see her graduate from school, teach her to drive her first car, help her pick out the college she would attend, and walk her down the aisle to the love of her life. She (and I) were a bit scared. I tried to pretend and say it will all be “okay”. She reminded me that that is what I told her when we found out about her daddy’s cancer. I tried to stay positive and strong but inside I knew that things were falling apart. So.. to say I was cool, calm and collected..well I can pretend, but not well. Yes I was scared, but in the process of being scared I was trying to rationalize my thoughts saying it’s a small nodule, it’s just in one breast. I was giving myself such a pep talk. I was ready to fight…then the flood of emotions …then the okay suck it buttercup …it was a roller coaster of emotions.
I sat there in the dead of the early morning hours, thinking how stupid I was to think I could get by not having a mammogram for 10 years and to think it would be okay. How vulnerable I felt. Here is a slice of reality, slap slap. I then began to think about my life. I had a good life. I tried to be a good christian, I tried to help others. But yet I wondered was I good enough..
I was not scared to die. I made peace a long time ago. I worried not for myself but for my children and my grandchildren. I believe I do make an impact on their lives be it big or little, I am there. I worried or still worry for my children, yes I know some of them are “old enough” but a mother will always worry. That is our job. I blasted myself with all kinds of what if’s. I thought about all the worst case outcomes. I thought about what I could of done should have done differently. Would it really matter? We all get into our daily rituals or routines. We trudge through each day like it is a bother not a blessing. We assume and not think there may be another answer. We take life for granted.
Well the nurse called to tell me that it was enlarged lymph node and that it was non-malignant. Best words I had ever heard. I thanked her. I actually had her repeat that it was non-malignant. I could not believe that I escaped the wrath of cancer, if only just this once. My 13 year old daughter and I were giving high fives to each other. That was after the embrace and tears of happiness.
The sun looks brighter today. The sky looks oh so blue. The grandbabies when they cry it seems like music. The grass is greener. Everything seems so much more perfect. The air smells much fresher. I am going to live life. I am going to take in the pretty scenery a think it was was made for me. I will stop and smell that flower along the way. I may or may not tell my grandson to hurry up. Life is full of experiences, embrace them, acknowledge them, and enjoy them. Remember to accept what life hands you..it is actually a lesson..a lesson we may not even understand yet.