Sunday, November 7, 2010

"You can't start a fire, you can't start a fire without a spark.....even if we're just dancing in the dark. ..I wanna change my clothes, my hair, my face....There's a joke somewhere, and it's on me. ...You can't start a fire, worrying about your little world falling apart, this gun's for hire, even if we're just dancing in the dark." Dancing in the Dark, by Bruce Springsteen

well, i just had my little world turned upside down this week. i had my routine mammogram done this past Wednesday, along with my yearly pap smear. the old "mammy and pappy" as a dear friend of mine calls them. i got a call back on Thursday, and i just assumed that it was something about my insurance information. it was from the "imaging nurse counselor", though. now who is that, and what did they want with me? when i finally got in touch with her, she said that there was an "asymmetrical" "something" on one side, perhaps a lymph node or cyst? that was not there last year, and that i needed to come back for additional testing. they did not want to wait for a letter to get to me (!). she said that the scheduler was off work already, and that she would call me first thing tomorrow. is that not the best line ever- "we'll call you first thing in the morning"- second only to "the check's in the mail", i think. of course, i did not hear from them until  i had called them back twice, and by then it was nearly lunch time. the scheduler made an appointment for a more thorough ultrasound,mammogram or whatever, and she said that the radiologist would be there and they could tell me more on that day. that day, by the way, is over two weeks away!

so i did what i usually do in this case:  i felt sorry for myself for a few hours, cried a bit, then decided to take matters into my own hands! there is a really nice center in Asheville,NC called the Hope Center for Breast Cancer. all they do is mammograms and biopsies( i really think that  ultimately i will need a biopsy, so why not go to a place that specializes in this?) this center is also affiliated with the MD Anderson Cancer Center, and i have heard so many good things about it. i had to call my gynecologists office, he had to review the report, and his office has to make the referral. the Hope Center was supposed to call me back on Friday, but i did not hear from them. i figured that by the time my gynecologists office called them, it was too late to schedule. i am going to follow up on Monday before i go to work( i work the evening shift) and be sure things are moving along. see, i am taking my own good advice and being in charge of my own health care issues!

did i want to go back to the doctor? heck no. but i feel that women, especially those of us who have gotten a cancer diagnosis, need to be sure to keep up with our yearly "maintenance" health appointments. i really am not sure what to think about things at this point. i do not fit the model of "breast cancer patient", as i breast fed both of my children, and no one in my family has ever had breast cancer. of course, plenty of women who get breast cancer do not fit the model, either. i am hoping this is nothing, i am PRAYING this is nothing. i wanted to share this with all of you as a reminder  to you all to  keep those mammogram, colonoscopy,skin check,etc, appointments. it is so important- especially to those of us who have had cancer.

as for now, i am just waiting; i certainly have done this before. i was just beginning to feel "normal" again. of course, my life, as i have  said  many times before, will never be the same as it was, and that is a good thing. i am  hanging in there. i went to Zumba Saturday, and zumba-ed until i almost dropped! ( my brain really needed those endorphins! lol) i do feel a little like i am "dancing in the dark" though. i am dancing my heart out, i am just not sure where my path will be taking me.


  1. Oh Bea, I am fighting back tears for you and this idiotic health care system that involves so much waiting and human error. I'll be praying for you and assuming it's just a cyst. I had the same thing happen a few years ago and went on a 2 wk South Beach Diet & the cyst evaporated! (I know it was the lack of chocolate that nearly Killed me, as well!)
    Thanks for the reminder on the mammo's, I've put mine off. I did Zumba on Sat for the endorphins as well!
    I'm taking your advice of being my own advocate & trying a new Endo. The one I tried last month was just nasty, but did let me try a little t-3 to see if my brain would kick back on & I felt fine until day 28, started heart palpations & stopped the t-3 a few days later when I felt like I was having heart failure. Finally researched the side effects & quit cold turkey. This is a new walk of faith just finding the right treatment!
    Keep us posted, you're in our prayers!

  2. you always have such kind comments, and i always appreciate them. it helps a lot! good luck to you with your health adventure. nice to know there is another happy Zumba queen out there, as well!! i will of course let you know how things turn out. thanks again.

  3. Well, your post hit me. I've been putting off my mammogram because of all the other stuff the past 2 years, but I guess I'd better just do it. So, sorry you've had yet another scare but hope you'll be able to remain optimistic, which I know is hard to do sometimes. I can just imagine how the phone call threw you for a loop.I agree with being our own best advocate. We have to take care of ourselves because for the most part, we're just a number on a medical record. Hoping you get good news when it's all done!

  4. Bea
    I sure hope that it turns out to be nothing. I'll keep you in my prayers. A few years ago I had a mammo that came back "iffy" and turned out to be nothing. I've my check up- both mammo and gynie stuff this Autumn and all is well on that front. You're doing great keeping up with the Zumba! Take care....