Jacqui (jacqui) wrote,
Jacqui
jacqui

Another Breast Mammogram and Ultrasound -- Scary

Thank God for Live Journal and for all of you. Sometimes when I feel like I don't have a friend in the world, in my real life, I remember that I can come here, and this calms me down a bit. I had a mammogram, or well, several the other day, and I remember thinking it was odd that the radiologist kept sending the technician back to reshoot a certain part of my left breast. We had to put my boob on that squishy foam thing, (that I am so grateful to a WOMAN doctor for having invented because it makes the whole process that much more comfortable), at least seven or eight times. The doctor kept telling her that he wanted more compression, and she would come back and draw with a pen on a certain part of my breast and then shoot another film. Then I would sit there in the room, frightened, and wait for them to develop the film, only to come back again to tell me that he wanted just one more shot.

The whole process was so scary, but I feel like an idiot for being upset in any way when I know just how lucky I am to live in a country where I have access to this amazing technology that has saved the lives of so many women before me, and just could play a role in saving my own life some day. Given that my old high school friend Mary is, "living with cancer," as she likes to put it, I feel childlike and selfish for even writing about how scared I was, so I played it down.

I have cysts all over my body, well, not on the outside but on the inside. I guess if you turned me inside out I might look like an elephant girl or something like that, who knows. I have Interstitial CYSTitis, Fibromyalgia, PolyCYSTic Ovarian Syndrome, and my thyroid is shot. I've written about this before but I am in chronic low to medium grade pain that makes doing just about anything tiring and kind of tough. In order to cope with all of this stuff I pretend that I don't have it and let my Mother, and sometimes other people who don't know me very well, like strangers who pop in to my journal only to give me advice before I ban them, beat me up for being a lazy ass. But unless they are living in my body, living with this kind of exhausting soul weakening pain on a daily basis, or are super compassionate, I don't think they can get it. Sometimes a person, any person, and sadly I have to include myself in this, just can't understand life from another person's persepective unless they can really walk a mile in that person's mocassins -- to coin a really meaningful old Native American expression. Sorry to belabor the point, I just wanted to explain my condition for anyone new, before going on.

So, I have cysts, lots of them, and it's really no surprise when they show up in my breasts, on my ovaries, in the connective tissue of my body, or along the outside of the bones on my shins where I can press on them and feel them move around and then wonder about what they are and if they should be there. But I am also aware that cysts can grow, and sometimes cysts can turn in to scarier things, and I don't know if it is a kind of precognition or an overindulgent fear that has me worrying and obsessing about cancer all of the time.

I have lost some dear friends to cancer, and I have held the hands, (physically and metaphorically), of friends and loved ones who are battling cancer, and I have to say that it frightenes me and I hate it -- the cancer, not the experience of supporting people through it. Even as I write this I am thinking about a friend who I speak with every day, whose boyfriend has no insurance at all, and is waiting to get accepted into the whole Medical system, because he has just learned that his arm is completely eaten away from within by bone cancer. He doesn't know if it has spread yet. He can't even get this basic care because he can't afford it, and it cost them $245.00 to buy him the medications he needs just to tide him over. I turned them on to The Wellness Center because I know what a great resource this is...

Anyway, not to be like our beloved Oprah getting her ears pierced, (she was so cute but I couldn't believe what a baby she was about this -- her being so vulnerable and human actually made me love her more, brought out the mother in me, and of course it doesn't take much to do that), but about an hour ago I spoke with my radiologist, whose nurses had been calling me for days, and whose calls I hadn't returned because I am a great big procrastinatating idiot, (I thought it was just to tell me that I had left the insurance forms behind), and he said that there was an "area of concern" on the "films" and he wants me to come in immediately to take more films and have an ultrasound of this part of the breast.

Now I am pretty sure I am fine, and I wouldn't have even written about this if it weren't for the fact that I need a pal because I reached out to my best friend, my partner, Scott and he was a totally insensitive dolt about the whole thing. Well, not a total dolt, because at least he gave me a few minutes of his precious, pre run-away-and-stuff-his-feelings-down-with-food-at-lunch time. But he really hurt my feelings because he was so breezy about the whole thing, nothing like the kind of pal you'd want to hold your hand through something like this. I know there's a fair chance that they might need to do a needle biopsy on this one cyst that has obviously grown and moved and changed enough to be of concern to the doctor, and the idea of having a long needle stuck into my tender breast, while being something that so many women have had to experience before me, is naturally something that scares me.

So I was hoping for a little more compassion, and maybe a shared sense of concern, something more empathic from my lover than, "Oh this is no big deal, this is just doctor-speak, you know, they just have to be sure, don't worry. Hey can I call you back after lunch?" It was the, "Can I call you back after lunch?", part that really hurt because I knew he really wasn't connecting with my concern and fear, not only wasn't he concerned in the least, but he didn't even want to be bothered with having to deal with my concern. Then when I told him I felt hurt he did the usual and compounded everything by getting defensive and then skillfully manipulated the conversation into an argument about how I was being unfair in needing him to intuit my needs. He was simply unaware that I was well aware that this was his precious lunch time. Fuck, how could I not be aware of this? He never calls me at lunch. His damned lunch is probably the most important thing on earth to him, well, at least during his workday it is, and I understand why, I do, but when your partner calls and is clearly frightened, it would seem to me that you could defer your Goddamned garlic saturated animal flesh for a few Fucking minutes, at least long enough to ensure that they are feeling a little better.

It just always seems to come to this with us. I am always needing him to go that extra millimeter that feels like a mile to him, and he is forever unable to do it, and to make everything worse he actually gets angry with me when I get my feelings hurt -- as if my hurt feelings are hurting him. I know I should drag my butt to an Alanon meeting and remind myself that I cannot and should not want to change anyone. That the only thing I can ever do is make changes in myself, but it sure as hell would be nice to feel like he loves me in the way I need to be loved. It would sure be nice to feel like I am not always having to fluff up a boyfriend, not have to be forever reading the manual on how to be kind to your lover, to this man who has known me now for so many years, and should already know how to treat me. Then I flip back to being the frightened, insecure, Rules Book, kind of gal, the woman who at forty-two years old, is willing to settle for anything, just to be in a relationship.

Oh Fuck, my Mother is on the phone with me right now and says that her housekeeper Rosa has just given her a pill, "for her nerves," and she is worried because she doesn't know what it is. God damn it!
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