Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Three months later

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I had no idea that I'd been holding my breath until I found myself waiting my turn to see my breast surgeon yesterday.

Sitting waiting for my turn on the third floor of the hospital, my farmer boy reached over and put his hand on my leg to stop me jiggling it. I hadn't even realised I'd been jiggling. But after I stopped jiggling my leg,  I started tapping my toes, then opening and shutting my fingers, then scrolling through photos on my phone and then I started jiggling my leg again. It seemed I couldn't sit still.

For days I had answered anyone who had asked that I wasn't nervous about my three month breast check up. I felt confident that the lump had responded well to anti-biotics and time and shrunk so small that I had to really feel carefully to even feel it at all. And sometimes I couldn't. For three months I had been taking Chinese herbs and tissue salts and homeopathics. In three months I had been working on and changed so much of the way that I dealt with my world and it was feeling wonderful.

And for months I had kept my left breast lump incident at the back of my mind to keep me moving forward. I told the story of what had happened often. I kept the conversation open with my girls. I cried whenever I heard stories of women dealing with their own lumps. And on Monday night, just before bed, I sat down and reread the blog posts I had written back then.

I never, well hardly ever, read my old blog posts. Sometimes I look back at the photos but not the words. The words make me feel strange. Those times have passed, things have moved on. But reading through those blog posts took me straight back there and reminded me of how fragile things are. How quickly things can change. How important it is to live the moment. And how terrifying those days were.

Yesterday morning we waited for about an hour to see my doctor. My farmer boy read his book and I jiggled. I felt anxious, out of control and right back there three months ago. Eventually we were ushered into a different consulting room from the usual. A mirror image one. I felt disoriented and paced the three steps back and forth from the window to the door, over and over until the doctor came in.

He asked about my lump. I told him it had shrunk so much that it was barely, barely there, but that I was disappointed that it was sometimes still there at all. He told me he thought that if there was a lump, he'd probably need to remove it, but he'd decide after he'd felt it for himself. I stripped down to my jeans, lay on the table and told him I hoped he had warm hands.

He felt around for a bit and then told me the lump had gone. That he wouldn't have to take it out, because it wasn't there anymore. He said he didn't know what had caused the lump and the infection in the first place, but that it had disappeared. When farmer Bren asked, he said that if I had presented right then for the first time that he would tell me it was all clear too. But he asked me to come back in another four months to keep an eye on things. To keep me in the system.

And then we took the elevator down to the street and I exhaled. And I laughed. And I jumped up and down a few times. And then we celebrated with coffee, with black skinny jeans and with the most delicious lunch.

Again, I have no idea why I am allowed to walk away from this so neatly and easily. Why I am allowed to fold up all of my worst fears and put them up on the highest shelf out of reach. But again I am enjoying the luxury of hindsight and foresight. I am seeing the beauty and the fragility of all that is my world. And I am using this experience to go forward and keep living my life in a mindful way. I am more grateful than I have words for.

These are the links to the four blog posts that I wrote back then. I'm not sure I have ever done this before, but somehow it feels right, like it completes the picture.
My left breast.
Hazelnuts
I choose kind
All clear

I hope you have a gorgeous day my friends. I hope your sun comes out and shines on your face.

Now go and check your boobies.

xx

61 comments:

  1. So glad that all is good - and new jeans, a warm drink, and good food sounds like a great way to celebrate!

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  2. So pleased for you Kate...letting out a little exhale myself. Happy days to you and your family x

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  3. Wonderful news! Keep well and keep sharing bits of your wonderful thoughts and farm. x

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  4. So pleased to hear you got the all clear. Life is so fragile isn't it, and those moment so scary. We should treat them as reminders to suck in all the good stuff as it whizzes past, as you say x

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  5. Yay, Kate. The best news.

    Who knows why some of us draw the dodgy cards and others don't. We all have our own journeys, our own hurdles and our own reasons to smile and laugh. I am so glad that this wasn't one of those dodgy cards. xx

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  6. Your post had me holding my breath until you got to the news part...so happy for you!

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  7. 3 years on from my own health scare/near death experience and I am really struggling. Everyday I see my scar I remind myself I am a superhero. But really most of the time I am scared and feel I am not doing enough to make this life the valuable beast that it is. I am so glad your lump has disappeared, Kate. And the feeling in 4 months when the surgeon finally kicks you out of the system with an all-clear? It's a feeling that will have you climbing mountains (and I really did climb a mountain!)

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    1. There are many stories published out there in media land about people who have had a health scare and how it has changed their lives, how they find a new inspiration and value in everything which is so amazing and wonderful. Don't be hard on yourself if that is not your experience. Traumatic experiences can leave one feeling vulnerable, uncertain and questioning those points of reference which may not be as rock solid as once perceived,What makes you feel that you are 'not doing enough'? We all respond in different ways and I think it is so valid to want to just go back to living life like before the event, perhaps now with the relief that you have survived, with the appreciation that you can live free from the medical drama and crisis management. Whether you change your outlook and lifestyle profoundly or just live as you had always done before the event, these are all valid responses.

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  8. Really glad to hear that everything is okay! I love your blog, the way you write, the way you look at the world...it often reminds me of myself! Have a wonderful day! :)

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  9. Fantastic news for you and the family.... Big hugs

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  10. That's terrific, Kate. A wide smile for you. xx

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  11. Fantastic news, I know that feeling of holding your breath. Last year I had suspected ovarian cancer, life stopped, I held my breath, I looked at my life and although I didn't want to leave this earth so soon, I was happy with the life I have. No regrets. After surgery, I let my breath out a little, initial results were good, a few weeks later all the tests came back, all clear. Life would go on, I could breath again. Everyday I think I was so lucky, it could have easily gone the other way. For many women it did. xx

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  12. that's so great, keep nourishing you! Heather x

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  13. Wonderful, wonderful news. Linda. x

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  14. I'm just so glad you are ok! Sending so much love! K xoxo

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  15. What wonderful news Kate! I hope you can relax with the leg jiggling now and start enjoying life again too.

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  16. Phew! Relief! So happy all is well and I have booked for my mammogram. Love and wishes.

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  17. woop woop, big congrats to you xxx

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  18. What a blessing. We never know why, we just can appreciate and share the joy. I've been blessed with a couple of reprieves and it does help you focus on the good things in life.

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  20. I'm so happy to hear this news.

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  21. Kate, that's wonderful news - and thank you for being an inspiration, with both your openness and the way you are motivated (and in turn, motivating me) to EMBRACE life x

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  22. Wonderful news! You are an inspiration. Thanks for the reminder that EVERY DAY is so very special!

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  23. Thank you for posting this; we are going through a different kind of stress, as our middle child is "finding his way." Reading your thoughts reminded me that I need to take a deep breath and stop fussing. We are alive - we love each other - we have plenty of food to eat and a roof over our heads. We are blessed with each moment, each breath. Thank you for reminding me.

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  24. I spent a nervous morning at the Women's yesterday waiting to have a cervical biopsy - I keep thinking of your story and hope I get lucky, like you did. Thanks for sharing your story. X

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  25. ♥♥♥ ♥♥♥ ♥♥♥ ♥♥♥ - a friend of mine has not been given the all clear - BUT - this has been her wake-up call. She knows it and she's embracing it. I think she's going to be ok.

    I'm so glad you are. ♥♥♥ ♥♥♥ ♥♥♥

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  26. that made me have tears running down my face! How fantastic! Hugs.

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  27. Beautiful writing, as always Kate. I saw my breast surgeon yesterday here in Hong Kong for my 6 monthly check up, and he was unable to find the cyst that he discovered 6 months earlier. I'd had a mammogram and they believed it to be nothing to worry about, but it was even better news to know it is all gone, my body has absorbed it. It does leave you grateful for all you have.

    At the end of my appointment, in true Hong Kong style (a doctor looking for more business, who knows my private health cover will pay for his services), my breast surgeon tried to cross sell me a colonoscopy (he is also a colon surgeon). I had to laugh (once I'd left his rooms).

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  28. So glad all is well. The way you shared this part of your journey is so gentle and real. I'm sure lots of women, like me, have been moved by it and are inspired to be more mindful of how precious this life is. Thanks for your openness and careful, sensitive words. Wonderful news for you and all your family. Go well!!

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  29. This made me smile so wide!
    Now go live awesomely!
    Love and hugs
    xx

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  30. Boobies checked!!!! Breathe in .... breathe out .... life is good! xxx

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  31. Wonderful news. Keep posting. So happy for you and your family. Love JJ x

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  32. Thank you for adding the links to your 3 other posts to this one. I have only recently come to your blog, and although I did read those posts, your 3 month review and collation of links has helped me put your story into context and it has been good to re-read them in order without anything in between. I appreciate your candour in your writing. Congrats on getting the all clear and I hope it remains that way. xx

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  33. I am so happy for you and yours!!!! I know that dread... it has been seven years since I heard the c word.... but it was the other girly bits. I had to say it. My doctor only nodded and apologized... No children for me... He was so sorry. But I am here, with hubby, and breathing in everything everyday. So I know.... frolick in the leaves with your children for me. Extra big hugs, Sheri

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  34. Its a frightening thing...so glad things are all clear and no more lump!! I have just come out the other end of a year fighting my breast lump (it was the bad type) It really does make you reassess your life and what is important! blessings x

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  35. Phew! What a relief!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Happy days from here on in huh x
    PS Your photos kill me...they are always so unbelievably good!!!!!!!

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  36. What a blessing!! So glad everything is okay. ❤️

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  37. What a blessing!! So glad everything is okay. ❤️

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  38. wonderful, very pleased for you and your Bren - our hubbies walk the walk with us :)

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  40. Congratulations on the all clear. May the follow-ups stay that way; there are many more stories for you to tell, Kate. Happy hugs.

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  44. I'm very happy to hear your good news. Must be so scary going through this experience. all my best wishes for your 4 month test and hope you are 100% clear then :-)

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Thanks so much for stopping by...

I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the way....so I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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