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Where to begin?  I haven’t sat in front of this keyboard to pound out any of my thoughts, in what feels like forever, so I am feeling both excited and, strangely nervous.  I have a story to tell, that I haven’t really digested entirely yet, myself, so I am seriously hoping I come across coherent, relevant, and not nearly as jumbled, as my thoughts are just now.  I certainly never write by planning too far ahead, and so far, it’s worked out OK, if I can be so bold as to state.  Well, I can state anything I want here, that’s the beauty of this being MY website!

First, and foremost, I will start by saying, I am a terrible patient.  I have had diabetes off and on since I was eighteen years old.  Some might be questioning how diabetes can be off and on, but I had it through two pregnancies, and then full blown, it isn’t going away since I was about twenty-nine.  That being said, every few years, I hit a snag in my treatment, my sugar levels go insanely out of whack, no matter what I do, and the irrational part of my brain thinks to itself…screw this!  I am great at having conversations with myself, wherein I decide, if I can’t control this thing by depriving myself of all the foods and drink I love, why should I even bother, if the levels are going to be high regardless.  Yes, I am well aware of all the things that can go wrong with my body, with uncontrolled high blood sugar, the kidney failure, blindness, loss of limb, loss of life as I know it.  The “smart” part of my brain is VERY well aware, and been doing battle with the dumbass for a long time.  I have recently been living in one of those, afore mentioned, snags.

The rational side realized, as it is want to do on occasion, that I have grandchildren I adore, and I crave nothing more than to be around, for a very long time, to watch them grow, and pass all this wonderful life wisdom I have learned, to them.  I know I have a lot to share with them, and if I don’t take care of me, I am going to be what deprives them, well, of ME.  That might sound a bit like I am full of myself, but I am not really, I just know how much they love me.  It’s really as simple as that.  Now, to that end, I did the dutiful thing, found a new family doctor, which is no easy feat anywhere, made all the arrangements for all the tests, and follow up appointments I knew where both necessary, and well overdue.  I started checking my blood sugar regularly, and actually taking my insulin shots.  I know that seems like a total no-brainer, but when you haven’t been doing what needs to be done, re-establishing the habit of doing it, ain’t easy!  Like I said, I can easily convince myself NOT to do what I should, especially when I started to pack on a few pounds around my waist.  That is usually when I throw in the towel and say, I’d rather be skinny!  At one point, I was all of two hundred pounds, and a size 16/18, so I am proud of my size 0/2.  Weight gain is one of my biggest fears, but I also know, that when the body becomes insulin resistant, the waistline is exactly where it tends to sit.  Note, I did not say HIDES, because there is no hiding an extra six pounds on this frame!

So, a couple of the appointments I scheduled, included a mammogram, because I am, YES, over forty, and an ultrasound on my abdomen, because I also have cysts on my right ovary that needed to be rechecked for growth.  As these are performed in the same clinic, I made arrangements to do them both a couple weeks ago.  The ultrasound was first, and really, what I was most worried about.  My ovaries are all I have remaining of my reproductive organs, and the little devils have always been tough to find, externally. The women in the crowd just went Uh Oh…  I need to backtrack just a touch here, so indulge me.  One of the reasons I have an even tougher time finding a family physician than some, is that I am deathly afraid of male doctors.  I had a very bad experience when I was in labour and delivery, at a teaching hospital, when my oldest son was born, and it has left me scarred, emotionally, on some level.  I would NEVER get a normal blood pressure reading if a male doctor came near me with rubber gloves on, let’s just leave it at that.

Back to the ultrasound, and I have an instructor, two students, and a scope in a rather uncomfortable position, for the next forty-five minutes.  As a point of reference, the same exam usually takes about ten minutes.  I could have declined the students, and next time I will, as a note to myself.  Needless-to-say, I wasn’t the happiest camper when I moved on to the mammogram.  As this was my first one, it was meant to basically be a baseline exam.  A few people had given me their take on their experiences, and as a precautionary measure, I took some pain medication half hour prior, and was very glad I did.  It hurt.  It was embarrassing.  It was completely unpleasant, and I was never so glad for fifteen minutes to be behind me.  The technician had a look at the film, said it all looked great and I bawled all the way home.  I am glad I did it, and I encourage every woman to bite the bullet and just get it done.  There is my public service announcement for the day.  Look at how responsible I am being.

The next day, however, I get a call from the screen clinic telling me the radiologist needed more pictures done.  I was far from a happy camper, when I “heard” they must have screwed up the other set, grumbled, got annoyed, and rebooked.  I didn’t give it a ton of thought, not really, until I came home from work, that Friday, at 530, and checked my messages.  My doctor’s office had called and left the message that she needed to see me right away, and to call the office ASAP, to book an appointment regarding my mammogram.  Keep in mind, I had an appointment already booked, a month ago, anticipating needing a complete physical, and to go over all the results, of all the tests I had done, AND, I had already rescheduled my mammogram.  Well, anyone who knows me very well, knows how quickly I can be at the top of my ladder, so to speak, and that started a weekend of shear panic, tears, whatifs, and more tears.  No matter who are, and how rational a person you are, when your doctor needs to see you ASAP, it’s never usually because she likes your company, and wants to catch up on your summer vacation plans.  I tried to stay busy, and decided I was telling as few people as possible, what was going on.  I really didn’t want anyone worrying about anything, that could, and likely would, end up being nothing.  There’s the rational me talking again, but the irrational one was the one doing a lot of the thinking over the next week and a half.

Monday morning, nine AM, I am on the phone talking to the doctor’s receptionist, when she, very nonchalantly tells me she has a cancellation for the next day, last Tuesday to be exact, and I asked her if it wasn’t OK that I already had a new mammogram booked, and an already scheduled appointment for the following Monday.  She was generally surprised by both of these, but told to definitely keep Monday’s appointment, but that would be fine.  I breathed slightly easier.  My thought was, if it was urgent, she would have told me to definitely come in on Tuesday.  Then, I got a letter in the mail from the Alberta Breast Cancer Screening Program, and BAM, back up the ladder I went!  I am not ashamed to say, that my mind is, very easily, my own worst enemy.  I can physically make myself sick, with worry.  I did only tell a very few, select people, what was going on, and no matter how many times someone told me, it was probably nothing, a part of me kept returning to the worst possible scenario.  My great-grandmother had breast cancer years ago, and lived to be in her nineties, when survival rates must have been ridiculously low, at that time.  I couldn’t help looking in the mirror, and doing numerous self-examinations, looking for what they might have found, trying to feel, and visualize how it would look to have one, or more of my breasts, gone.  My mind had already decided for me, that it didn’t matter, I was having re-constructive surgery!  Imagine for a second, the craziest possible outcome, and I was already there, tenfold.  To say that the last week has been tough, is kind of like saying Mother Theresa, was kind of a nice lady.   A  ridiculous understatement, to say the least.

So, with a great deal of fear, anguish, trepidation, and lack of painkillers (can’t believe I forgot that), I sat impatiently waiting my turn, at another go around in the boob squisher, this afternoon.  I was quite shocked when the tech said they needed more pictures of the RIGHT breast because I was sure, if I had any issues, it HAD to be the left one, the left one is bigger and feels slightly different to me, but apparently, I am a completely untrained professional in that matter, but I digress slightly.  I thought the last one hurt, no, not even close to what this one was.  They REALLY needed the tissue FLAT, and squeezed twice as hard, but at least it was only on one side.  She took two pictures, told me to cover up and have a seat in the waiting room, until the radiologist had a look.  Interesting fact, there is no radiologist scheduled two days a week, and the last time I had the mammogram done on a Tuesday,  Anyone doing the math?  No radiologist looked at my last set until the next day.  After what seemed like a very long time, I heard a man and the nurse outside the waiting room, discussing whether I was alone or not, and my face instantly flushed, and I held my breath, thinking there is no way it’s good news if they don’t want me to be alone!!

Here comes the great reveal.  As it just so happens, I have very dense breast tissue, which, unless flattened out significantly, they can’t see through, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with my girls, except they need to be checked yearly.  Can I get an Oh My God!!!!!???  Honestly, if I could have chosen an outcome, I couldn’t have picked a better one.  Relief doesn’t begin to explain or describe it.  I did have a couple of people really pulling for me, and a couple who even offered up prayers, and positive thoughts, and I am eternally grateful.  If I didn’t share with you, I apologize if you feel, maybe, I should have, but I truly didn’t want to worry everyone.  I did enough of that all on my ownself, thank you very much!

I know I still have to see my doctor.  THAT appointment got cancelled Friday, because she is out of town, rescheduled for tomorrow, and, ironically, as I just now finish writing this, is AGAIN rescheduled until July 12, but, whatever she has to tell me, can not be nearly as bad as I have thought it could, the last two weeks.  I had myself on death’s door, well, figuratively speaking, I suppose.  I have a few phone calls to make, but, for whatever reason, I felt I needed to lay this all out here first.  I am so glad I have this forum to share, gather, and process my thoughts, and emotions.  I hope there is someone out there, reading, who sees something in my words, that inspires them, humours them, or just makes them question themselves.  I don’t necessarily write as much for others, as I do for my own sanity, for lack of a better term, but my wish is always that I can entertain, and maybe teach a wee lesson.  Let me know if you find one….


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