Lipstick & Danger

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Cancer – Can You Right A Wrong?


A Funny Thing Happened on My Way to Get A Mammogram #4

So I had a week to stew about my next appointment. My husband talked more to me in that week than he’d done in 42 years of marriage. He even made the bed three times! Three! I wondered if this might be a parting gift to the obsessive-compulsive side of my earthly body to give me peace as I faded into the hereafter. The real kicker was when we drove by the Peterbilt Truck Lot and he commented on how many trucks were displayed. I mean, we’ve driven by that place for sixteen years and not once did he ever acknowledge it was even there! Poor thing. He was as nervous about all this as I was.

Truthfully it wasn’t so much the outcome of the biopsy as it was the procedure itself that had me worried. However, this time there were more smiley faces, chit chat and encouraging words to take the edge off. There needed to be because I had to get up at 5:30 AM to be there by 7:15 and I never got that first cup of coffee. I left the hubby to watch Tiny Houses on HGTV in the waiting room with the hopes he didn’t get any ideas.

At least this time I had a cushy, leather-like table thing to lay on as I was prepped for the biopsy. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, even the doctor with the sweet Arkansas drawl. Turns out we shared a family name and the possibility of being related. Nothing quite like discussing family history when someone is poking around on one of your girls. I know some day I’ll laugh about that.

After the poking, sticking and whatever it was they did, I teared up a bit. They asked me if they could get me anything. I really toyed with the idea of a skinny Carmel latte, but by that time I was a little shaky.  There was another sonogram going on during the procedure and truthfully, that hurt worse than the biopsy. The attendant offered a lot of apologies for being rough but I regained my stiff upper lip in quick order and tried to joke about it all. They were wonderful. 

Surprise. Surprise. I went from there to get yet another mammogram. Thankfully, I was still numb and breezed right through it before being released with ice packs and being bandaged up like I took some shrapnel in downtown Kandahar.  Now I wait.

At about 5 PM the next day I got a call from one of my health care professionals with the results. No cancer!!! Nothing. He even told me to have a blessed evening. Blessed? I’m freaking out I’m so happy. My husband had the biggest smile I’d seen in a month. My instructions were to come back in six months to make sure things were still okay and obtain a base line for future exams. No problem!

Things I did wrong; I didn’t share my concern with anyone, not even family. At the last minute I called a girlfriend who lived in another state to share the news because she was undergoing cancer treatment and worked with patients all the time. The reason I didn’t share? Control. Anytime I started to say anything I could feel myself getting emotional, losing control. I’m always the tough guy, the shoulder people cry on. I knew a lot about what others were going through and decided Christmas was not a time to burden anyone.

Things I did right? I prayed. A lot! I believed in His power to deliver and rescue me. You have no idea how much peace I got from that. I’m a big believer in prayer and that things happen for a reason. I stayed optimistic and enjoyed myself with family and friends. My world is pretty special all the time, but now it is so crisp and clear, my direction healthy and bright. I want to be a better person, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter and friend. Life is too short to mope around looking at past sins, poor decisions and failures. What I’m doing right is living and appreciating the air that I breathe.

So one last time; get yourself checked out. Cancer isn’t funny. But your experience can be if you get there in time. I hope you’ll share your funny story or even recovery story with everyone. Let your light shine. Always.



Twitter: @TierneyJames1

6 Responses

  1. I’m so glad everything worked out and you are fine! I’ve been thinking about all you went through and remembering what my mom and aunt went through. My sister had endometrial cancer and had a hard time getting her doctor to listen to her. She finally got referred to a good surgeon, got the treatment and has been cancer free for a couple of years. She said the whole experience brought her closer to God because she prayed a lot more during those months. My Mom didn’t want any morphine when she was going through the last months because she said it made it harder for her to pray. Prayer matters. That’s the message I got from family members who had to deal with cancer, and from you. Along with the warning not to delay the necessary steps to get diagnosed and treated. Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. As I’ve said before being a writer comes with a certain amount of responsibility. We need to help others the best way we can. I hope someone will get their exam and think positive! I appreciate you following along my journey.

  2. This has been a great series, thanks for doing it! I have never had as traumatic an experience as you did, even though I had to have a benign lump removed from my under arm. It’s just routine, in & out every couple of years. But we all need to do it! So happy your story had a happy ending though 😬

    1. Thank you for your comments and story. Sounds traumatic to me so you must be a very strong person. People who read our stories have a better chance of taking action. Why is it that we hesitate to share? Even now it is difficult to talk about. When I finally told my daughter my girls couldn’t stop hugging me. Life is so precious.

  3. Yes it was very unsettling. But it has made me appreciate the smallest things, like putting the dishes in the dishwasher, matching socks or standing too long at Walmart. Life is good.

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