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Asymmetry

It's all so surreal... I have no idea where to begin this post. I have been a mess these past couple of days. Fear, anxiety, nerves all getting the best of me. Stopping me dead in my tracks. Rendering me useless and afraid. I've gone through moments of being completely numb and moments of sobbing uncontrollably. I've been afraid but unsure of what. I thought for sure this whole sordid ordeal would be over. It seems not to be.

I am drained. Exhausted and emotionally spent.

I left my house this afternoon shortly after Noon. As I drove along the scenic Merritt Parkway I was rather emotionless. I tried to take pleasure in the scenery, but truth be told I was just numb. Until I came off the Merritt and drove along North Street and the back roads of Greenwich. I saw something new... something resembling Cinderella's Castle which gave me a good chuckle. I drove by glorious estate and hideous new McMansions that I would never be caught dead in... (Which is OK since the likelihood of my owning one is pretty much zippo!)

As I neared The Business District my stomach started turning and dancing and skipping beats and turning nauseous. This route... this terrain... these roads so vastly familiar brought forth floods of memories and emotions... down these roads we drove to confirm all three pregnancies... to undergo prenatal testing... which then lead to 2 amniocentesis. So I know this fear and this doubt. I've been here before. I drove these roads during all three pregnancies with preterm labors wondering, hoping that my babies would not be born too soon. I drove these roads when it was time to deliver... I know these roads like the back of my hand. I used to live in this town. I loved this town. As I prepared to turn off of North on to the Post Road I noticed the stone church standing majestically on the corner. Instantly I was reminded of John. Married to a good friend of mine, Jenny. His funeral was there. He was just 30 years old. He left behind a beautiful wife and young child. He died of Leukemia. Cancer. And my heart sank and the tears, once again started. I was just blocks away from the hospital and the breast center.

As I drive I think about my children and my family. I think about all my grandparents dying from some form of cancer. I think of my sister in law, currently bravely battling Ovarian Cancer for 5 years now. I think of my husband. He will not be able to care for my children. I don't mean it in a mean way, but I am honest. I tend to them morning, noon and night. I have a great deal more patience. I banish this thought from my mind.

But still the tears do not stop. I have finally confided in one friend who offers to come with me and hold my hand. But truth of the matter is that I just want to be alone. Perhaps it is the only child in me. I like to be alone and contemplate.

Eventually I park the car and make my way inside. I notice all these doctors names in this one building and they all have something to do with breasts. All these doctors for one piece of the body. It astounds me.

I fill out my papers and I sit. I'm called pretty quickly. I am freezing. I get cold when I am nervous. I haven't eaten all day save for my morning coffee. I'm ushered into a small changing room where I am told to remove all my clothes from the waist up. Once again I catch myself in the mirror. And once again I stare. I turn around and I inspect myself from every direction. They don't look "wrong" to me. I put on my gown and head to the waiting area, but there is no waiting.

I am ushered into a cold room. This time the mammography machine is not heated with a heating pad. I make a comment. It's cold and hard and uncomfortable. That's exactly how I describe the moment. Cold, hard and uncomfortable.

I take my arm out of my sleeve and the Xray Technician takes my breast and places it where she wants it... she moves it around a bit and the vice clamps down. I'm told not to breathe or move. Hard to do when you want to do nothing but let out an enormous sob. Eventually the machine beeps and I am released. And we repeat this again. She takes my breast and places it differently and then the clamp comes down and bites... then releases me. I am told to wait. I asked her if everything looked OK... I am told rather coolly that the doctor needs to read the Xrays. So I wait. And wait and wait and wait. I know at this point something is not right.

I text my girlfriends. I seek out the comfort from my girlfriends. I need them now. They are there just a text message away. Technology is powerful stuff.

The Xray technician comes back into the room and tells me that she needs to take two more sets of Xrays. And back we go again. And again I wait. And wait and wait and wait and wait. And again I text my girlfriends. I take a picture of the Xray and send them a picture of my "boob." I'm trying to find some humor in the situation. And more waiting.

The technician returns again. And again more Xrays are needed. This set is more from a side angle. And the whole drill is repeated. Again I have to hold my breath and be still and again I want to cry.

I was expecting one set of Xrays and an early dismissal.

But I wasn't given that dismissal. Instead there was more waiting.

And then I was lead out of the room because they wanted to explore further. I was lead to a waiting room and asked if I had anywhere to be. They wanted to squeeze me in for an ultrasound. Squeeze me in... I didn't much care for her choice of words. In the waiting area there were several other women all a good deal older than I was. Eventually I was led down the hall for my ultrasound. I was asked to lie down with my arms above my head. A warm gel was applied to my breast and the ultrasound wand sailed over me.. up and down over and over and over again... over the same spot... measuring meticulously on me and on the computer... the wand would move over to another area and measure some more. But it kept going back to one particular area. And then I was told that I was done and the doctor would see the scans then come in and see me. I couldn't get dressed.

More time passed. And there was more waiting and more waiting and more waiting. A tall brunette with a brown chin-length bob and pearl earrings wearing a white coat came in. I didn't catch her name. She took the towel off of my breast and went over it with the ultrasound wand again. She seemed perplexed. She asked me if I remembered having this procedure done 5 years ago. I hadn't. (But I guess I had.) Apparently there is a mass that has not shown up in any of my Xrays or ultrasounds. They had a hell of a time getting a good look at it. It's asymmetrical which does concern them a bit. It does not seem to be overlapping tissue. Breasts that are large, dense and fibrous are hard to work with. I have a few cysts that are near the surface that are over the area in concern. The cysts are nothing to be alarmed about as they are evenly formed and just fluid filled sacks. Perplexed, the doctor decides to look at the other breast where there is a mass (non worrisome) that is being monitored. Again she has a hard time seeing anything.

She is unsure as to what to make of my asymmetrical mystery deep below the surface. She doesn't feel comfortable sending me home telling me that everything is going to be OK... instead she tells me that she will write up a report and send it to my obgyn. While there is no sense of urgency the doctor strongly recommends I see a breast surgeon and have the area biopsied. I am also told to follow up with my obgyn as opposed to waiting to hear from her. I thank her, get dressed, make another appointment for a follow up in March and leave the building as dazed and confused as I entered.

I plan on calling my obgyn first thing in the morning. And Daddy is adamant that I also get an MRI. I have fabulous insurance, and for that I am very lucky.

So as we wait I continue to ask you for your positive thoughts and prayers. They really mean the world to me. Thank you!

Reflections from a Preppy Ghetto Girl...

amazed....