One More Day - Until My Breast Cancer Fears are Quieted

by Blythe Newsome

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I wrote a story about mammograms on October 31 to remind women to get them done annually.  It was supposed to be like any other story that I wrote- with a beginning and an end.  A set date that it would go to print and then I would move on to the next story. 

But this story that I did for Breast Cancer Awareness Month is still going on.

To recap, they found something in my left breast when I had the mammogram done.  It is so small that I can’t even feel it.  They called me back for a second mammogram to get a better look at it and then sent me for an ultrasound. 

This past Monday morning my phone rang.   I was surprised to hear that it was my doctor.  Not just my doctor’s office, but the doctor himself.  He told me he wanted to send me to a surgeon.  Whatever this is we need to figure it out and not wait and see if it changes in six months.  Let’s stay ahead of the game he said.  I agreed.

The surgeon’s office called me the next day and scheduled an appointment for me to come in tomorrow afternoon (I know- on a Saturday go figure).

I am not really nervous and really haven’t thought too much about it.  The upside to having six children is that I can throw myself into staying so busy with them that I don’t have to think about the stuff that scares me.  But the fear is there all the time.  And I am scared.  The fear seems to creep in about 1 or 2 in the morning when the house is quiet and everyone is still….everything is calm except for my mind.

That is when the thoughts start rolling through my mind, “what if I have breast cancer? would I want a lumpectomy or a mastectomy?; what if I need radiation or chemotherapy?; how will by babies handle this?; it’s probably nothing right?; it will be nothing right?”

I ask these questions and then there is silence.   The unknown, the lack of answers and understanding, it is terrifying.  This was supposed to be a story to help women remember to get mammograms.  It wasn’t supposed to find something wrong with me.  What if I do have breast cancer?

Hopefully I will get some answers tomorrow when I go see the surgeon at 1:50.  Maybe this story that I started about the importance of mammograms will finally be over and it was just a scare.  Maybe the story of the importance of mammograms is just beginning for me maybe it will be the story that saved my life. 

One more day-I can quiet my thoughts and my worries for one more day.  Then we will have some answers or at least a plan.  I can do this one more day. That will be my mantra until then- “I can do this one more day.”

You can reach Blythe at bnewsome@tallahassee.com

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