But I Don’t Want To Be Used To It

New lumps were found on the reconstructed side. On the cancer side. But not on the reconstructed breast – one was near the lymph node scar, and the other close to the arm pit.  I called the surgeon and she ordered an ultrasound and an MRI in addition to the scheduled twice per year mammogram.

Also, because of side effects of medication, my medical oncologist invited me to come pee in a cup and give up a couple of vials of blood for testing.  (Is it ever possible to love one’s medical oncologist? Everything he orders makes me sick.  When I was told I needed to take this medicine for 5 (!) years, I was asking specific questions about side effects.  “Who cares about these side effects if the drug prevents a recurrence?” Well, I guess he cares now, because I was told to stop taking it immediately.)

So, at the same time and place, I gave up my fluids and had the mammo et al.

It was a hard day.  It was a cold, dark, rainy day.  Not the kind of day you want to be made vulnerable again and again.

The mammogram tech who greeted me was very kind, she put stickers on the lumps, squished both sides, showed me the pictures and told me there was probably nothing to worry about.  Then she did something very unusual.  She was waiting for me outside the dressing room, and she walked with me to the lab.  She led me directly to the phlebotomist (ahead of people waiting), handed over my orders, and waited.  After my blood was drawn, she took me upstairs for the ultrasound.  I thanked her over and over, she said, “It’s OK, you’ve been through enough.  I didn’t want you to have to wait.” It’s OK, I’m used to it.  But I don’t want to be used to it.

I don’t want to be used to sitting in waiting rooms listening to cheesey television. I don’t want to be used to having my blood pressure taken.  I don’t want to be used to my blood leaking into vials through tubes poked into my veins. I don’t want to be used to getting weighed by strangers. I don’t want to be used to undressing and putting on hospital gowns.  I don’t want to be used to having images taken. I don’t want to be used to being poked, touched, squished. I don’t want to be used to peeing in cups. I don’t want to be used to taking pills.  I don’t want to be used to lying on the table. I don’t want to be used to submitting. I don’t want to be used to waiting for test results. I don’t want to be used to sympathy. I don’t want to be used to receiving gifts decorated with pink ribbons.

After the ultrasound, the radiologist decided the lumps were probably hematoma related to healing from reconstruction surgery.  The MRI would not be necessary.

I see the surgeon in two weeks to confirm the findings.

Thank you.

I went home, crawled in bed, and had a good cry.

This entry was posted in breast cancer, whining and complaining. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to But I Don’t Want To Be Used To It

  1. mindytx says:

    Oh I am so glad that it is probably hematomas! What a wonderful person that nurse was. I thank God that she was there for you. She knew how special you are and that you needed to be treated as such.

  2. Martha says:

    (((you))) I’m glad she was kind, but gosh! I wish you hadn’t had to live through that day.

  3. You’re a survivor, baby. Get used to it.

  4. Jean spitzer says:

    I am glad they were likely hematomas and glad for a kind nurse, but mostly I am just sorry that you had such a hard day.

  5. Your litany of what you don’t want to get used to — that’s a painfully wonderful piece of writing. Put me right there with you. And you’re right — don’t get used to it.

  6. annie says:

    Oh, Patti. Your beautiful and honest and raw writing brings tears to my eyes. Much love and many hugs to you…

  7. No one should have to get used to those things. No one.
    I’m very thankful for that kind nurse, for the words of reassurance, and for your honest writing.
    {{gentle hugs}}

  8. Pingback: Reconstruction | Good Day Sunshine

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