Eraser tip that makes you hold your breath…

An eraser tip. You know what I’m talking about. It’s usually perched on the top of a #2 pencil. But why hold your breath? Are you taking a test? Kind of…

As a cancer survivor, self checks are important but scary. A few weeks ago, I felt a lump on my left side. This was the side I had cancer on, had a lumpectomy & radiation. I thought maybe it was my imagination… maybe it wasn’t new. Maybe it was scar tissue. Maybe if I don’t think about it or talk about it, it won’t happen. If thoughts become things, I don’t want this to be either. So I told nobody. Not one person. I knew my oncology follow up was coming up soon, so I’d have it checked then.

Breathe…

My appointment was on a Friday afternoon. It works out well because I miss less work and the parking is way better also. I assured everyone it was a routine check up and it wouldn’t take long. When I mentioned the lump to the Dr, his face turned serious. He knew that an eraser tip could change my life again. He could feel the lump I was talking about & immediately called to see if they could get an ultrasound done yet that same day (Friday afternoon, what are the odds?). Odds or spirit or God or good vibes- something was working because I got in right away. It was 4:30 by the time I got up there. I knew the routine, but I still felt like I was holding my breath.

Breathe…

Cold ultrasound gel goes on. “Oh, this spot here?”… yep – not my imagination. “It’s probably nothing.” Forgive me for not believing you, but I’ve heard that before (I said in my head). She went to talk to the Dr. Then the Dr came in to look for herself. She pointed the screen towards me and explained what she was seeing… normal tissue, muscle & the lump… it was just a fatty tissue. Nothing to worry about.

Breathe…

Routine breast MRI was coming due soon also. I asked if I could have it done here to save me a trip. Sure enough, they could get me in the following Thursday. Excellent! Again, supposed to be routine, but this would see deeper & clearer and be confirmation of how good things are. This MRI room had headphones so you could hear music along with the loud noises of the machine. Nice. For this MRI, you lay on your stomach… arms above your head, chest through two holes in the bottom & you go in head first. It takes about 30-40 min. My mind drifted and raced and calmed.

Breathe…

I was back to work by 9:30am. Excellent. Now to wait. I was surprised to see the Sanford number show up as a missed call and voice mail at 11am. Ugh. Voice mail? They don’t call that quick and not with good news. I called back. “Your MRI was all clear.” 5 words that made me feel like cheering. Wheew.

Breathe…

In 6 months, I’ll have a mammogram again, but until then, I can breathe. I may never look at an eraser the same way again though. One thing I’m learning is to stop and breathe. On your journey of enough may you take the time to breathe deeply. Whatever you’re going through, stop and take a good deep breath. You’re alive, you’re here, and you are enough. Exhale.

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