The Phone Call
by Tanya Dodd-Hise
It is Tuesday now, and was looking like another day was going to pass without a phone call for an appointment. But lo and behold, I bitched to the Universe and I guess it worked. The call came around 1:30 PM, from a nice nurse named Brenda. She asked more medical questions, got my family history for breast cancer from me, and hung up to call UT Southwestern to make the appointment. About ten minutes later she called back with the information – next Tuesday, March 12th at 1:30 PM. She told me that the diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound would be fully funded by their program, as would a biopsy if needed; but it would have to be scheduled for a separate day. UGH. Another week to wait. Wonderful. But, I thanked her and went on about my day, trying to once again keep myself busy to not worry.
When I went to bed later, I started having a searing, hot pain just under where the mass lies. It felt like someone was stabbing me with a flaming knife, and nothing I did was making it lessen or subside. I thought I was going to have to get Erikka to take me to the ER, but what was I going to tell them, that my boob hurts really bad?? I just had to try to get into a comfortable position and try to sleep…sitting up mostly. Rough night, to say the least.
I had to get up early and get Noah to school by 7:30 AM for a band competition, so by 9:45 AM I had already cleaned the kitchen, started laundry, and gotten the baby down for her first nap. I decided, after the weird pain incident the night before, to call UT Southwestern and see if by chance there had been any cancellations for sooner than next week. The very nice lady, Cheryl, told me (after I explained about the pain) to give her a phone number and a few minutes, and she would call me back. Five minutes later I had a new appointment for tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 PM! Oh my goodness I was never so thankful to have a doctor’s appointment in my life!
Today is the day. I know that everyone who knows what’s going on keeps telling me that it will be okay. I agree. It will. It has to be. Do I feel, deep down, that the diagnosis is cancer? Mostly. Do I feel that I can and will fight it and beat it? Absolutely. I am just ready to see this thing up close, find out what we’re dealing with, and find out what to do to get it out of my body. Every day that I have awakened to find that it is still there has just been another day filled with anxiety, wondering if it is growing and/or spreading. I have spent too long to get healthy and lose weight to let an inconvenience like this set me back. I know I am strong, and I know that I have an amazing group of family and friends who are prepared to step up and support me in whatever way that we need. And that gives me a huge leg-up, knowing that so many have my back and that I am never alone.
I started off scared…petrified. But all of the waiting has given me time to reflect and realize that the mind is a very powerful thing in these kinds of circumstances. Yes, I am still scared. Mostly for those things that are totally unseen or out of my power, or for leaving this planet years before I am ready. I want my children and my grand baby to have me, to know me more, to remember me. That’s my greatest fear: that Harrison and Zoe won’t remember me. So I have to fight like hell to stay around, stay healthy, and make sure that they get the opportunity. And my friends? You better watch out, because I’m going to be bugging the crap out of all of you to make sure you are getting checked, so that we can all be around for many more years….we have to grow old together!