Sunday, April 26, 2009

Grateful

I have so many people in this world to be grateful to. I can't even begin to count them all. Something that really struck me as I listened to the stories of other women with breast cancer was that there were some who had a terrible time getting a referral after they discovered a lump. Their doctors told them it was nothing. Some women did not argue, but simply accepted his/her judgement. Others were nervous, but were afraid to speak up. Some argued, and at least one had to find a new doctor who would listen, who gave the referral. These are all women who have been diagnosed with cancer. Understand this is not the majority, not at all, but still, it surprised me how many had to wait on that referral because their own doctor was not convinced that they had cancer, for one reason or another.

Friday, while I was waiting to see my regular physician, it occurred to me, again, how blessed I had been. I found the lump on a Friday. I called the office. I had an appointment with Gina within a couple hours. She made an appointment for a diagnostic mammogram for the following Tuesday. I saw the surgeon on Thursday. The OR had already been scheduled for the following Monday. The speed at which everything moved was actually frightening at the time. Looking back at it, though, I'm so grateful that I did not have to push and argue. Gina took this seriously. Such a small thing, something that I took for granted, until I heard the stories of other women. I was mindful to make that gratitude known.

3 comments:

heather said...

That is a great medical response time. When I found a lump I couldn't get an appointment with doctors that I was already seeing for over 3 weeks. I found a family doctor to see me the next day and then the referrals went quick. Luckily mine was just an abscess but I was shocked that the first office wouldn't take it seriously.

quid said...

When I found the lump (the first one) I was half way across the country at my father's home..with my 3 year old. In denial and in panic so far from home (no mother, I was 30) I called my physician in Rochester, NY that same day. He was a 64 year old phenom who I still can't think of without tearing up, he was so kind and understanding. It was a Thursday. I was flying home on Saturday. He opened the office Saturday afternoon to see me, since he was on call at the hospital next door.

I started to cry when I wrote that, all over again. My cyst turned out to be very different, and related to a condition that I inherited from my father. I've since had them removed 4 times. But this was the first.

Having someone so willing to respond (I know, I know, it was the 80's, it probably wouldn't happen again) made all the difference in the first scare. I'd like to say I was much more collected and calm as they continued to occur over the years, but there's always that feeling of taint, and dread and inevitability.

From 2005...my last time of fear, while waiting for the biopsy:

JUST A MOMENT IN TIME



Just a moment
in time
Fingertips search and the
dreadful lump has ceased
to exist. I
can't believe my touch so I
press against the mirror in my
cold bathroom.
Scared to see, scared to not see.
My flesh appears untainted
where last week I swear I saw
a black cloud, underneath the surface
of the skin.
I wait for the call to confirm
what I think I know.
Barely breathing in that 24 hours,
I learn that my fears
were all for naught.
I sleep, unchecked for the next twelve.
Suddenly the world is animated again,
for just
a moment in time.


~~~~~ quidrock 2005

Kelly said...

What a beautiful poem, Quid... so filled with emotion!!

Debby, you truly were blessed by the responses of your physicians. God is good!