I am not a morning person. I never have been and I like it that way. Whether it is a Monday morning, Sunday morning or even Christmas morning, my body and my mind awake in slow motion and certainly not in unison. Ask my mom and she will tell you my feelings about having to wake up early for school were torturous. I hated it and grumpily declared my opposition. Ask my family and close friends and they will tell you I have stayed consistent with opinion: Mornings suck.
The last few years have written that statement in concrete. If I could add a commandment, which I won’t do, however, should I be given permission to do so, I would scribble an 11th one…”Thou shall not rise before 9am.” Seems to me, since God’s already awake and huddled angels all around me, why wake up and mess up a good thing? I’m just fine with God taking care of all of that for me, safely snuggled in the covers I stole from my husband and I have my dog tucked in there somewhere. But… (there’s always gotta be a but)
Two Monday mornings ago, my dog decided he had to go potty. Early. As in 7:30am early. I usually am awakened with a wet nose in my ear and sloppy kisses. This Monday in particular was a bit different. He started pawing at me and doing some crazy little “happy dance” on me. I put my hand over my boobs, cause, well, that’s just wrong. Then, oh no. His pawing lead my fingers to a lump. In my right boob. Although my body was still in the process of waking up, my mind was wide awake.
Within 15 minutes, I had him out the door to pee, food in his bowl, coffee brewing and a phone in my hand. The doctor’s office opens at 8am, so I held the phone for at least 5 minutes staring at the clock. My coffee got cold.
By Thursday, I had an appointment with my surgeon. After agreeing with me that “something was there” (duh..) he send me the following Monday for a series of mammograms and ultrasounds. In a little over a week, that lump became my worry stone. It was always on my mind. I found myself fiddling with it. TMI? Too bad. Close your eyes. I knew doing that wouldn’t make it go away, nor would my uneasiness leave. Breast cancer runs all in my family on both sides. I live in a breast cancer forest, not just a tree. The only reason I wasn’t fiddling with it waiting for the first round of mammograms was because I was in a small room of other women.
Mammograms are like mornings to me; painful. My boobs get squashed and kneaded, shaped into unrecognizable forms. I feel as if I am being squeezed through a pasta maker. Especially when there is a marble-sized worry wad of “something” seen. That’s when the lump jumps into my throat. I squelch the urge to cuss. Out loud, anyway.
The technician saw the lump in my boob on the screen with no problem. She “snapped” pictures like a crazed photographer in a photo shoot with a hot model. Then, she stopped. “There’s something else…”
“I’m seeing something metal”, she said.
“Metal?!”, I had to repeat her. She repeated me. I think I cussed a tad at that point, because she didn’t repeat me. She turned the screen around to show me what she was seeing. She pointed to a small sliver on the edge of the screen. It looked like a white baby fingernail clipping. It was as obvious as the white worry stone was since the screen was black. Her questions about what that was and how it got there were my own. And, we still. don’t. know.
I received a type of form letter from my surgeon yesterday. It stated “no significant signs of abnormalities found.” WHAT? I have a worry stone AND a metal object IN MY BOOB. That, to me screams abnormal. I take from the letter, the tests did not detect cancer. I am hesitantly grateful for that fact. But, now, my circle of questions is rippling. I called the doctor’s office and had to leave a message. I wait. I go to an art show to help me from going crazy armed with my cell phone ringer on “loud”. I wait. I call, again. At home I have been going about my days with my cell phone and the home cordless phone in my pockets, waiting on a return call. Yes, both phones even accompany me to the bathroom. I’ve called, again. And, I’m. still. waiting.
This is the beginning of one weird and scary journey. One filled with anxiety and also annoyance. A path strewn questions. My worry stone story would be even more nerve-riddled if I didn’t have the love and support of my family and friends. I would feel completely helpless. But, there’s something else…
Hope. I was offered it years ago and still cling to it. It is small at the moment, but it is in me, just as noticeably as my worry stone and this “martian metal”. I’m finding myself fiddling with my hope more and this worry stone less. Mornings still suck, but with my family, my cool friends and a comforting hope, I will keep calling.
Whether morning people or night owls, we all have something we just can’t stand. We all have something which worries us. We all find ourselves with questions. I pray, that while you are trying to find answers to whatever is bugging you, scaring you, or worrying you, you’ll find friends and family to help you and perhaps a small stone of hope to hold onto. One day, you may be that friend or family member to offer help, support and a small hope stone to another. And, as you do, always remember to be kind.