We Can’t Enjoy the Sunshine Without the Rain
Before the Rain
I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, so I decided to come clean and share why I’ve been absent – aside from my road trip. It was a nice trip by the way. We were gone for a week, making it one of our shorter trips. We usually go for about a month. This year’s trip was short and sweet. We did a little sight seeing. I squeezed in some shopping. And presto, we were home again. So it doesn’t account for my monthlong absence from blogging.
Now, as some of you may remember, last fall an abnormality showed up during my routine mammogram. I then had a follow-up mammogram and ultrasound. The results being inconclusive, they recommended I have another mammogram screening in February. Through the jigs and reels, I didn’t have the recommended mammogram.
I wasn’t too worried though. My doctor and I couldn’t feel anything. So why worry unnecessarily, right? Then in late June or early July, my hand froze. I felt a lump – a very tiny lump, but a lump nonetheless. At the time, my doctor was due a leave of absence, giving me the perfect excuse to ignore my discovery. And I was busy with other stuff as well – like summer cleaning, getting ready for that road trip, etc.
My doctor was back by mid-August, and after three days of wondering whether I ought to set up an appointment, I found the courage to call. In making that call, I finally had to acknowledge the previously ignored discovery. I was also forced to confront my concerns. On the one hand, I told myself that there was no way breast cancer could happen to me. On the other hand, I knew full well that women are diagnosed with breast cancer every day.
This compelled me to devour all the information I could about breast cancer. You name it, I’ve probably googled it. I was trying to determine whether I had a legitimate reason to be concerned, and whether or not such an unassuming lump could be cancerous. Of course, there’s absolutely no way of determining that through online research – the prognosis best left to professionals who actually know what they’re doing. But I couldn’t stop myself. I was a woman on a mission.
During this time, I got lost inside my head. I disappeared from social media and my blog, questioning my priorities and spending as much time as possible with my husband. I evaluated my life – again. In so doing, I wondered if the time spent writing is really worth it or not. So I stayed as far away from writing as possible. I tackled everything else but writing. As a result, all the little things that I’ve been putting off are now done. I’ve always been able to find a silver lining.
But at some point, I realized that I couldn’t stay inside my head forever. Nor could I continue to obsess over something that will most likely never come to be. Did I mention that it’s the teeniest of lumps? I’m beginning to hate that word. However, should it come to be, I can now deal with it in an informed manner, thanks to all that research – another silver lining.
Sunshine After the Rain
For now, I’ll continue spending time with my husband and getting back to the other things I love – like writing, of course. You see, during the time inside my head, I came to accept that it doesn’t matter how many or how few read my words – for real this time. All that matters is my love of the craft. If it makes me happy (and it does), then it’s worth doing – enough said.
I should also mention that I have an ultrasound appointment for Thursday, September 6. I’ll be sure to keep you posted on how it turns out. Tempted to gloss over and downplay my experience these past couple of weeks, I decided to take a more honest approach. While still lost inside my head, I also concluded that the opinion of others means diddly squat. What matters is my opinion of me – better late than never, I suppose. And I’m fine with who I am – weird bits included.
I do suspect there’s an unspoken pressure on us to always appear as though we have everything together. But none of us have it all together all the time. And that’s OK, don’t you think? It’s an important part of what makes us human. And what more can we ask of ourselves, but to accept our own humanity?
So what’s my takeaway from this?
First of all, never take chances with your health. Since my initial mammogram scare, I’m much more diligent when it comes my health. Because our health isn’t a game of chance.
Secondly, mammograms are an important screening tool for the detection of breast cancer. I’m not convinced that I would’ve found anything without my mammogram screening. Although the results were inconclusive, I was on greater alert, which allowed me to detect a lump early on. A woman should never ignore a lump in her breast, no matter how tiny. This goes back to never taking a chance with our health.
Lastly, arm yourself with yourself with knowledge. Know the facts about breast cancer. Through my research, I learned that women with dense breast tissue have a greater chance of developing breast cancer. So ladies, know if you have dense breast tissue. It can affect mammogram results. If you would like to learn more, just click on this link.
A last note before I forget.
In my next post, I’ll be sharing a conversation with Becky that I enjoyed during my absence from writing. It’s been a while, so in case you’ve forgotten, she’s the main character in a short story I’ve been working on. I guess it just goes to show that you can take a writer away from writing, but you can’t take the writing away from a writer.
One final thought before I let you go. If you haven’t checked out the page dedicated to my book yet, I hope you’ll take a minute to click on the link below. On my book page, you’ll find book reviews, links to my book, and a book trailer made by me. It’s a simple trailer, but people seem to like it. The book itself isn’t bad either if I’m to trust the reviews.
I don’t often promote my book on a blog post, but I figure once every blue moon is reasonable.
Well, that’s it for now. Until next time, be kind to yourself.
Enjoy the moments that make life beautiful.