Follow Up Call

They say time heals all wounds.

I’m not sure I believe that…or maybe it just hasn’t been enough time.

Even though it feels like a lifetime ago, it has only been 6 ½ months since my last breast cancer surgery.

I had to call today to make an appointment for my follow up mammogram. Back to the same place that started this journey.

It was just a phone call, but all the memories came flooding back.

I purposely didn’t have the number saved in my phone, I never wanted to scroll through my contacts and see it. Unfortunately, that meant I had to look in my cancer binder to get the number.

The binder started out neat and well organized but as I got further along my journey and things got overwhelming, I just started pushing papers inside. I didn’t want to look at it.

As the doctor’s appointments got fewer and fewer the binder got less attention. (Find instructions on how to make your own healthcare binder here.)

My hands were shaking as I unburied the binder from all the stuff I had stacked on top of it. I had kept it close enough that I could see it but I covered it in books and papers so I couldn’t really see it. I had forgotten how heavy it was until I picked it up.

I knew exactly where to find the number. I have a list of all my doctors and their contact information on the first pages. I just needed to get there.

But my disorganization got the better of me. As soon as I opened the binder papers started sliding out all over my desk.

Ugly medical words like oncology, pathology, cancer, bone scan, medication, diagnosis, surgeon and side effects were suddenly staring back at me. I quickly gathered them up and turned them face down so I couldn’t see them as I found the page I needed.

I dialed the number while I still had the courage. It was already overdue; the surgeon had wanted to see me last month but I kept putting it off.

A machine answered and put me on hold. It was probably less than a minute I was on hold, but in that short time I went through about a dozen different reasons why I should hang up. But I didn’t.

A friendly woman’s voice came on the line and asked how she could help. I forced myself to take a deep breath and told her I needed to make an appointment for a mammogram.

I know I am supposed to feed myself with optimism and positive mantras, but in that moment, all I could find was fear. My mind was racing with unpleasant memories and I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach.

After setting the appointment she asked if I knew where the office is located. I assured her I knew where to go. I have been there too many times.

Tears were rolling down my face as I hung up the phone. I would be walking back into that energy three days from now.

 

10 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    This too shall pass, you are a strong woman, your angels are around you every step of the way. Just know we are all here for you.

    Reply
  2. Esther Zack
    Esther Zack says:

    This is the “stigma” all women go through who have had cancer….no matter how long ago! You know all the right things to do….breathe deeply….pray lots….meditate….long walks….drumming circle…..hey, you wrote the book on all this, so don’t worry…..you’ve got this!! From one of your Bosom Buddies!!

    Reply
  3. Pam McCoy
    Pam McCoy says:

    You still have all your hard earned strength and all the love that has met you on this journey. But even the strongest warrior benefits from prayers sent to be part of their armour . I hope you can feel them.

    Reply
  4. Deborah Sanders
    Deborah Sanders says:

    Melanie – you are like a healing priestress/warrior walking a very frightening path – Thank you for the leadership and strength you provide to me as I too walk my own path and face decisions on my health challenged journey with cancel – I purposely changed the r to the l which stands for love.
    Your words help give me comfort and strength. I continue to pray for healing for all.
    Many Blessings to you, your and all, Amen.

    Reply

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