According to the Chinese, it’s the Year of the Horse. My husband declared this would be the Year of Happiness. For me, it’s been the Year of Medical Scares – Averted. I consider myself a healthy person. I eat well, exercise daily, and rarely need to see a doctor for anything other than routine exams – until this year. My annual gynecology exam, which is usually a routine, friendly chat with the gynecologist I’ve gone to for years (she’s my age, has children the ages of my youngest and they, also, happen to be adopted, though we rarely mention that) turned into a follow-up appointment with my dermatologist and another appointment with my GYN. Both appointments resulted in biopsies that brought back negative results. Then, last week I went in for my annual mammogram – and got called back. This third callback (dermatologist, GYN and now mammogram) was the scariest for me; perhaps because breast cancer just seems like such a scary subject. But, again, negative results.
Since receiving the mammogram callback letter Saturday, I’ve been trying to stay busy and not worry, but the tension has been there, just below the surface. My husband’s former secretary had a tagline on her signature block that read something like: Be kind. You never know what someone else is going through. Several times in the last few days, I’ve wished I could wear that saying on a placard around my neck. I’m a pretty open person, but these last few days, when I’ve been trying to keep my medical issues and worries to myself, I found it hard to deal with people who didn’t treat me with the gentleness I needed. My husband was a champ (he always is), but then, he knew what I was dealing with. He did try telling me not to worry – hah! Like that was going to work. My girlfriend who I confided in gave me the best advice (she often does). She said, “I won’t tell you not to worry, but I will suggest you try to balance the worry with an equal amount of positive thoughts.”
I’m seeing my new internist this afternoon. An appointment made several weeks ago to get established as a new patient and to go over some routine topics. Here’s hoping there are no callbacks and I can move on, with my husband, into the Year of Happiness. Hell, I’d even be willing to ride off into the remainder of the year on a horse.