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The First Followup

Posted May 12 2009 6:15pm
Well it's December 1st and for me that means "the day" has finally come.

It's the day that my Surgeon, Oncologist, Radiologist and Internist all told me to schedule my six-month followup mammogram on the right breast. This because it contains all the same specks of calcifications that my left one did. So it has to be watched. Closely. From now on it's a perma-date. Me, the mammogram machine, and my right breast. Every six months from here to eternity.

At least the mammogram will only cost half as much now, har har!

It's funny, but in September when my Oncologist kicked me lose and told me I was done with all doctors, I hightailed it out of there fast. Physically, emotionally, mentally. Out of there. Less one breast, I didn't look back. And trust me, life has been sweet.

But because it is December 1st, I am forced to go back. Back there. Again.

I opened my day planner to "the page" in the back that has all the doctor's numbers, addresses, fax numbers, emergency numbers, and more.It's been several months and unexpectedly my gut fell straight into my shoes. It feels like being forced to open a doorway to the past. A rush of old emotions. And not in a good way.

I remember that my ex-mother-in-law, who had her own harrowing encounter with breast cancer many years ago, absolutely hated her follow-up visits. Days beforehand, she would become filled with anxiety and it seemed there was nothing we could do for her except be supportive. I remember distinctly at her 5-year-mark when she was FINALLY declared CANCER FREE. It was a great day in many ways, but for her, to never to have to go back for another damned follow-up visit was one definite perk of the 5-year milestone.

She is a hero to me, by the way. Like all women with this disease who do what they have to do, she did it with grace and calm and strength. She remains cancer free to this day.

So, my appointment is for Wednesday, December 3rd. I very much wish I could report that I am not apprehensive. That I am going in with all the confidence in the world. But, I will say that like many women before me, I will go and endure and that will be good enough because I have already proved my bravery and taken my stand against cancer.

Fingers crossed.

Love, Jen
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