Benign Memories

Woman Getting A Mammogram

Photo Credit: Someecards

I have a love-hate relationship with Facebook’s feature that displays memories of what you have shared on your profile page.  Some memories make me smile big time, while others make me cringe.  Today’s memory had all been but forgotten, but once I was reminded of it, it has remained on my mind.

Six years ago today, I posted the following message on my Facebook page:

“Kristi Jo Jedlicki thinks “benign” is the most sublime word of  all!!!

During a routine mammogram, the radiologist saw a suspicious spot that warranted a biopsy.  I still remember the agony of waiting to have the biopsy, which didn’t compare to the anxiety and fear that engulfed me as I awaited the results.  A whirlwind of thoughts went through my mind, with two prevailing thoughts leading the pack.  What if I have breast cancer?  What if I die?

When I received the good news that the cyst was benign, I cried tears of joy, relief, and gratitude, and I could not wait to announce it on social media.  I thought that this was the first and last time I would have a breast cancer scare, which I suppose is true, as the next time was not just a scare.  It was the real deal.

A little over 5 years after I happily shared my benign news, I found myself waiting to have biopsies done for two suspicious spots.  What a difference five years makes.  Strangely enough, this time, the worry I experienced five years ago was absent.  Part of this sense of calm was due to the fact that since I had gotten good news five years earlier, I thought that lightning would strike twice.  A bigger reason, though, was that as soon as I saw the larger, darker spot that would be biopsied, I already knew what it was and had resigned myself to it.  I had breast cancer.

Despite this intuitive knowledge, nothing prepares you for hearing, I’m sorry; you have breast cancer.  Cue the return of anxiety, abject terror, anger, and sadness!  Of all times for my intuition to be spot on, it had to be right about the spot that was no longer suspicious.  No, it was now malignant.  What an ugly word.

Unlike the good news I rushed to share before, this time, I waited nearly two weeks, before blogging about my diagnosis.  I needed time to wrap my brain around it, and I also needed time to process it with my family and friends.  It felt so surreal, and it still does.

As I look back on that benign memory of August 27, 2010, I am in awe of how very much has changed during these last six years.  It’s mind blowing and bittersweet.  I cannot go back, but I can go forward, so, that’s what I continue to do in the big and small steps I take each day.

To honor today’s memory, if you haven’t had a mammogram or another needed health screening or test, I ask you to schedule it.  Not someday, but todayNowPronto.  Do not pass go, and do not collect $200.  Well, at least, not until you take care of the matters at hand, then, you can reward yourself!

If you won’t do it for yourself, please, do it for those who love you, as this takes its toll on them, as well.  When it comes to health concerns, ignorance definitely is not bliss.  Too many people I love dearly are in this stupid club, and I don’t want anyone else to join it.  However, if you do find yourself initiated in this club, just know that there is hope and support.  First things first, though. It starts with prevention and screening, and I hope you can share a benign memory of your own some day.

That’s another story . . .



Categories: Just One Thing Each Day

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