bittersweet.

It's Friday. Thank goodness. This was our first week back to school (without kids) and my routine is "back to normal". There have been plenty of great things happen this week: new school year, new beginnings, "clean" bill of health, new teeth, passing the reading certification test, etc.

There have also been some crappy things happen this week: surgery consult, first week of school, back to reality, the phone call I got today.

Let me back up.

Two weeks ago today I found a lump in my breast. I had noticed it while I was breastfeeding. From what I had read and heard, I thought it was a clogged milk duct and read that massaging it would make it go away. The more massage, the better. Well, it never went away. I called my OB and she felt it right away, sent me off for a diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound. They believe it is a fibroid adenoma, a benign lump commonly found in younger women.

This was great news.

She suggested I go to a surgeon, however, to have the lump removed and I agreed. I'd be a Nervous Nelly with this thing that is not supposed to be there there. Surgery consult on September 2nd. Basically, a "clean" bill of health, but it will be monitored by mammogram every 6 months. JOY!

My sister, Rhea, has been having some weird vision problems for a couple months. A few months ago she called me and told me her vision (only in one eye) was blurry and gray. After seeing the neurological opthemologist, she was put on a steroid which helped her eyesight. After the course of steroids, her vision was "normal". A couple of weeks ago she started having another strange bout of vision, but also numbness in her leg. I remember when we were in Wisconsin and she said "just so you know, my leg has been numb for 37 minutes" and laughed. She went for another MRI today and she now has 4 lesions on her brain, 2 more than she had 4 months ago.

She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

No, it's not the end of the world. We're NOT going to let it be. It is simply a diagnosis, a "name" for what she has been feeling and experiencing for months now. It's a label so she can feel better and not feel crazy that she has been having all these symptoms and someone shrugged it off. Good for her for getting back in there and letting them know that something was just not right. I refuse to believe she will be sentanced to a life of pain. I refuse to believe that this will take her over.

She is not like that.

Rhea is the most pro-active person I know. There are very few people who name what they want and go get it. She's business-savvy, smart, energetic, and determined. She researches what she wants and gets it. I cannot tell you how many pictures of watches and coffee makers she sent me before she settled on the ones she was going to buy. She's just like that. I am sure she will research and seek out doctors and treatments the way she sought out her new grill.

Okay, probably not. But you get the point. She educates herself.

So this is the beginning of a bittersweet journey. A time for everyone to get to "know" their body as I have this week, and as Rhea has learned in the last few months. When something doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Thank goodness for labels. For me= benign fibroid adenoma. For Rhea= Multiple Sclerosis. I'll have my label removed. Rhea will live with her label. And while she lives with her label, it will not become her.

She's got dishes and tires and paintings to research. 'Cause she's just like that.





2 comments:

kez1180 said...

MS walk...here we come!

John said...

YOU SHOULD HAVE PUT YOUR CO-WORKER IN HER PLACE IMMEDIATLY AFTER HER COMMENT BY ASKING HER WHY DO YOU THINK THAT I AM SO ACTIVELY INVOLVED IN THE BREAST CANCER 3-DAY...... AND SHOWED HER YOUR SCAR.......

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I am a mother,a wife, and a National Board Certified Art Teacher. My family is my love and photography is my passion!

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