You ever get news that leaves a lump in your throat and a sick feeling in your stomach? With both my parents in their 80s now, I dread it all the time. But I -- and they -- have been fortunate in their good health and good minds.
But the Sunday phone call with my mother left a small lump in my throat.
"I had a mammogram, and they called and said they wanted me to come back in for another one," she said in between news of my stepfather's latest fall and other family gossip.
Why do they want to do that? I queried.
"I don't know. Maybe it was blurry," she replied.
Or maybe there was a shadow, I added.
She was supposed to go yesterday, and I said I'd call her today. She didn't go yesterday because it was snowing and 4 degrees below 0 where she lives (Wyoming). Her doctor's office called her today to say they'd found a "nodule" on her right breast and what did she want to do about it. She said she didn't know why she'd been called back in and she'd have to think about it. She's going on Thursday (weather permitting, I assume) for another mammogram and a sonogram.
I felt the lump in my throat rising and the sick feeling in my stomach growing. It's inevitable that I will lose my parents, that they will die of something at some time, probably sooner rather than later. But not this way, I pray. I want them to go the way their mothers went -- quickly, with little pain.
It's very early in the diagnostic process. The biopsy will follow the mammogram and sonogram, no doubt. And then what? I don't know. This is uncharted territory for me. I know people who have had breast cancer. I have a friend whose mother died of it. I have another friend who's had it twice. Pixie has had it. It's not that uncommon, I suppose. But I think for each woman who has had it, it's an uncommon experience.
My mind is already racing ahead, wondering if I should visit at Easter instead of the summer. But I must stay in the here and now. And right here, right now I have a lump in my throat and a sick feeling in my stomach.