Apologies if I have been…a bit distant, sad, preoccupied, or seemingly the same…


A phone call yesterday from a friend a haven’t seen for a while, and her mention of a “health scare”…I didn’t disclose because she had her own things to talk through, but I have just been through a bit of a *health scare* myself.

Had a mammogram a few weeks back. I have been on yearly mammograms for almost 15 years, so I don’t think too much about them these days (although I still think that the best description of a mammogram is…take all your clothes off your top half, grab a breast, open the fridge and put your breast in, close the fridge door). So I was a little taken aback when I got a phone call on Wednesday afternoon to say that ACT BreastScreen wanted me back for further testing. I made an appointment for the following day and was warned that I would probably be there for 4 hours.

This sort of thing freaks me out as it would anyone, but with a familial history of breast cancer, and in fact, just cancer – I was just in a daze on Thursday. I ended up spending 7 hours in at BreastScreen – having an interview and examination, followed by more mammograms – different ones focusing on the left breast (and specifically the 11 o’clock area), ultrasound followed by a consultation with the surgeon (who flies in on Thursdays for the day from Sydney), and finally a fine needle aspiration (done by a pathologist who came over from Canberra Hospital) to get a sample of the cells. With results to come this morning.

Well everything is fine. Fatty cells that have formed a lump…no idea why. Best be safe. Oh yes.

For Thursdays are ‘call back’ days at BreastScreen in Civic. The day of the week when the women there are all special, for we have all been called back for further testing. All vulnerable. Scared. Freaking out quietly. Or not so quietly. And I ended up being there the longest, so I was thinking the worst.

I usually like to wear my heart on my sleeve and tell it as it is to those around me. But in this case I chose to really only tell a few people – Carl and the children, my sister and a few close friends (and a couple of people who just sensed a vibe). I didn’t want people getting upset for me, it was too early, and it takes so much energy explaining and worrying about people’s feelings. My biggest, biggest fear was telling my parents – I just didn’t want them to go through another nightmare cancer time….so for now – they are safe.

So if I have been a bit distant, sad, preoccupied or just the same (I am pretty good at seeming normal/happy) that’s why…

And I think of those today who have had a horrid prognosis of any sort…and I send you my love and light.

And can I say how beautiful, professional and caring all the BreastScreen staff were? I used to think midwives were the special ones, but I reckon it’s a lot of health professionals…

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