Wednesday, July 27, 2016

About to get more uncomfortable (part 2 of 2)

Hello my dear readers.  It's been a couple of weeks since my last post, which was pretty, pretty long, you can read it here when you have a moment.  So as I was saying the dreaded C word runs in my family.  I mention in my last post that I asked myself to get mammograms and they also did the ultrasound as well.  Being on top of this and being proactive is key. 

It's hard to write about this because I saw this awful disease take my first cousin, I remember before she passed I was having my first biopsy (that was when my oldest daughter was a little over a year old) my cousin and I would text back and forth and would tell me she was praying for me with all her might.  She was the strongest person with the strongest will to live.  She kept her friends and family all updated on her treatments via email and I run across emails from time to time since her passing, I still keep her texts saved in my phone, I still get so emotional, it's very surreal losing someone so close to you.  I know she's no longer suffering, she's in heaven pain free.  To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corithians 5:8)   I can't quote bible verses to save me. But that one I repeat each time she enters my mind.  Each time I hear of anyone passing, I find comfort in it.  

... I received a letter early June this year that my yearly mammogram was due.  I have been living in fear, this terror enters my body when I think of it.  I had been praying since early this year to overcome fear to let things be and fall where they should, to let God have his way, to guide me and protect me.  I was dreading my appointment like you have no idea.  I made the appointment and I went in, this time around I felt a sense of peace, I felt calm.  My prayers were answered.  I had a little pep in my step. Of course I don't realize this till after the mammogram was over.  I didn't cry.  This time I didn't cry.  In the past years just getting undressed to put the gown on, I would be sobbing.  I would be a hot mess.  The mammogram technicians were probably sick of me.  But I can't explain it. I would think of the worse.  This time I left and was like "bam!!!" That was easy.  The day went by, the next day came and I was like wow! My letter should be coming in the mail, all is good, right? 

Well I decided to take a walk at work like 2 days later, To check on something in my old department where I used to sit with my really good friends.  So I happen to stop by and say hi, as I stood in my friends cubicle my cell phone rang. No one calls me anymore, who class right? And I recognized the phone number.  It was Kaiser.  "Hi, Gabriela?" (My voice already cracking) "yes it's me" - well to make a long story short they saw something on my right breast.  Of course I was a hot mess the rest of the day, all the days leading up until the "diagnostic mammogram" which I believe is another way of saying - squeezing the shit out of your breasts, but just horizontally but vertically too.  If you want to paint a picture in your mind. I'm a "b" cup, that means "barely boobs" means I at least graduated from training bras.  The day came, I went in and sat waiting for them to call me in.  Now if you want to paint another picture in your mind:  I'm sitting in the mammogram waiting area with other women, most of them were a lot older, and we are chit chatting, felt like a movie when the prisoners ask each other "what are you in for" of course that was me asking. Yes... it's personal, I know.  But if making conversation with these women takes my mind off stuff or better yet, helps them take their mind off stuff then I'm all about the chatter.  The stupid TV had one of those soap operas that have been going on since I was a kid.  So we talked about that, they kind of giggled, I told them all they would squeeze of me would prob be just nipple (sorry TMI) but it made them laugh.  I don't mind being the bud of a joke.  It's funny.  If it makes other laugh at my expense and if it's no big deal, it's okay.  I try to not take myself too serious and well to say the least, for a minute we probably forgot where we were. ------ Gabriela! Gabriela! Awww shit that's me... Then my heart sank "again".  Shit just got real.  They do their thing, the tug, squeeze, hold your breath, breathe out - thing.  It was over before I knew it.  I was like cool! I can go now, right?  Ms. They'll send me something in the mail right? I gotta get going.  She said well just put your robe on again and wait in the waiting room again, you will get your results right away, the doctor needs to see. (At this point I'm trying to remain calm, in my mind I'm like "efffffffff what now?"  I sit and try to pay attention to the awful programming choice they got going on.  Then they come back to get me.  "Mrs. Huerta, please keep your gown on open in the front and put this one on open to the back, the doctor would like to speak to you" at this point I don't even know what to think, of course the worse goes through your mind.  So I tried not to let my fear and anxiety show through.  I'm praying like crazy!!!!  I go in to see the doctor in a dim room he has my scans magnified in the huge monitors.  He said he found something on the right where they initially saw something suspicious, AND, AND, the big freaking AND.... and Mrs. Huerta we see something on the left side too (side note: I'm a mess inside at this point, I'm like wtf wtf wtf... I remember him saying they were calcifications, I remember all I was trying to do at that point was read what he had finished typing in the screen, he had made up his mind at that point right? He had written down what he was gonna explain to me, so like the impatient shit I can be, I even said "what can you repeat that again?, because I zoned out and was looking right at the screen.  He said based on my family history he is scheduling me for a biopsy.  I was like wow, wow, wow... This isn't happening.  And I left that morning feeling defeated yet hopeful because I knew that wasn't the end, it was for precautionary reasons. my family and friends made me feel relieved and I texted everyone I know asking for prayers.  This is some really hmbling shit.  I couldn't wait to get home, shed tears and let it out, kiss and hug my babies and hubby tight, and in all of this emotional crisis I was feeling I still felt Gods love.  Gotta go getting off the bus guys... So sorry I didn't finish this and maybe wrote more than I should have. Guess a part 3 is coming to get to biopsy experience in. Thanks for reading.  And please, please check your boobies. 


Sunday, July 10, 2016

About to get uncomfortable (part1 of 2)

Have you ever felt invincible?  You're on top of the world, going to school, got a cute boyfriend. You're a starter point guard on the JV team, junior year (or not really) but then something just bring you back to earth?  Let's just say I've had boobie issues since I was a teenager.  In high school I remember crying and crying in my boyfriends arms telling him I was going to Kaiser for a check up.  Well, at 16 or 17 if you're fairly healthy and went for checkups it would probably be like a physical or something pretty much routine.  Right? No biggie.  Yikes! well it wasn't for me, I was scared to death at the time.  I thought I'd get wheeled into the hospital because I was experiencing breast pain, I had been experiencing pain and never told my mom about it.  You know those times you try to self diagnose yourself, maybe I got elbowed in a game, maybe I am still developing, you know? Growing pains, but maybe one was bound to be bigger than the other?  Well broke the news to my mom one day and we set up an appointment.  I was so nervous.  I had my first ultrasound in my late teens and they found that I had dense breast tissue, or fibrocystic tissue and well around that time of the month for years my right side would throb like a muther (insert a bad word here).  And sadly the Dr confirmed it was not a growth spurt (dissapointment emoji here porfavor)

FAST FORWARD many, many years later to when my oldest was 1 year and 5 months (Or for those who like to tell the age of their child in consecutive months like the lease of a car 36 months, then my daughter was 17 months old) side note: poking fun at that cause I find it hilarious... Just staaap it! People think you're weird) 

Back to my story: I can't remember why I was there at the time and I thought it would be a good idea to tell the dr that my mom had breast cancer in 2005 and my dear cousin was battling it herself at the time as well.  I asked if they would schedule me for an ultrasound or mammogram.  I had just stopped nursing 5 months prior.  I figured that's pretty traumatic for the breast right? Nursing and pumping and 100% going at it for 12 months!

Side note: tooting my own horn here-moment: Pat on my back because I've never felt so proud, then also so rejected at the same time, because at a year and a week exactly my baby was like peace out mom, I graduate from this stuff, it was good, no hard feelings, but let's move on) anyone know this feeling? Isn't it you always want to be the one to break up with the other person? RIGHT? And for it to be your baby who you are working day and night to bring home the bacon... I mean the milk for? That innocent little face that just looks up at you and giggles and is so over you and breastfeeding that just crushes your heart... Aww it was awful, I cried a few nights over it.  Not the week in the knees kinda-cry when your getting dumped, ouch cause that shit hurts too) 

Back on track here... Are you following? Have I lost yet? Ok here we go:

So basically why not get a breast check up after all to see what was even left of them... They did a mammogram and an ultrasound too both the same day.  Didn't have to miss work the whole day.  I hate missing because of anything dr related.  So the ultrasound tech did her thing, there you are exposed to the elements and it's cold and the gel that thing stays warm for a .5 a second.  Not cool.  But sure enough, knowing me "so how do you like your job" then I think what the... Was I thinking? She must really like it right? I think who's in the medical field and doesn't have a passion for it.  So here I go again with more stupid questions "so how long have you been an ultrasound tech? That is what you are? Ultrasound tech?" Not only do I probably irritate people but I must offend a lot of people on the way.  They are all pretty courteous, and dammit they are all so hard to crack, I'm sure it's in their oath,  if they even have one when they get sworn in for their jobs.  Does Kaiser administer an oath to their patients? 

Maybe it goes like this:

"Do you solemnly swear that you are never to give good or bad news, that the patient must remain your patient and never your friend, that you hold your composure when you see something wrong and without any hesitation you respond with "I'm not allowed to tell you ma'm the radiology department will contact you in 3-5 business days"..... So help you God?"

I don't know, I'm so not mocking their system of operation here, but I get it, people don't want to assume things and don't want to be held liable for any misrepresentations.  I think that's why I'm not cut out for that kind of field.  I'd be too honest.  For example if I was an X-ray person and someone came in after a bike fall or a bad stumble? I would most likely think out loud "holly shit how bad was the fall sir? You got like 20 fractures here, not to worry though, you're in the right place and we're here to help" 

OH MY!!! Can you imagine! I wouldn't last a day or someone would pop me right on my lip or cheek, depending on my angle. 

But yeah when I am nervous? I most likely ask the most stupid questions. And I'm probably the worst patient.  So surely enough the tech is doing her thing I am hammering her with questions, she's been there a year, loves her job, no kids, two dogs, recently engaged, loves wearing scrubs, she doesn't need to get creative when picking clothes because they're all blue... Man I was on a ROLL, she stopped me dead in my tracks.  She went to go get the dr. For a minute I thought she was gonna ask to get relieved because I wouldn't shut up, but she said "stay with the gown open, I'll be right back I want the Dr to take a look at something".   My heart sank, everything that could go through your mind when you are terrified went through my mind... He then comes in and says "there is a 20% chance what we see can be cancer but we need to do a biopsy" wow I went back out to the waiting room feeling like the tiniest person, like a little tiny ant lost in a big world. I hugged my husband and cried and was just terrified and here's where it gets good: remember the boyfriend I cried to in high-school? Well that happens to my husband too (babe if you read this know I love you, you've seen me at my worst and in every emotional state possible - mostly stuck on bitch state - but nonetheless you still love me too)

(I know I sometimes wish I came with a mute button myself) - ^ what the nurse was thinking. 

So yep, went back in for the biopsy a couple days later for an ultrasound guided biopsy and had been praying with all my might, gave it up to God and it was at a bit stressful having to wait, that the worse, more time alone with your own crazy mind is so not fair.  But Thank GOD the results were that it was not cancer.  

If you're a friend or family member you probably knew about this, I may have called you, texted you, emailed you, Instagram DM'ed you and I thank you for your prayers and support. I personally don't like long nails or acrylics so be thankful that I don't because everytime I'd break a nail and if it was a painful one you'd probably be getting a call, a text, an email, an Instagram DM too.  ;) 

There will be a part two to this long post.  The "fast forward 4 years later" part from this point on in my story.  Stay tunned.  It's 2 am and I'm just beat.

Good night! 

Disclaimer:  thoughts and story here - all mine.
Emotions and being scared and distraught all true.
-Gabbing people's ears off at Kaiser: so true.
-Love Kaiser and nothing but the best experiences there.  -Boyfriend- to husband, true story. 
-Ant I mention above was not harmed during the making of my story. 

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