And so today’s moment of happiness despite the news.
I know I posted yesterday. But today deserves its own moment.
The thyroid cancer scare is over. The biopsy came out benign. When my doctor sent me the test results on MyChart, before he even called me, he inserted into the first line of the report, YEAH!!!!!
I had two biopsies in 2017. The first, on my left breast, indicated Stage 2 Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. The second one, on my right breast, was benign, but the radiologist inserted a little clip so that the spot could be watched. It made me feel banded, like those animals I used to watch on television’s Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.
Then there was this biopsy, on my thyroid. My red flags started waving pretty quickly, with the ultrasound results shouting the words, “Highly suspicious!” Then, during the biopsy itself, I heard the doctor say, “Oh, here’s something.” He didn’t expand on what something was. I didn’t ask. I didn’t want to know, but it sure led to a mighty sweaty and sleep-deprived 48 hours.
When you hear the word benign, it’s like a cleansing occurs. Particularly when your body has been tainted before. You already feel like a sinner being punished. With the first malignant, I created a humongous list in my head of everything I’d ever done wrong in my life that was now bringing me to justice. When the cancer was removed, I felt reborn.
But then this next biopsy. Maybe I still had penance to pay. And again, I went through the list of all my possible sins. The things I’ve said. The things I’ve done. The things I’ve thought about doing, but didn’t.
And now, benign. Whew.
But what a horrible mindset. The mindset is what’s malignant. I am…well, I’m benign.
I don’t want to feel like I’m going into the confessional booth every time I go in for my now routine bloodwork and alternating mammogram/MRI. I want to get over feeling like everything in life (and death) is set on a reward/punishment system. Sometimes, nice people get sick. Sometimes, bad people live into their hundreds. The good or bad that happens to us doesn’t have anything to do, really, with who we are. It’s wishful thinking at its best; it’s self-flagellation at its worst.
I can say that. I can feel it, when I apply it to others. I need to learn to apply it to myself.
And I will. But tonight, I’m just going to breathe easier. And I’m going to have a wonderful sleep. I won’t wake up in a panic attack, as I have for the last two weeks, especially in the last 48 hours.
I’m benign. I really am. I’m packing away my list of sins.
For now. Hopefully forever.
And yes, that helps. Despite. Anyway.