Thursday, July 24, 2008

A little personal

If you would rather not know slightly personal girly stuff about me, skip this one.

In April, at my once-every-three-or-four-years "annual" exam (what can I say, I think I technically got in enough stirrups during my years of infertility treatments to last me a lifetime) my doctor found a small lump in my left breast.

This did not strike terror into my heart like it would for a lot of women. I am lucky - breast cancer is not really in my family. And thanks to my religious upbringing and continued choices I have almost no other risk factors, either.

I never really thought I had cancer or anything. This is the reason I haven't told most people about it - I didn't want people freaking out over nothing.

My gynecologist wanted to check the area again in three months. So I went back earlier this month. No changes, which is good. She wasn't really worried about it. She asked if I wanted to have it checked further, and I said, yes - just to be safe. So we scheduled a breast ultrasound.

It's possible I had some kind of mental block about this procedure. I missed the first appointment because the imaging place had the wrong address printed in the phone book. Then I thought I was ten minutes late for this morning's rescheduled appointment, so I drove like a she-bat from my office to the imaging center - watch out for the speed demon in the white minivan. It turns out I was actually 50 minutes early. They had me change anyway, inexplicably, locking up my purse and its contents in a locker, and I ended up spending 2+ hours in the cold, cold waiting room wearing that charming little blue paper robe, reading old Ladies Home Journals.

And then it was done. The tech couldn't see anything. I couldn't see anything. I really don't think there is anything wrong with me. It will be good to know for sure once I hear from the doctor (later today, I hope). Again, though, no big deal.

Here's what surprised me. It was a very strange experience for me to lie on an ultrasound table. I've seen too many pregnancy movies and TV shows, I guess. It's that iconic moment when most women see their babies for the first time. And a reminder that that's not me. I teared up a little bit. The tech asked me if I had kids. I immediately replied that I had four, adopted. I didn't want her to ask any more questions.

So you wanna talk about getting freaked out over nothing? I am 34, and I suppose that's about the right age for the infamous biological clock, but I have four kids. Four! As every stranger I run into consistently reminds me, my hands are full! I don't want or need another baby. But I have not let go of wanting that one small part of the experience of motherhood and womanhood that I have never had. In all honestly it makes me a little mad that instead of a miracle in the ultrasound room, what I get is a little health scare, a reminder that my body is getting older, and really, other than that, nothing. The same nothing that has been freaking me out on and off for the last 14 years.

Sometimes I think that is really hard for other people to understand, even the people closest to me. And I guess it is more than a little bit personal. There you go. A squeaky-clean window on the messy room that is my soul.


Crysty said...

Ana...thanks for sharing this post. I know how things can keep coming up here and there, even if you think you're "over it." And I understand your longing for a baby, even if you have your hands full. I'm not sure that will ever completely go away....because you've been cheated in that department. Even though you have 4 wonderful kids, and they are the kids that you were meant to have. Even though.....(((hugs)))

Dana said...

No words... just a ((HUG)).


SalGal said...

I'm so glad it turned out to be nothing, because that would just have been the cherry on top of all the crap you've had to go through. I was really really scared when you told me. Much as I love my separated-at-birth G, I couldn't live without my Ana Banana!

I'll never know what it's been like for you, the infertility stuff. I can't even imagine what it's like and I'm not going to try because I know it'll never come close. But I'd gladly change bodies with you, at least our reproductive parts, if it ever were to be possible.


wendy said...

You don't know me. I have been reading your blog for probably a year now. I can't even remember where I found it. But, I come back for more because we have a lot in common. We're both adoptive mothers, LDS, love to cook to name a few. I really enjoy reading what you have to write. This post really hit home though. Sometimes I am just smacked in the face out of nowhere that I never got to experience childbirth. I always think I am OK with it and at the oddest moments I am forced to realize that a teeny little part of me still hurts over my infertility. I love my kids so very much and could not imagine life without them, but that doesn't completely erase those feelings. Feelings I wish I didn't even have. Anyway, your post was beautifully written and struck a chord. I am happy you are OK, by the way.

I feel guilty I read your blog and you can't mine (it is password protected), so if you are interested, email me and I will share the link/password:

eightgumdrops at yahoo dot com

Conrad's said...

I can't imagine your hurts. What a trial for you and G and a BIG blessing for your wonderful family.

I too had a wonderful scare and I think we are both too young for mamograms.