02-16-2011, 10:13 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reisterstown, Maryland
That leads me to share something from last October. I turned forty-years-old in June of 2009 and was well aware that I was due a mammogram. I actually had one done at the age of twenty-eight due to some concerns that were later dismissed. I put off the exam merely out of my own personal flaw of procrastination. I had been around so many CT and x-ray machines the past year that were directed at my daughter's little body to feel my life's quota had been met, so I just wasn't anxious to see another.
It took someone very dear to me to began her own journey with breast cancer that forced me to kick my procrastination to the curb. I scheduled my exam and diligently reported for the face off with a "body part smashing machine!" I knew what to expect. What I did not expect was to be driving home from this simple little test in tears. Before leaving the house, I grabbed a coat out of the closet as the temperatures had begun to require the wearing of one. The coat I wore hadn't been donned since last March. Attached on the left lapel sat a round button pin with a bald headed beauty smiling in happiness. The pin read, "Pray for Sicily." I have not had the heart to remove this pin soliciting prayers for my daughter, so it remains.
I was not scared or anxious about the mammogram and its purpose, but at the same time the thoughts of "what if" began to creep into my conscious. My appointment was late in the day so I expected a little wait, but was surprised when I was ushered right in. I've been in and out of a lot of different medical offices and exam rooms and around too numerous a number of medical staff to even count, but my experiences have always been pleasant. Most of the time there is little personal chit chat and it's business as usual. The tech performing my mammogram was very friendly...she swayed more on the edge of bubbly. She just seemed happy to be there. She explained what she would be doing and what my role in the procedure was. Nothing had changed from thirteen years prior so there were no surprises and I was just ready to be done with it all. It is, to say the least, a humbling experience. I would've thought nothing less of this tech if she did not talk to me at all except to tell me when to turn, when to hold my breath and so on.
In her friendliness and what seemed like an attempt to dissipate the natural uncomfortable awkwardness, she began to ask questions about my last name and its origin. I explained that my husband's family is of Czech descent and that his original last name was much longer but had been shortened when his great grandparents were shuffled through Ellis Island in the early nineteen hundreds. She was fascinated. She began to share how she loves hearing the history in peoples names and that her own husband's family is from Italy, so she has a very Italian last name. I can't even remember what she said her last name was because what she said right after that sent my head spinning. She could've ended the conversation with that statement, but she continued by saying, "His whole family is from Sicily!" Then she said, "Okay, now hold her breath." There was no need to hold my breath...I couldn't breathe! She just said Sicily's name. After I was allowed to breathe again, I said, "My youngest daughter's name is Sicily...but she died in March from cancer." I usually don't blurt that out to complete strangers, but I just couldn't believe that my little girl found a way to be with me while I was being tested for breast cancer. She was with me, and I knew it. The tech continued by sharing her condolences and by telling me how beautiful a name it was. After the test was over, she met me out in the hallway to explain that the results would be sent to my doctor who would inform me of any concerns. I showed her the button of Sicily on my coat lapel. She smiled a smile laced with sympathy... a contradictive expression if ever there was one. I walked to my vehicle and sat for a moment letting the faucet run. Little did this sweet tech know what her purpose would be in my life that afternoon. She was a portal for a simple message from Sicily. "I'm with you, mommy!" By the way, I'm good.
One last topic...the thought of a mother, whose child is battling cancer, finding herself being diagnosed with cancer is down right unthinkable...but it happens. And it did happen. Elisa Creed, mother of Tanner, who is currently receiving treatment for a Wilm's tumor relapse, was recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. They live in the Wellington, Kansas area...our home stomping ground. Tanner was inpatient last week and still has two more rounds left on his protocol. Mother and son are together fighting for their lives. It's hard to even imagine...hard for the brain to comprehend. Elisa will undergo a double mastectomy this afternoon, so I am asking for prayers to storm the heavens. This family, which includes Elisa's husband and four daughters, needs support and prayers in an enormous way.
They each have a CaringBridge site: CaringBridge / tannercreed / Welcome and CaringBridge / elisacreed / Welcome if anyone cares to send them some love and support! Thank you!
My stomach thinks it is due some food since we are now back to our normal school day schedule after functioning on summer vacation hours the past couple of weeks. Eating breakfast too early forces me to deal with hunger pains by 10:00...I'm just going to ignore them and hope they go away...or I could just give in and eat one bite size brownie! ; )
I have so much more to share and will continue to find the time and the frame of mind to accomplish as much as I can...when I can. Until then, please love and enjoy life.