When the going gets tough, the tough stand in the shower

I was fine until today. Really. I had managed, for the most part, not to think of all the tumor excitement. I managed to go out with my Mom, take naps and watch movies and exist.

Then, I was sitting in Ellie’s room with her, watching her climb all over The Hubs, and I pulled her into my lap to read a book. Then it hit me, like a cannon ball travelling at top speed, aimed right at my heart.

What if something is wrong?

I finished the book and went to take a shower. I shaved under my arms as the thoughts kept rolling in, thoughts telling me that something bad was going to happen and blah blah blah. I opened my mouth, letting the water hit against my teeth, and thought of my life. Thought of how I didn’t want to go now, how I wanted to get old and grumpy and sit on my front porch, yelling at cars to “Slow Down!”

I thought of “Those We Do Not Speak Of,” the people I am related to, and wondered if they knew. I was told they had found my website awhile ago, so why stop now? Do they know of the cancer scare? Do they know that the person they so hate now is sitting on her couch, wondering if she has cancer? If they do, why haven’t they contacted me?

This isn’t about them. We have made the decision not to discuss this with anyone (except a select few) until we know the results. No need to scare people and make them worry. As much as I’d like to have a good party right now, a Pity Party is not needed.

Instead, I remember right when all this Boob Nonsense started. I had visited the breast clinic at the hospital for the first time when they told me they saw an “area.” Afterwards, it seems as if breast cancer was everywhere. Melissa Ethridge at the grammys. Signs and stickers and stories and magazine articles.

It felt like the time we were driving to Branson Missouri and all we kept on seeing were billboards advertising Branson.

“Breast cancer ahead! Join the legions of chemo!”

Most likely, I am going to look back at this entry on Monday and say how stupid I was. In fact, I’m sitting here right now, thinking how stupid I am. Why am I writing this? Why am I sharing for the world to read?

Because this is what makes the little voices go away. This is what makes me feel better, getting it down on my “journal,” where I can have that conversation that I don’t seem able to have in real life. This makes me forget for that one moment, the people I know, the people my age, who have had Leukemia, Hodgkins Disease, Cervical Cancer and Testicular Cancer.

I try not to think of them.

For every person who gets the test back that says it is “begin,” there are those, like the ones I mentioned above, who got the test back that said “malignant.”

Unfortunately, all of them where in the same place I am now. A place no one should have to be.


  1. i feel your pain, i really do. i know nothing anyone says will make it better, till the doctor announces the negative findings. i remember going in to my doc, literally shaking with fear - i was convinced, CONVINCED i had breast cancer. Then, when she told me it was benign, it was as though i had been given a chance to start over. My life was handed back to me. I was soooooo happy! i vowed never to take a single day for granted. Of course, two weeks later, some of that amazing gratitude and relief faded…slowly, but surely I forgot how terrified I was…your entry is an excellent reminder to live each day as though it is our last, regardless - thank you for sharing.

    *sending much positive vibage to sj boobie*

    Comment by frozenmojo — 4/2/2005 @ 4:09 pm

  2. it’s your boob and you can cry if you want to, cry if you want to.
    i would cry too, let it not be for you!

    Comment by chris — 4/2/2005 @ 4:35 pm

  3. Not stupid at all. I wish there was something I could say that would make you feel better. Not knowing/fear of the unknown…especially for compulsive “planners” is very very tough.

    Thinking of you….

    Comment by Cas — 4/2/2005 @ 4:37 pm

  4. Try to remain calm until you get the results. Easy to say, hard to do. But best you can do is try to remain calm. Or as the great book says, “Don’t Panic!”

    (great book is Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for those that don’t know)

    Comment by Angie — 4/2/2005 @ 4:46 pm

  5. It is not at all stupid for you to feel this way. I think you’re handling it very well, actually. Just remember: Even if it IS cancer, there is hope. Every day we get closer to curing these diseases, and at the very least modern medicine has become much more successful at fighting the disease and giving a lot of people normal, happy, good, LONG lives despite encounters with disease and illness. So, even if the diagnosis is bad (and I hope it isn’t), you still have options–and hope. So don’t clock out just yet, OK? But. It’s still OK to freak out. I would be doing the same thing. Know that you’re loved and supported! I will be praying for you, my friend.

    Comment by Gretchen — 4/2/2005 @ 4:52 pm

  6. Geez, I don’t stop by for a few days and look what happens! I’m so sorry about all of this. My mom had breast cancer, not once but twice! She’s 73 now and can still open up a can of whipass. I am praying that this something is nothing. Dear God I hope it’s nothing.

    Comment by Sheryl — 4/2/2005 @ 5:07 pm

  7. I have been reading you for a while but really felt compelled to comment today. I can very much relate to what you are going through right now as I have gone through the same waiting game. It SUCKS HUGE! There is no way to make it easier. All you can do is wait. In my case it was, indeed, breast cancer and I was only a couple weeks away from my 36th birthday. I will say this - the odds are WAAAAY in your favour that this is nothing to worry about and you will look back on this time as ‘One of Those Weeks’ amongst several crappy days that are part of living on this planet.

    While having breast cancer sucks ass I have received so much support and love the shittiness often fades into the background. Treatment is amazing now and I have every chance of walking away from this. Not before glancing back and flipping it the bird, mind you. Next week I find out when I start chemo and what further surgery I may need. If anybody had asked me, before my diagnosis, if I thought I could handle this I would have totally copped to being a big fat wussy. Yet it is incredible how the brain accepts things that were incomprehensible just the day before. Women have gone through this before and will again and I am one of them today.

    I am sending you every good vibe I know that you will be ok and blogging about how everything was beeee-nign. And The Internet will breathe a big sigh of relief.

    If you are interested on how my diagnosis came about you can find it here: http://krankipantzen.blogspot.com/2005_03_01_krankipantzen_archive.html

    My cancer diagnosis is what started me blogging and this has helped me a lot.

    Take care!

    Comment by Krankipantzen — 4/2/2005 @ 7:03 pm

  8. Hey SJ. I’m really sorry you have to be going through all this crap now. It plain sucks raspberries really. But I know all about trying not to dwell on it but ending up thinking about it every waking moment. I’ll say a couple of little prayers for you (the girl who doesn’t really pray anymore!) and hopefully it’ll all be nothing next week and you can continue recounting your crazy stories of your family etc. cause I enjoy that more :)

    Comment by Sam — 4/2/2005 @ 7:21 pm

  9. You have every right to worry and every right to write about it. I also know many who have had similar concerns and not one of them has died, or even come close. Sending good thoughts.

    Comment by carol — 4/2/2005 @ 7:26 pm

  10. I’m thinking of you and Ellie and your Hubs. Been there done that, just with the other girlie bits. I’m here if you need anything.

    Comment by Jen — 4/2/2005 @ 7:28 pm

  11. My mother is an 8 year breast cancer survivor. When they caught it, it had spread to four of her lymph nodes under the arm. She went through chemo and a mastectomy. The surgeons were a bit worried about the lymph node invasion.

    Eight years later, she’s still cancer-free.

    So…I’m banking that it will be nothing. But God forbid , if there is …. you won’t get to go. You’ll end up bitching at cars. With me. On the porch. In Paris. Having coffee. And other drinks.

    Please email me when you can

    Comment by Robotnik — 4/2/2005 @ 7:53 pm

  12. My Mother was in your situation a few years ago…the waiting to hear what her results were was excrutiating…and I wasn’t the one who it was happening to…So, you have every right to go thru these feelings! It’s perfectly normal and natural to wonder and worry sometimes…no matter how hard you want to be positive!

    The good thing is you DO have an outlet for the thoughts and you don’t have to hold them inside and dwell on them. Getting them out is a good thing!

    BTW: Mom’s lump was Nothing…and yours has just as much chance to be the same!

    Hang in there SJ!! I hope those Good Vibes made it thru the TX traffic!

    Comment by Wendi — 4/2/2005 @ 8:31 pm

  13. My shower and I are well acquainted with worry. But if you go in, stand there, and let it all go down the drain, well it’s one of the few things that have helped me stay sane in my life.

    I try to think worry is a wasted emotion. Because if it’s all good, you wasted all your time. And if it’s not, well you spent time worrying when you could be playing with your baby. Or snogging with the hubs.

    Hang in there, babes.

    Comment by debutaunt — 4/2/2005 @ 9:06 pm

  14. I’m keeping you in my prayers.

    Comment by Lujza — 4/2/2005 @ 10:06 pm

  15. Hey, like Carol said, you have every right to worry. Something is going on. This is not in your head. Hang in there. Keep us posted. I am thinking of (worrying about) you (so maybe for a few minutes you will not have to think about it yourself.) Take care.

    Comment by beth — 4/2/2005 @ 10:22 pm

  16. Hang in there! And don’t apologize for getting your thoughts out there. I am the same way. I have to write out things, to clear my brain so that I can function normally. And, what you don’t realize is by blogging those uncensored thoughts, you are reaching and speaking to your readers in a really honest way that touches them. I am usually a lurker on several blogs, but wanted to just say that I’ll be hoping for the best for you and all of this.

    Comment by Seriously Steph. — 4/2/2005 @ 10:28 pm

  17. Hi SJ–

    I’m new to your site and though I’m a lurker by nature, I felt compelled to comment because I’ve been where you are. Unfortunately, I had to go to plan B as my tumor was malignant. My diagnosis (at age 32) was 3 1/2 years ago, and your last few posts have brought the memories flooding back.

    The waiting truly is the hardest part. Hang in there–we’re all crossing our fingers and praying for plan A.

    Comment by Sharkey — 4/2/2005 @ 10:45 pm

  18. I have no good advice, nothing witty to say, I’ll just simply say that I’m thinking about you. And sending healing boobie vibes.

    Comment by wdc — 4/3/2005 @ 12:00 am

  19. Be well….

    Comment by Autumn — 4/3/2005 @ 12:19 am

  20. Stay positive. That alone can work wonders. Sending you some positive vibes…hang in there!


    Comment by MsInterpreted — 4/3/2005 @ 12:28 am

  21. i am thinking nice things about you and your boobies. *hug*

    Comment by jenB — 4/3/2005 @ 3:40 am

  22. I have no good advice either and I won’t share any stories because, if you are like me, it won’t matter. As long as there was one other woman my age who died of cancer, I know I could too. Just try to remember how small the statistics are and if, God forbid, you did have it, you are young and healthy enough to fight it. And that is an enormous IF.

    I think they need to work as hard to shorten the wait time for diagnosis as they are for curing the disease. This must be torture for you.

    Comment by Em — 4/3/2005 @ 11:00 am

  23. Sending lots of virtual love a good boobie prayers your way! I hope everything is OK!

    Comment by Brook — 4/3/2005 @ 3:23 pm

  24. Good thoughts, honey, good thoughts.

    Comment by Psycho Kitty — 4/3/2005 @ 3:32 pm

  25. Thank you for sharing - and I hope it helped you. I can really feel your turmoil and please know that it’s OK to feel that way. Like Gretchen said, even if the diagnosis is bad, there are so many people who have come through it - people I personally know and love. Just do what you have to do and know that people care.

    Comment by Alda — 4/3/2005 @ 5:00 pm

  26. My heart goes out to you. I will be praying for good resutls! Hopefully this scare will all be over soon and you can get on with life.

    Comment by Mrs Darling — 4/3/2005 @ 7:33 pm

  27. That’s some scary shit. Good luck with everything.

    Comment by Daisyhead — 4/3/2005 @ 8:55 pm

  28. Hoping it is NOTHING.. Just like the scare my friend and mom went through last year. Both had to wait forever to get the good news and it was completely agonizing for all involved. Most often these questionable things that happen in our boobies are harmless. Hard to do but keep the faith!

    Comment by maia — 4/3/2005 @ 11:12 pm

  29. Hiya, I came over here from Muppetous. While I don’t know you, any friend of Gretchen’s has gotta be a good person.
    Sending my best wishes that all is ok (wish I could do more)

    Comment by amanda — 4/4/2005 @ 12:00 am

  30. I totally, totally understand SJ. I will be saying prayers for you and keeping you in my thoughts. I know it is benign. It’s may sound crazy, but I “know” things sometimes. I’m really good at picking out used cars too. I have never, ever bought a lemon, either for myself or when helping out friends.

    Comment by Surfie — 4/4/2005 @ 8:08 am

  31. I don’t know if you believe, but I’m praying for you like crazy. I hope you get good test results back.

    Comment by Rebecca — 4/4/2005 @ 9:02 am

  32. I’m thinking of you today. Just wanted you to know.

    Comment by shaunacat — 4/4/2005 @ 10:27 am

  33. Keeping you in my thoughts.

    Comment by Terri — 4/4/2005 @ 11:54 am

  34. Ditto on what just about everyone has said.
    I’m a closet hypochodriac myself. I had to have a mole removed and Good Lord! It *had* to be malignant. I just knew it. Except, it was really just a mole.
    Here’s hoping it really is just a weird-ass lumpy thing.

    Comment by tabitha — 4/4/2005 @ 12:26 pm

  35. {{{hugs}}} I’ve got you in my thoughts SJ.

    Comment by Kate — 4/4/2005 @ 1:17 pm

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