Personal Growth

Life’s Little Lessons

heartSo there I was, heart pounding, breathing shallow, trying to talk myself into calmness. I was waiting for the doctor to review the results of my second mammogram. Thank God they take the first exam the same day and review it immediately. They have you wait while a doctor reviews the results and if all is well, you can leave. At least that’s what usually happens. Today I was told to come back inside the exam room for a second exam.

The other patients in the waiting room looked at me when I was told to come back in. I could feel their energy. Some were sympathetic and wished me well. Some were alarmed and afraid. One woman looked at me with eyes as wide as  paper plates. I was unprepared for this and maybe on a different day when I was emotionally stronger, I would not have let the energy of fear project onto me. I believe negative emotion is simply a waste of energy so I usually do not allow myself to be upset unless and until there is a real reason to do so. No anticipatory hand wringing! But today was not such a day. I was sort of blindsided.

The technician didn’t offer any explanations for the second mammogram and I was too afraid to ask.  This was one of the few moments in life where I was questionless, speechless actually, and quietly did as instructed.

After the second exam, I was told to sit in a chair in the exam room while the doctor reviewed the results. I was grateful I didn’t have to go back out to the other patients and the wide eyed woman in the waiting room. I kept talking to myself.  My spirit told my mind to stop running wild and calm down. I told myself that the technician taking the first pictures probably had not done them properly. She was younger and had not tried to wrench my breasts from my chest as is usually the case. For those of you unfamiliar with the joys of mammography, you stand in front of a huge machine onto which your normally round, firm orb of breast is stretched as from your chest as possible and sandwiched between two hard, flat, cold surfaces in an attempt to press it into a crepe. This happens three times for each breast, at different angles. The diagonal ones are particularly “joyful”. Thank God they are over fairly quickly.  I love it when they tell me not to move. As if I don’t think moving would cause my breast to be twisted off my chest. Or to hold my breath. Lady, I’ve been holding my breath the entire time!!! I’m grateful for this life-saving exam but, CLEARLY it was designed by a man! 😮 🙂

Anyhoo.. The second technician was nice but less sweet, sort of all business. You knew things were more serious with this woman. She was obviously a more senior person, so maybe that’s all it was. Or maybe all second exams are done by a more senior person. If I had thought of it, I would have made myself laugh by reminding myself I have high blood pressure and should stay calm so that I don’t have a stroke and end up in the hospital while at the hospital having a breast exam! However, at the moment, all the thought power I could muster was focused on calming myself. I was not able to calm myself as much as I wanted to, so I decided the best thing to do was to just stop thinking. So I did that – I’m not sure how – but it kept me from getting more worked up. Two words came to me, as if  someone else was speaking: Just wait. So I decided to just be in the moment and wait. This second technician  (breastnician?) came back into the room after about 3 minutes – 3 years in my mind-gone-wild time. All was well and I could leave. I asked why the second exam was needed. The problem was as my logical mind had surmised. Junior-technician-itis,

That was a load off my mind but it was a scary moment. It wasn’t until I was getting dressed that I realized how scary it was. In the moment, my mind could not articulate what was happening. I was running on instinct. After it was over, thoughts flooded my mind. What if I had been sick? What if I needed a lumpectomy? A mastectomy? Or worse? What about my child? I thought of my friend who was treated for breast cancer only to discover she had colon cancer. Would my health insurance hold out? Could I continue to afford it if not working? Health issues ruin people financially. What about that? I stopped the churn of my mind by redirecting myself to find the lessons.

Everything happens for a reason. This very un-fun moment was one of life’s little lessons. Life’s little lessons are important because when you do not learn from them, they come back bigger and usually more painful. I hope you will share in these lessons with me so you don’t have to learn them the hard way:

  • In the end, only you can protect and care for you. Take excellent care of you – mentally, physically, financially, spiritually and emotionally.  Remember, it’s all connected.
  • Live. Do not simply exist. Life can be cut short or change in condition in a moment. Don’t take this wonderful journey for granted. Treat life like a buffet dinner. If it seems appealing and it doesn’t hurt you or others, put it on your plate. Do it. Try it, Learn it. Experience it.
  • Prepare. Life is cyclical and downturns always come. So in the upturns, prepare. See #1.
  • Love. Don’t be afraid to tell to love, to tell someone you love them, to show your love. I am talking about both being IN love and being loving to others. Don’t be too busy to hold the door for the person behind you or let the elderly person have your seat or too arrogant to see yourself in others. The universe is an echo chamber. Whatever you put out will be returned to you. Now get out there and design a life you love!



P.S. Happy Independence Day!


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