Go! Face the Fear

Posted on April 2nd, 2009 by Emma

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For my post this week, I have decided best writing paper to share something very personal in the hope that it will either help or inspire a few others.

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 When I answered my profile questions, ‘When did you last cry?‘ was an easy answer for me.  That morning, I discovered something very wrong with my right breast.

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A lump.  Every woman’s nightmare. 

I knew that I had to do something about it and for a split second considered ignoring it and hoping that it would go away. Two days ago I went to the doctor, who immediately gave me a mammogram and a sonogram to find out what was going on.

Lying there on the bed during the sonogram I could not take my eyes off the screen and so I saw, not one, but two dark masses very clearly.

Today, I should get the results and know (and hope in my heart) that they could be benign cysts.  But the last few weeks of not knowing made me think.  The mind can be a cruel thing when you do not know.

During the two weeks, my mind ran riot and thought about all the things I would do, haven’t yet done and may not ever do.  So I will be living my life rather differently from now on, doing the things I want to do rather than those things I feel I ‘should’ or ‘have to’ do.

When I saw the two dark areas on the screen, I felt all the uncertainly vanish to be replaced by calm.  Strange I know, but for me, the worst fear is not knowing.  Now I can do something about it.

What is your worst fear and how are you going to face it? What are you avoiding?

Life really is too short; we never know just what is around the corner.


53 Responses to “Go! Face the Fear”

  1. mike says:

    O my gosh – I hope the results are clear.

    You are pretty amazing to share this here. And I guess it means you feel amongst friends.

    • Emma says:

      Yes Mike I do. I hope that by sharing this it will encourage others to do the same.

      It took some soul searching to write the post though :)

  2. Fofoo says:

    I feel you, this is the life
    wish ya a good health :)

  3. Oh, Emma you are in my prayers. Thank you for sharing so personally. I’ve had numerous times like this for my medical issues and you are right the hard part for me was the waiting. I just wanted the test results so that I could just do what needed to be done and cope with it.

    However, the time in between, my mind would race all over the place…

    Keep distracted today until you find out. I hope every woman and man (yes, they get breast cancer too) is inspired by this post and will do self-exams and regular well-care physicals. And, will not wait until even though they are scared…Face the Fear like Emma!!

    • Emma says:

      Thanks CC,

      Have just been to the new Dubai Mall for some retail therapy while I wait for the call and now off to a girlfriends for the night!

      if you click on the picture, it takes you to breast cancer site where they ask people to click to help get free mammograms for women who can’t afford them. You can even sing up for daily reminders. it takes a few seconds each day and helps give something to others.

  4. Hilary says:

    Hi Emma – my thoughts are with you. Fear when it hits you (me) is soemthing I’ve been incredibly lucky to avoid so far .. fear when I’ve had to deal with others (family members as now) is so difficult too: but I can understand a little – your positive attitude to it will be your saving grace .. keep the faith ..

    With lots of thoughts
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters

    • Emma says:

      Thanks Hilary.

      Positive attitude is everything right now and stops the mind being so cruel!

      Will post the results when I have them!

  5. Svasti says:

    Wishing you all the best, and that the results show the lumps are benign.

    You’re right, the mind can play terrible tricks on us, especially when our worst fears are close to the surface.

    But its wonderful you decided to write about it and get support.

    I agree with CC – go out with a girlfriend or something, and have some frivolous fun. Get a facial, a massage, go to a movie, do something to stop yourself thinking too much about ‘what if’! Make sure you laugh and take care of yourself.

    And keep us informed.

    Am thinking positive thoughts for you!

  6. Diane says:

    I hope the news is good for you. I had a similar scare a year or so ago. It turned out OK but it is dreadfully worrying so I appreciate what you are going through.

    Thinking of you and sending you positive thoughts.

    • Emma says:

      Hi Diane,

      I have spoken to a few people who have had similar scares and it is quite reassuring. When I found the lump I immediately thought the worst, but now the more I talk to people, the more common it is!

      Fingers crossed.

  7. Jim says:

    Hi Em,

    Your post really knocked me back and I’m hoping the news is good and that you’re ok.

    Coffee next week is a must,
    J xo

  8. Geez Em…that’s a tough pill to swallow. Yet I hope and pray that the results come back with a clean bill of health! I can relate in some ways to what your going through although in the past the circumstances have varied….much of my life I made a conscious decision to ignore fears rather than to confirm or deny them, I think that is part of the human experience. But i do know that knowing where you stand is a more powerful position to be in rather than living within the little box of uncertainty that fear rules. One of my fears at the moment is that in somehow or someway I will have an unhealthy child..that in someway I will be the cause….I will also be going for a mamo after the baby is born to get myself checked now that their is a history of breast cancer in my family….scary real life stuff..

    xoxox

    • Emma says:

      I have since found out, that Mommograms and sonograms do not always show up breast cancer – scary in itself.

      And some forms of breast cancer do not have lumps (it is called inflammatory breast cancer).

      Always a good idea to get checked out especially with a history in the family.

      Good luck with the rest of the pregnancy – how are you felling now?

  9. Me too, Emma. I’ve been there. I have many lumps and all (so far) are fine. I know how it feels. Utterly terrifying. Let’s hope that this time tomorrow we are all heaving sighs of huge relief.

    Hugs and prayers

    Jo

  10. Hug Your Boobies!
    I gave you a hug at group hug … the group of hugging here! LOL!
    You know how I feel.
    ======
    You’re very brave to put this here — I honor that.

  11. Came over from Twitter. Thanks for the heads-up. I’m sending up healing vibes and prayers.

    I know some of these feelings. I discovered my first breast lump when I was only 21. I was so scared and all I could pray was, “Lord, just let me get through this long enough to have a baby and breast-feed it before I have to lose a breast!” Turns out, I have fibroadenomas–benign breast tumors. I have found eight of them to date. I have had four traditional under-the-knife biopsies and the last I had was an ultrasound biopsy (thank goodness!)

    I also have fibrocystic breasts. This used to be called “fibrocystic disease,” but they’ve changed that name as the condition is so common in women. Avoiding caffeine helps to keep this condition from worsening. Here’s a link that describes different types of breast tumors, etc. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-the-different-types-of-breast-tumors.htm It is somewhat comforting to know that there are SO MANY types of breast tumors, cysts and lumps that are benign. I’ll be praying that yours is.

  12. arvind says:

    Hello Emma

    I have been away from Flowers and returning a few minutes ago and reading your post has made me realise just what I have been missing.

    Life is too short not to be smelling the flowers.

    I hope it all goes well for you.

    It is a beautiful sunny spring afternoon here in London and I have my young nephew coming over to stay. Our time together will be that much richer now having read your post.

    Once he is here, I will take him for a walk around my local park and literally go and smell the flowers.

    You are in my thoughts :-)

  13. Emma says:

    Thanks everyone for such supportive messages. It was the right decision to post this at flowers.

    I have just had the phone call from the doctor . . .

    She ‘thinks’ that the lumps (yes there are three) are benign. I will go back in again in three months to check that they have not grown any bigger.

    So . . . phew . . . .a huge sigh of relief..

    Everything happens for a reason and there is learning in everything, however hard the lesson. So I am going to look for the learning,have a glass of wine and then have an early night.

    It is so lovely to know that things like this can be shared and so much love and support given.

    Sending you all a big hug in return.

    • arvind says:

      Great news! Have another glass or two on all of us :-)

    • Tricia says:

      Emma I’m so sorry that you are going through this scare. I’m glad you got your phone call – I’ll bet that you’re less stressed now.

      Instead of waiting three months for a checkup on the lumps why not ask your doctor about doing a fine needle biopsy of the lumps? Then you’d know sooner if they really are benign.

      I had a breast lump in the early 90′s and it turned out to be a benign tumor but they still did a lumpectomy to remove it just in case it changed.

      Back to your question – biggest fear? I had a precancerous tumor on my thyroid 19 years ago and had half my thyroid removed as a result. Now I have solid nodules on the remaining thyroid and I’m waiting to see a specialist and find out if these new growths are pre-cancerous or cancerous. Hopefully I’ll get that ball moving soon (no appointment with specialist yet).

      • Emma says:

        Hi Tricia,

        Thanks for sharing that. Good luck with nodules and fingers crossed they are not pre cancerous.

        I will go back to the doctor and have the MRI that she suggested. If it is a case of a biopsy, I would rather them just take out the lumps – I have this theory that if you cut or puncture caner, it releases the cells into the blood stream, so better not to take the risk.

        Let us know what happens! You can always let me know through the members messages! I would love to know how you get on.

    • Thanks for the update. Glad to hear it.

  14. Lib says:

    Wow Emma, I wish could have posted earlier to say don’t be scared!

    I’ve just seen the results and I’m so pleased that they are benign.

    I’ll join you in a glass of wine this evening and then I’m going to check my breasts.

    Seriously! It’s not done enough and I think that the going back in 3mths to see if they are bigger (the lumps obviously) is quite telling in how often they should be checked.

    Enjoy your vino and early night and hope you are ok.

    • Emma says:

      Great news that you are going to give yourself a self exam. That is how a friend of mine found her lump and she has just finished her six months of Chemo and has beaten the disease. Better to face the fear and catch it early!

      Self exams should also be done at various times of the month on a regular basis so that we each know the changes that occur in the breast.

      Thanks for your support Lib, had a great night’s sleep last night!

  15. Ange Recchia says:

    So glad to hear the news Emma. You’re always in my thoughts and prayers. Go smell the flowers and be adventurous. The Creator has a “funny” way of showing us things at times. Sending big HUGS!
    Bless

    • Emma says:

      Thanks Ange,

      Yes, there is learning in everything if we choose to see it and listen to it. And yes, I will be listening to this learning.

  16. joey says:

    Dont worry about things and just enjoy whatever ride your on!:D

    Good luck1!

    • Emma says:

      Thanks Joey,

      It would be good to be riding a horse alond a white sandy beach at this moment in time, but I will have to settle for riding the elevator at this moment in time :)

  17. Oh, Emma, I am so happy for you and relieved. I’ve been through many a cancer scare and some pretty scary breast tests. As I said before, I hate the waiting. You made it through the day and I hope you got some nice things during your retail therapy. If I were out by you, I’d take you shopping…or would you be taking me? :-)

    • Emma says:

      I think we would find the nearest supermarket, buy two HUGE jars of Nutella and go and sit on a beach to eat them!

      Thanks CC for your love through this! Also thinking about you and what you are gong through at the moment.

      Em xo

      • Emma,

        You are very welcome. I feel honored that you were able to let us all during this time. Thank you for being there for me. Sitting on the beach with Nuttela and anything for dipping into it and just a spoon. I’m there.

        Love,
        CC

  18. I will have some more Nutella in honor of this occassion!!1 :-) :-)

    • Kathleen says:

      Emma,
      As I read down the posts I stopped to comment several times before I read the results – what a ride that was for you, no doubt. I had a scare too with an ovarian mass – when I found out it was nothing, I walked out of the doctor’s office feeling the earth move under my feet – and singing it too.

      • Emma says:

        Glad to hear it was nothing! I am really heartened by all the people who have had scares and they turn out to be nothing.

        Generally, in the media you get to hear the horror stories about the ones that did not turn out so well which frighten people away from doing anything.

        If this post has done anything, I hope that will everyone’s comments about their own experiences, it will give people the courage to be proactive rather than reactive about their health.

  19. Gus says:

    Emma
    Be strong. Stay positive. My thoughts are with you. Don’t let things build up inside you. Vent. Reduce your stress. Breathe deep and often. Remember to laugh each day. Know people love you.
    Use this test as an inspiration. To paraphrase Osho, ‘Times of trouble are revealing. They don’t bring anything new into the world. They simply make you aware of the world as it is. They wake you up.’
    In the program I am now studying there is a saying that everything that has a front has a back. Find the good in this, find it’s back.
    I wish you and Jim a long and happy life. You are good people.

    • Emma says:

      Thank you Gus.

      One thing I always do in life is look for the gift in the negative happenings. Everything that happens to us is a gift if only we look for it!

      Osho has some very wise words and they really hit a chord with me. Awareness is one of the gifts that I have been given this week.

  20. vrtulobjeq says:

    I fear most of all that global warming will get a lot worse quicker than we want, nned or anticipate.

    • Emma says:

      A very real fear that if becomes reality will have a devastating effect on millions of people.

      And one fear is that we know about it, but are avoiding doing anything about it before it is too late.

  21. seacoral says:

    I just found this sad and glad post!
    Firstly, thank you for being so brave and open about your fears, something we can all learn from.
    You have given us all a very loving gift.
    I hope with all my heart that everything will continue to be positive.I know the gut feeling everytime a check-up is due, not for myself, but because my husband went through a long period of uncertainty after a cancer operation and chemotherapy. It took 10 years before he was declaired “free” and ten more years have surpassed since then and as you say knowing is so much better, because we get the ability to choose what to do with our life and our happy memories become stronger and better than before. Enjoy Life
    and God Bless You!

  22. Emma says:

    Thanks Seacoral,

    May you and your husband have many more “free” years.

  23. Purple13 says:

    Emma – Hi and soz I’ve been gone for a while and so only catching up with your ‘news’.

    I don’t know what to say except for our thoughts are with you and we have everything crossed for you…. take care.

    Jonathan (and Mandy).

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