I’ve been thinking about how time flies. My kids do and say things sometimes that remind me of the beauties of my childhood. The innocence, and trust in life, laughing till soda squirts out of your nose. It still happens, (minus the nose squirting, lol) but when we were kids I don’t think a day went by without hysterical laughter.
As adults we are skeptical, and to be fair it’s with good reason. Bad shit happens, and as the years build up we start to find things harder to laugh about and trusting becomes more difficult. My scars are adding up, physically and emotionally but I always remind myself that the grass is not greener, I am so blessed and life is good. Even when things don’t go my way, I’m on a mission to trust my path, to constantly be grateful for the good in my life and understand that the good outweighs the bad big time. When I started writing these blogs I thought that it would be a beautiful way of connecting with other moms who’ve been through PPD. To motivate the continuation of life. To promise how things can get better.
For a bit there it was. I was feeling safe and happy, even bored, which I say in a positive way. But then, dun dun duuuun… I was bounced back into the game we call life when I had this vivid flashback. If I knew what was coming, as a kid, I woulda yelled “not it!” but obviously that wasn’t an option.
Rewind to September **
The nurse walks into the room, she was running her usual rounds. “Shalom, I need to take your vitals”. I welcome her in. She takes my blood pressure and temperature, and then says, “Okay, I must do a breast exam, protocol”. I’m instantly confused because I don’t see the point of a breast exam. I mean, I’m here because of this redonculous virus, not mastitis. But since I never turn down a free massage, I let her do the exam. At this point, I’d been in the hospital for a couple of days and hadn’t nursed or pumped the twins. I was engorged to say the least. Anyone who’s skipped a couple nursing sessions knows how painful and knotted it feels. She goes through the typical exam… “What’s this?” She says. I feel what she points out. “Oh, nothing… I just haven’t nursed, I have knots everywhere”. “Are you sure?” she replies. “Yes” I quickly respond, focused on how uncomfortable the exam was and wanting it to end. She smiled and left the room trusting me that I knew my body.
Fast forward to March **
Months have passed, and Thank Gd the PPD has left the building for the most part. Every so often, it blows in like a gust of wind but then, thankfully, it’s gone before I can say, “F*, “% off”. Things are good, I’m good, kids are good, you get the point. We were looking into moving into a new, bigger place. Ian was doing great at work, and things were looking up.
One evening, I figured I’d grab a quick shower before the twins woke from their nap. While I washed my hair this random memory of what happened in the hospital pops up (see above – *rewind). I figure it couldn’t hurt to do a quick self breast exam. To my surprise, that same lump the nurse pointed out in the hospital was still very much there. Except this time, I wasn’t engorged. The lump was big. It didn’t hurt and felt very planted to my chest wall. Still though, I wasn’t worried. Breast cancer doesn’t run in my family, as far as I know.
Later that evening, I pointed it out to my husband. “Do you feel this?” I asked. He looks at me with big eyes, “umm, yeah!”, “How long have you had that? RUTH, get that checked out”.
I pushed it off a couple of weeks until Ian tattled to my SIL, whom I love. She gave me her best Moroccan guilt stare. “Rut, get to the doctor”. I made an appointment with my doctor for a week later and thank Gd I did.
To be continued…