A Breasty Situation

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“You will need to return for a sonogram” were words strung together and thrown at me. Me. Clearly she didn’t know who I was. I’m a doctor. I’m a warrior mom. And our type don’t get … nevermind.

Secretly, I’ve always thought that those multiple breast jabs and elbow stabs that I’ve endured from my dual-diagnoses, Autism/ADHD, son was bound to show up on a scan somewhere. He is relentless.

But true to my profession, I’ve ignored “self-care” and the phone call. Not to mention, it took nearly an act of Congress to get me to the Mammogram. My doctor sent me that prescription in all forms but a telegram. It eventually got done. And again, true to my profession, I strongly recommend you getting one.

But now they want me back. Oh for heaven’s. What for?

Alright. Let’s run the possibilities.

1)It’s fake. The results are fake news. Aka, artifact, aka scars (thank you, Nolan), aka plain-ole tissue density. Yea. Yipeee! All because I paid the extra $75 for 3-D imaging in search of every spec. And … thinking deeply … paying for that kind of test kinda means that I do want to know. Doesn’t it? Moving on.

2)It’s real. The results are truly news. Aka, not artifact. Aka, not scars. Aka not plain-ole breast tissue density. Alright. I’m breathing. Then what the heck is it?

Let me ask you a question? Have you ever taken a photo of a pond, through a screen door and then converted it to a black and white photo and then tried to determine what kind of bug was flying by as you snapped the shot? Neither have I.

But you would be close in saying that it was a flying insect as opposed to a leaping frog. I’m also sure that it would be challenging to say that it was a yellow jacket and not a bee.

To be certain, you would have had to be by the pond and notice the bee and the hive up close in person. In medicine – we would akin that to a tissue biopsy.

But the nice thing about imaging, whether it be a picture or a mammogram, is that it gives you a very good idea of what you are looking at. Aka, it’s a flying bug or it’s a mass that does not look like the surrounding tissue. The limitations, however, are such that it cannot be specific.

Yet, here I sit, tooled with knowledge, having not made that phone call.

Is it because 2 years ago, I went through the same and the follow-up sonogram was negative and now I’m complacent? Or is it because I’m a dual-diagnoses autism/ADHD mom and I have a plethora of annoyances that leaves me too drained to drive? Or is it that I’m using my love of blogging to procrastinate?

Yes.

Seated with you, in the office, hearing you rattle off the above, I would level with you and say “Stop making excuses.”

And would likely have gone on to saying something like “The sick you is of no good to the busy you or to your life’s priorities. So, make the call. Get your screening done. Complete your follow-up.”

Pausing for effect. And my own thoughts.

What’s my final action? Thanks for the talk. I’m ready now. My booth is waiting. I’m off to make that call. Cue the soundtrack to Super-Doctor-Mommy!

The Home Run

In a world beyond my right now but within my hands reach, I energetically scribbled across the page. Pearls of wisdom poured from the podium and flooded my brain. A headache. I felt it coming on.  Clutching my coffee cup tighter than I need to, I settled in to becoming a #Harvardwriter.

The next 3 days delivered as promised.

I drank from its thunderous downpour of power-packed content. I learned of the wonders of deadlines, of the secrets to maintaining motivation and of the magic of the couch.

But should I say hello? The density of genius that packed the room was at infinitum. The Harvard Medical School Course on Writing, Publishing and Social Media for Healthcare Professionals attracted physicians, psychologist and healthcare professionals world-wide. And there I sat, one of them, yet, in awe.

Then someone approached and said “Hello.”

Staying in the moment and connecting with thought-leaders had fueled my pre-conference decision to ditch the laptop from my things-to-pack list. But regret gnawed at the grey matter of brain until it was jolted by that in-the-moment MOMENT.

Did I just hear that? Did Dr. Julie Silver, Director of the course and author extraordinaire, just offer up a momentous opportunity, on a larger than life podium, at the Fairmont Plaza, for a #HarvardWriter inductee, to pitch a book idea, on the fly, in front of an accomplished panel of authors, editors, agents, coaches, publishers and social media judges while in a packed ball room? What the what?

Catapulted by my initiates, I stood before giants. And seized the day. My book is coming out tomorrow.

Okay, no it’s not.

But unknowingly,  being consciously present as the audience of pitch-practiced authors, as they braved the ice-cold world of engaging the publishers, had taught me how to land the 70-second elevator pitch.

I had 23 out of 23 judges at “No! Don’t pee there!”

Ok. You had to be there. But that laptop-free session became my pitch-on-the-fly prep and I was ready to change my world.

Magnetic people interactions were my destiny. A midnight dinner with the author of the book, “I’m not a Princess, I’m a complete fairytale”. A reminiscing stroll with the author of “Hindsight: Coming of age on the streets of Hollywood”- a book worthy of Netflix, Energizing conversations with Blogger and Twitter Top-Voice, Dr. Melissa Welby,  group selfies on a backdrop fit for social media rounded my stay as I  watched starry eyed writers, published professionals and accomplished doctors dream.

Slouched in exhaustion and dizzy from the weekend’s speed, I sought refuge on seating tucked deep into the lobby.  The bustling noises had faded and I now dreamt of home. I listened as steps pattered close behind me and heard someone say “I’m so glad that we met.” Uncurled from the cough, barefoot on the floor, I stood and smiled widely. The last person to wish me good bye that weekend was none other that Dr. Nilsy Rapalo. The same someone who started my weekend with “Hello.”

It was magical. It must have been the couch.

When Life Is Overwhelming

We all pride ourselves on being busy. We have a calendar of things to do. It imparts importance. You’ve got places to be and days to seize. You have arrived! And your status in life is clearly evident by your hasty, hourly, hoping from one happening spot to another.

But what do you do when life, repetitively, places you in 2 places at once? How do you, repetitively, chose to perform one priority task over another? What are your actual decisions when faced, daily, with conflicting social, personal and career responsibilities?

Enduring an overwhelming situation, temporarily, is par for the course but when there seems to be no light at the end of the tunnel and decision-fatigue sets in, where do you turn?

The short answer is … you fall to your knees in prayer.

Your path is already known. And God has already made a way.

Simply put …this is only a test.

(Spoiler Alert … your heavenly father determines your score. And he has already said that if you just take the test, you will pass. It’s all in the bag. It’s fixed! No jail time. )

So this is a test. This is only a test of your Emergency Faith in Operations Needs. And you need more faith. But, not to worry, it’s free. It’s handed out every time that you pray. It just … falls from the sky.

Had this been a true emergency, you would have only seen one foot print in the sand. http://www.footprints-inthe-sand.com/index.php?page=Poem/Poem.php

For now, you have to walk. After all, it’s still a test.

It’s your open-book test. It’s your use every resource around you test. It’s your ask the Lord for all the answers test. It’s your call a life-line test. It’s your YOU-WILL-NOT-FAIL test.

So come boldly before the thrown of grace and ask for the answers. Hebrew 4:16 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews+4%3A16&version=NKJV

Because life becoming overwhelming … is only a test.

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