Fear and Waiting

I am scared. I am scared. And I am scared.

In the middle of January, I notice a bruise on my right breast. Periodically I get mystery bruises, and I figure that I walked into something in my garage or garden.

One week later, a small lump rises on the bruise. Okay, I’m a klutz. No biggie.

Two weeks later, the lump and bruise merge into a larger purple mass. When I finally see the transformation, a chill sweeps through my body.

Oh shit, not again.

                                                    * * * * *

I call Kaiser (my HMO.) “There’s a lump on my breast and I need to schedule an ultrasound.” I am told that someone from Radiology will call within 48 hours. I sit at home waiting.

On the eighth day, when I take my car into the mechanic, Radiology finally calls. I phone back as soon as I get home. I call back every single day for the next five days. “There’s a rapidly growing lump on my breast. I need to schedule an ultrasound.”

From my first phone call, it takes two weeks before I speak to Radiology. Two weeks of heart palpitations and sometimes not being able to breathe. Two weeks of waking up from nightmares in which my body is covered in large purple lesions. Two weeks of watching the lump grow.

Two weeks is an unconscionable amount of time to make someone wait for a phone call.

Author: MeredithLaskow

Artist, writer, and unrepentant nerd girl.

18 thoughts on “Fear and Waiting”

  1. Two weeks of waiting and playing phone tag is excruciating and inexcusable. I’m so sorry you had to go through that on top of going through the fear and agony of knowing this thing is invading and growing inside of your body while you’re forced to wait.

  2. Good morning Meredith. I’m so sorry to hear that you are facing this again. I hope writing about what you’re going through will be helpful not only for you but other women facing this assault on their body. And dealing with the medical establishment is a whole other assault that needs the light shined on its dark reality. I’m sending lots of healing light and prayers your way but if I can do anything else please let me know.

    1. Thanks so much Elaine! As you know, I’ve always written when I needed to make sense of life. Please share this blog if you think it will help anyone 🙂 Right now I can use all the healing light and prayers I can get, so maybe pass that on too.

  3. Oh my gracious. I am so sorry you are facing this again. I and I’m sure many others are praying for a miraculous healing at this very moment and we will continue until you are past this huge hurdle.
    As you may remember, I was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma and leukemia almost six years ago. There is no known cure, but three oncologists prescribed chemo and radiation which ‘might’ extend my life for eighteen months.
    I pursued another course including some Native American herbs and a raw vegan diet which along with prayer apparently have kept me in remission until recently when symptoms increased.
    I am pursuing another (expensive) herbal solution. If you would like to hear more, I can share, but you know the best course of treatment for your body and should pursue it though keeping your body strong is critical.
    Hang in there. This is just a battle, it is not the war. You have fought this battle before and won. With the prayer and love of people all over the world, you can win again.
    We are sending you the great weapons of love and prayers.

    1. Thank you so much, Janis ♥ Yes, I’ve been aware of your journey, too, and keep you in my thoughts and prayers as well. My diet is 90-95% vegan, with occasional dairy or fish. I don’t know a lot about herbs but I’m open to suggestions, and if you have links or info, please send. This chemo is different from the last time, so I’m re-learning what works best for my body.

  4. For two days I have read, read, and re-read everything you have posted and also the caring responses you have received. I’ve typed, erased, typed…bla…bla. I wanted my thoughts in print to reach out to you and lift you.

    Then it hit me….just tell it like it is. This is more valuable.

    Mom is a 15-year breast cancer survivor and on Monday she will be 88. Like you, she is strong and independent and for Pete’s sake, don’t every tell her she “can’t.” You are cut of the same cloth.

    I want throw in phrases like “oh, it will get better,” or “everything is going to be fine.” Just this…I believe if anyone can beat this, it is you.

    There’s good, positive thoughts coming at you daily. You have my prayers and of course, tons of love, my dear and special friend. Oh…and Mom. She is sending her best as well.

  5. Dear Meredith,
    Thanks for setting up this blog. You are my friend and I will continue to pray for you and your health.
    I look forward to getting together with the ladies and you while I am in CA. How about June 22?
    “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
    Love and prayers, Charlotte

  6. Meredith,
    Waiting is horrific, especially when you are anxious and afraid. I am so sorry for what you are going through right now. If you can, expect the best outcome and stay calm. Easy to say and difficult to do. My best to you. AnnO

  7. Divine Ms. M…
    So sorry you’re going through this. I’ve read what the others have said and ditto their concerns.
    Stay strong. And know you are not alone. So many people go through so many things; each person has their own burdens to carry. Lots of people care about you. And lots of people wish you well.
    Blessings…

    1. Thanks so much Bonnie! Yes, the older we get, the more likely it is that we have had “something,” or someone close to us has had something serious. For better or worse, it’s the way of life.

  8. Hi Meredith. We haven’t seen each other since High School umpteen years ago. But I want to express my concern & anger/outrage. Concern for your well being & anger/outrage for your HMO. That was inhumane to make you wait so long, especially since ‘time is of the essence’ & making you even more distraught than you were already. HMOs suck! One of my sons lives in LA. I’m probably going in October for my grandson’s 4th birthday. I’d love to see you when I’m there. Until then, I’ll be following your blog & saying a prayer every night for your speedy recovery!

  9. Hi Meredith,
    How are you doing? You are in my prayers.
    I hope you are getting good treatment.

    We are doing well here in OK.
    I am looking forward to being at the dinner on June 22.
    It would be great if you could be there.
    Let’s hope for the best.
    Lots of Love!

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