I looked at my last post and it was a month ago. Sorry about being MIA. I've been finishing a new book due out before the end of October and I've been flattening my butt with writing that.
I'm excited -- more details coming soon. Promise!
Anywho...so, it was time to take the girls in for their check-up. Not because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month but because I was going to do it this Spring and then we had four friends of ours pass in five months time. Huge. Consuming. Followed by an unexpected move this summer. Huge and consuming in its own way.
It was time.
But you know me: I'm a little unconventional and I was going in for an ultrasound and not a mammogram.
Which is always a little tricky when you have a cache of doctors in your life, some traditional, some naturopathic and some really woo-woo. i love them all and they all have a valuable place in my healing journey.
But I had a sneaky suspicion that this had the possibility of being problematic, especially when I entered the Breast Care Center at Hoag Hospital. Hoag is a lovely facility. Many of my doctor and nurse friends work there. My husband had his appendix out there when we were dating. Both my kids were born there. My dad died there. I have a lot of history and respect.
When I got to the front desk and they saw the prescription for the ultrasound, they figured there was a mistake, "No mistake. I would prefer the ultrasound." The woman at the desk processed that information and I had to create a special waiver, since they didn't have one there, stating that I was willingly refusing to have irradiated boobies.
I happened to ask the name of the radiologist on that day. She said the name, I smiled and said, "Oh how fun. I taught his daughter singing lessons years ago, preparing her for her B'at Mitzvah."
The woman smiled a more relaxed smile, maybe realizing I was more human than alien despite not wanting the mammogram. She said, "I'll request that he read your labs then." I smiled back. "That would be great, thanks."
I sat, waiting for my turn and saw a big information flyer declaring, "Thermography is NOT a Substitute for Mammography."
Okay. I'm a believer in Thermography. And I'm a believer in conservative, strategic Mammography. I see the merits of both. I've had a mammogram once, at 40. And here's the thing: I had peace to do it.
And that's what I'm moving forward in my life: Doing things from a place of Love, Wisdom and Peace and not a fear driven thing.
That's why when people ask me my advice on vaccines, food, or procedures my answer is the same, "I am not you and you are not me. I can share my story and why I'm walking in this certain wisdom but at the end of the day, you have to do what's peace to you."
I don't want you to feel shamed by me and I don't want to feel shamed by you.
So, back to my bubbies: when I did my mammogram at 40 they said, "You have to come back for an ultra sound." And you know what the technician told me? It wasn't because they saw something, it was because of my family history of breast cancer. So, fine. I went for the ultrasound and thankfully everything was fine.
So, since then, I've chosen to have ultrasounds instead. Why? Because it's not radiation to the boobalas and it's where they're going to send me anyway if they're concerned. Neither are a perfect science but if I get to choose, I choose this.
I was moved to a dressing room and given a robe that one would find in a spa. I love living in Newport Beach. Truly. It's the bomb.
And then, I waited. I watched women come and go who got there after me. I had this little inkling, "They're going to throw the big guns at me."
So, I sat and reminded myself of my intention: To be inspiration, wisdom and love in the world. And to shift whatever energy was brought to me to a higher vibration. Rock often says to me, "I think you've created an intention to be 'refreshing' because if I had a nickel for every person who said that to you, Stacey, we'd have our own private island by now."
Sure enough they sent in the troops. In the form of a big, no-nonsense woman named "Kate" (name changed for both of us.)
She took me into the back room and told me to lie down. She started right in, "Why aren't you getting a mammogram today?" She was gruff.
Now, I realize I could have answered, "It's none of your fucking business, and you're out of line." But I didn't because life is my opportunity and you don't create a higher vibration by creating a negative one. I really believe the opportunity was waiting for us in the conversation.
I told her, "I'm very conservative about the amount of radiation I get. I prefer the ultrasound."
She started propping me up and being very daunting, "Well, you know these don't show everything. (I'm thinking 'neither do mammograms') and..."
I said in a clear and kind way, "Kate? Are we going to have an issue today? Because I would really like for this to be a peaceful process and I don't want to get into a debate about our beliefs. I have a huge respect for modern medicine as well as a huge respect for alternative modalities..."
She interrupted me, "Well, no of course not. I just have to ask."
Actually she didn't. Once I signed the waiver, she wasn't required to do anything but perform the test, which I knew but she didn't know I knew.
I fanned my hand over my still-covered chest, "Because this is a very vulnerable process..."
She shifted immediately to a playful way, "You are going to have so much fun with me taking care of your breasts."
I could imagine how many different personalities she's had to deal with: Cranky women, scared women, bossy women, nervous women....oh my god. She and I could probably swap a lot of stories over a bottle of wine.
We were quiet for a minute while she put the gel on the wand.
I said, "You know, I was raised in a lot of fear, had religious beliefs that were based in fear and I've had a lot of health issues that brought up a lot of fear. My heart is to walk in wisdom not fear. It's been quite a journey for me and I always want to keep moving forward in that."
She clicked on the computer in front of her to capture images and nodded, "I understand. My husband died when I was just 45 and he was the best man. I didn't realize how much of life I was trying to control until I lost him. I've been working on that.'
I looked up at her. She was so beautiful.
Her honesty and vulnerability made her look just so beautiful.
We talked about books she liked to read and I told her about the book I'm writing on Hashimoto's. We had a great conversation back and forth.
She was almost done and looked at my chart.
"Oh, you want Dr. Lieberman to read these? Why is that?" I said, "I knew him from years ago. I taught his daughter voice lessons to sing the Hebrew prayers for her B'at Mitzvah."
"Hmm....Okay. Well, I don't know if he'll read them today but I'll see if he can say, 'hi.'
Kate pressed the final screen, handed me some washcloths and said in a reassuring way, "I didn't see anything here that wasn't supposed to be here." That was very generous of her and kind. She didn't have to do that. "We just have to wait for the doctor's final word, of course."
I nodded. I hadn't been worried but that news is always good to hear.
Dr. Lieberman came in. So warm. So kind. With glowing comments about me and how I had served his family. We talked about his wife and grown kids and my husband and young boys. I told him about my counseling and books I write. It was a fun 10 minutes together. I felt Kate watching me and taking the whole exchange in.
The doctor left the room and I stood up to fasten my robe. As I looked up, Kate threw her arms around me in a big hug, "Stacey, it was so nice meeting you. I just want to take your refreshing energy with me all day today." She squeezed me tight and whispered, "Thank you."
I hugged her right back, "Thank you, Kate!" I pulled back and looked in her eyes, "Thank you for taking good care of me today."
She smiled and left.
Kate was my gift. And the moment was my opportunity. To continue being who I want to be in the world and shifting the energy to something that would benefit us both. I'm still learning. Kate is too.
Love and fear have been present in both of our lives.
Today, Love won.
and always will.