My Victory Lap
Last year, on August 1, I went for my yearly mammogram. I didn't think anything of it - I wasn't experiencing anything, everything felt fine and normal, so it was no big deal.
The next day, they called and said they saw something strange on my films, but not to worry - could I come in the following day and have a diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound, just to check everything out and be sure it was nothing?
So on the morning of August 3, I went back. No one would tell me anything, or show me my mammogram and point out what looked odd. No one would even answer my questions beyond "We just need to check something." They basically just moved me in and out like I was a box on a conveyor belt. To say that the whole experience was unsettling and anxiety-inducing would be an understatement.
I waited all day for the phone to ring. We were due to leave for a week's vacation at Atlantic City - a place I'd never been and was looking forward to seeing - and I just wanted to put this behind me and enjoy the beach and the casinos with the confirmation that I was healthy and okay.
No call for the next couple days. My love and I got into the car and set off for New Jersey believing that if something had truly looked alarming on the second round of tests, we would've heard by then.
Several hours later, as we were entering downtown Philadelphia - almost within a stone's throw of Atlantic City - my phone rang. It was them. All they would tell me was that the "abnormality" was still showing on the second mammogram and ultrasound, and I needed to come in and meet with the doctor. When we hung up and I Googled the doctor's name, I discovered she was a breast surgeon.
Imagine arriving at your vacation destination - away from the comforts of home, family, and friends - with the possibility that you might have cancer hanging over your head, and being stuck living with that for nearly an entire week, with no way of getting any answers or reassurance.
That "vacation" was hell.
As we all know now, I *did* have cancer. And when we got the official diagnosis, I told my love that when it was all over, I wanted to go back to Atlantic City. I wanted to stay in the same airbnb. I wanted to do the same things we'd tried to enjoy before. I even wanted to go the same time of year. It would be my victory lap. He promised me we would.
Earlier this summer, he contacted the owners of the airbnb we'd booked on the Boardwalk and asked if they still rented the place out. When they said they did, he told them the whole story. Not only did they agree to book us for the same week in August, but they added on an extra night for free.
Now THAT is anything but routine!
We'll be there next week. I have a feeling that when we get there, I'm going to cry again, just like I did last year. At least this time, it'll be happy tears! I can't wait to finally have the fun Atlantic City vacation we were hoping to have before.
There's no work allowed on this trip, so the laptop is staying at home! I'll see you in a couple of weeks!