Kindness is such a powerful transformative energy:
I remember the technician during my follow up screening who saw my distress after waiting 45 minutes for the ultrasound results. It was difficult for me to even ask for help because of my fear of what I was about to learn. Sensing this, she left her administrative desk position and gently walked my husband and me back to a consultation room to meet with the radiologist where they confirmed that I had a mass that would require a biopsy. The nurse never left our side, calmly explained next steps, and handed me a tissue box as I began to feel my life sliding off of its normal path.
I remember my first appointment with my primary care doctor (PCP) after the confirmation of the mass. He immediately abandoned medical protocol and simply sat down and asked me, "How are you doing? How are you feeling?" His kindness penetrated through the intellectual exercise of cancer - straight to my heart.
I remember 6-days after my biopsy my PCP calling me from his Christmas vacation to tell me the results were not what we had hoped for - that I had Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. He was so gentle and fully present in that moment.
I remember the radiology tech, who assisted with my Savi Scout placement having my blood all over her hands as my hematoma bled down my side. Once the bleeding stopped, I remember her signal testing, relentlessly searching for and wanting to hear the soft click of the chip signal - almost more than I did. I remember her hug as I left the appointment and her looking at my husband as she said, "She was really brave today."
I remember the surgical nurse who, when she realized I was chilled, set up a hose with warm air in a way that would blow under my surgical gown. I remember seeing her severe scars above her breast, just visible inside her scrubs - she had endured, she knew. I remember her gentleness as she expertly inserted the IV and administered the pre and post surgical protocol and genuinely wished me well for the treatment that was to come.
I remember the radiology tech who held my hand and hugged me, to comfort me, after the painful radioactive injection into my areola.
I remember the kind attention with which the radiologist did my CT scan before every radiation appointment to ensure my Savi device was still in place. I also remember his colleague who competently and gently attached all seven of the Savi catheters - quick, efficient, and painless. Both of these individuals celebrated my journey of completing radiation treatment throughout the week.
I remember my husband. Ever present, ever faithful. Not once did he veer away from the difficult to hear, see, or experience. In fact, during the worst moments he leaned into the situation, ensuring I knew I was not alone.