‘Don’t Even Think About Coming Back!’

I am not getting on my soap box in this column: I am furious and need to vent!

During these last two months, I’ve been going for all kinds of tests associated with my assorted medical issues: Afib, increased number of red blood cells (had a second phlebotomy), high calcium levels and pulmonary arterial hypertension. They ran a Doppler test on my legs to rule out blood clots (none); breathing tests (normal); and during the first week of February, I’ll do a home sleep study. I’ve done everything I’ve been asked to do, so I’m moving ahead, right?

Last week, I went for a lung CT scan with contrast. It was fast and not uncomfortable; the technician walked me back to the reception area and advised that the doctor would be in touch with the results of the scan. She called me the very next day. There were no abnormalities in the lungs, some tiny nodules, no clots—but still no explanation for the shortness of breath I’ve been experiencing. However, she did notice a “thickening” or “shading” in my left breast. Uh huh, I had a lumpectomy in April 2014. You remember it well, don’t you? That’s when Ruthie’s Brigade was born. Now what?

Sign Up for E-News

Then the one-two punch: the doctor strongly advised getting a mammogram as soon as possible and a heart catheterization with one of the leading cardiologists at the Westchester Medical Center. I was dazed and numb as I hung up the phone. Then, the anger and frustration set in. I’ve always considered myself calm, strong and pretty much in control during stressful situations. This time, I just let it go.

I didn’t want to deal with cancer again. How dare it come back! Is it trying to test my strength? I don’t think I can go through those horrendous tests again: I had now made this personal. And this catheterization is not a stroll in the park; it is serious stuff. Then, I cried, thought about making a few phone calls (didn’t) and then went out on my deck for a breath of fresh, cool air. No magic solutions; I don’t know what the catheterization procedure is, so I’ll ask questions. I am all too familiar with mammography; maybe the “thickening/shading” is from the radiation in 2014.

So, folks, what am I going to do? I’m gonna put on my big-girl pants, take a couple of deep breaths (I can still do that) and go for all the tests that I need and make decisions just like I always have. I will say this: it was energizing and cleansing to yell, rant and rave and finally have a good cry.

Now that the air is clear, I’m ready to do battle (it’s in my DNA). Are you ready, Ruthie’s Brigade? Let’s go!

Ruthann can be reached at grandmopps@aol.com.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Load Up The Wagon!

We didn’t have the luxury of minivans when the boys were small. What we did have was a 1966 Ford Country Squire station wagon: long, sleek, solid and hunter green with imitation “woodie” trim.

Our wagon was certainly big enough to accommodate three growing boys and a baby in a portable crib (anchored down on the back seat) with plenty of room to spare.  This set-up ...

Twelve-score and one year ago

Last week, on the 4th of July, America turned 241 years old. Did you bring a birthday present? What do you get for the country that has everything? It has amber waves of grain, it has purple mountain majesties, it has oceans white with foam. Most of these  assets are highly leveraged to the Chinese at the moment, so you’d better get out and see them now because they’re planning ...

Cell phones: A boon or a bust?

We’ve all had the experience of being “butt-dialed,” a euphemism for your pocket-held cell phone accidentally pressing someone else’s number. My granddaughter, Shanna, has unknowingly called me from parties at 2 a.m. I’ve enjoyed listening in on many of her celebrations and sometimes even joined in the fun when being discovered on her phone.

My most recent cell ...

A (Burnt) Toast to Love and Marriage, on the Rocks

In its first few moments, sitcom-style comedy “Clever Little Lies” grabs audience attention right away, with one of the most revealing wardrobe changes you’ll ever see on stage. It is done modestly but just provocatively enough to elicit vocal appreciation from amused patrons.

The fast-paced play, starring Richard Kline of TV comedy classic “Three’s ...

The Adventures of Superdog

I was always very impressed that my dog could bark on command and come when I called his name, until I read in the newspaper about a dog that saved his owner’s life by calling 9-1-1. Apparently, when his owner had a seizure, the dog pushed a speed-dial button for 9-1-1, barked into the receiver for help, and then opened the door when the responders arrived.

Honestly, though, it’s ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, July 17, 1:00 PM

Yorktown Heights




Tue, July 24, 1:00 PM

Yorktown Heights



Sat, July 28, 6:30 PM

Weil Preserve, North Salem

Jazz in the Meadow with Bill Evans

Arts & Entertainment Other