Not Alone

Sculpture by Lele Galer

This fall, I found a painful lump in my breast. I always heard pain was a good sign but I am not a doctor, so I’ve essentially been freaking out for a few weeks. It’s been hard to stay focused and staying off-Google, but I eventually scheduled a mammogram yesterday to get some piece of mind. I was dreading having to go to the exam on my own but through a twist of fate, I did not.

At the 2016 DC Chocolate Festival, a volunteer named Barb heard about me and we’ve been in touch ever since. She’s been very supportive of my endeavors and I feel like we’ve known each other for years. Yesterday, she drove one hour from Maryland to meet me at Philter Coffee so she could purchase two Map Chocolate bars I brought back from the Northwest Chocolate Festival in Seattle. When I excused myself because for the mammogram, she offered to come with me because “you shouldn’t go through this alone.” You bet I accepted. Barb waited for me for 2 1/2 hours in the waiting room and, after the reassuring news came, we went back to Philter to chat and relax.

Success means different things for different people. To me, it’s always been about friendships and relationships. A number of likes on a photo or likers on a page, even the number of zeros on a bank account suddenly mean nothing if you have to go through difficult things alone. Thank you, Barb, for being there for me yesterday.

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10 thoughts on “Not Alone

  1. Very relieved to read that there is only good news from the exam. My heart goes to you in retrospect for the anxiety the pain and worries brought you. Always be well, dear friend!

  2. Thank you for having the courage to post this personal information, because you may save lives doing so. I’m delighted to hear of your good outcome. Thank God. And let’s take the gift of this opportunity to encourage women to get their annual mamograms/sonograms and do regular breast self exams. Don’t know how to do one? Ask your doctor. Research on line but always check that your information and procedures are correct with your doctor.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and I am relieved to go back to thinking about writing and chocolate. I was nervous to tell Barb where I was heading, my instinct was to just say I had a doctor appointment, but opening up meant she offered to be there. It’s tempting to put on a good face during difficult times but, when we are honest, we give people a chance to help.

  3. oh Estelle! so happy for you that you had Barb with you–she is 100% right. And I find it incredibly brave that you accepted her thoughtful offer…so many times it is easy to “fear” we might be a bother to someone, but in truth, when we let someone help us we are giving them the gift of being necessary, useful, and the chance to truly become a friend. xxoo

    1. Hi Mackenzie and thanks for the kind words. The hardest part for me was actually to tell her what I was up to, my first instinct was to downplay the whole situation but I so wanted to have a friend there! That said, you bring up a good point, we all want to be a good friend, be useful, and know that we matter. I hadn’t seen Barb’s side until your comment, so thank you!

  4. Estelle,

    I am so happy that your mammogram was alright and that you had someone with you. Barb sounds like a very special person and a very dear friend.


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