This past week was a doozy. To start, I was PMSing big time, which always has an extreme effect on my emotional state. When some women PMS, they get bitchy, make snide comments and want to eat everything in sight. When I PMS, I become sad, needy, paranoid and hopeless. I doubt everything from my relationships (if I’m in one), to my friendships (why hasn’t “so-and-so” called me in so long? Does she not like me anymore?), to my writing ability (one of my reviews said A State of Jane took entirely too long to get to the point? Is that true? Surely all of the positive reviews were lies), to my physical appeal (Do I look fat? I look fat, don’t I?), everything. I try to talk myself off of the ledge, i.e. “I know I get this way when I’m PMSing, just ride through it and wait until Aunt Flo arrives. The cramps will take the place of the exploding hormones.” It usually works, but coupled with everything else that went down this week, it’s been rough. I know you want to know what went down this week so here it is. Wait for it. Wait for it…
- This time last week, I was on top of the world. I had just signed a contract with Booktrope Publishing for my third novel, Blogger Girl. The book is about, you guessed it, a blogger! I will be sharing more details about Blogger Girl in the near future so stay tuned. Naturally, I was in a great mood until I spoke to my mother who told me that Gypsy, my sister’s Golden Retriever, was very ill. I had seen Gypsy over Mother’s Day and thought something was off with her. She clung to my leg and just didn’t move. Gypsy was always the cuddling type. She loved to be hugged and kissed but this last time, she just attached herself to my leg and stayed there as if she needed my leg to hold her up. Additionally, rather than planting herself under the kitchen table during dinner to lap all of the food that fell to the floor because we’re all a bunch of slobs (Well, most of us. Okay, mostly me), Gypsy stayed in her own corner of the kitchen. It was not like her at all. I was concerned but hoped it was just because she was getting older. Unfortunately, it was more serious than that. The vet told my sister that Gypsy had bleeding tumors and she was put to sleep on Monday morning. I was (and still am) devastated. I never had a pet growing up and am waiting to move into a larger apartment or have a more “stay-at-home” lifestyle before getting a puppy of my own. Gypsy was the closest thing I had to a dog and I loved her so much. I don’t want to spend too much time talking about her because my pain cannot even begin to compare to what my sister and her children are going through. Gypsy was a direct member of their family and her absence has left a giant hole in their home.
- If losing Gypsy wasn’t enough to endure this week, I also had my first mammogram on Wednesday. I’ve been terrified about the mammogram for months to the point where my sister was worried that I was making myself sick over it. We do not have a history of breast (or any) cancer in my family, aside from my paternal grandmother who got it at 70 and still lived past 90; my internist did not feel a lump when doing her routine breast exam only a month ago; and there was no reason for me to think I had cancer. Nevertheless, I was extremely frightened to the point where I had to change the television channel each time there was an advertisement for the Revlon Walk for Breast Cancer. My mother knew I was anxious and offered to come with me to which I responded with an enthusiastic, “Yes, please!” Unfortunately, the appointment was at 11:30 and my mom’s bus into the city didn’t arrive until after 11. I had already been through the test by the time she arrived so I had no one to calm my nerves ahead of time. To be honest, I don’t think my mother being in the waiting room with me would have made the experience less traumatic, but I sure did appreciate the offer. The tight embrace we shared afterwards was comforting enough. I love you, Mom! Anyway, for those of you who have had mammograms, you know it is not a pleasant experience. I received mixed comments from people about the pain. My sister said it wasn’t that painful, just uncomfortable pressure. A friend of mine said it hurt A LOT. My opinion is somewhere in between. The pain was bearable and all I really cared about was getting a clean bill of health at the end. I was kind of in a daze throughout the process. My legs were visibly shaking and the technician’s calming words went in one ear and out the other. I did feel a sense of relief when it was over although I was worried about the results. More on that later.
- After the mammogram, my mom and I walked to Macy’s where I purchased a pair of shoes for Book Buzz New York City, an author event being held at Stone Creek Bar & Lounge on Thursday, May 30th. I’m not going to pitch the event in this blog but if you want more information, check out the website here: http://bookbuzz2013.wordpress.com/ The shoes were the highlight of my day, along with my mom’s bear hug. The rest of the day was pretty painful as I had to spend it visiting a member of my family in a place I hope to never see again. I won’t go into details because I think some things are better left private but I can tell you it was awful. So awful that when I got home, I immediately opened a bottle of wine and smoked a cigarette. I’m not a full-time smoker but I do partake from time to time and this was one of those times when I couldn’t fight the urge.
- I woke up Thursday morning ready to put Wednesday behind me and enjoy the new day but my phone rang at 10am with a number I didn’t recognize. I answered with a shaky voice already worried about who it was and my instincts were correct. It was my doctor. Now, don’t freak out (although I did). The doctor said that the results of the mammogram were not conclusive because the images were not clear (or something like that). She said it wasn’t urgent but she wanted me to have additional images taken and would be sending a new prescription in the mail. She told me I did not need to be concerned as this was very common for first mammograms and that they just want clear base-line images. Despite her words, the call (assisted by my PMS) drove me directly into my boss’s office where I proceeded to cry. He told me that his wife and sister have needed additional images many times and there was nothing to worry about. My sister said the same thing and a few of my friends said they went through the same experience. They made me feel better although I’m still crazy scared, I’m not going to lie.
So, that was my shitty week in a nutshell. I’d like to thank the people who reached out to me and asked if I wanted to talk, go for drinks etc. The support sometimes came from unexpected sources and I do appreciate it. I’m happy to say that I have crossed to the other side. I got my period this morning and while I require 3 Alleves every eight hours for my cramps, at least I am in a much better emotional state. I’m able to appreciate all of the wonderful things in my life, the people who love me, my upcoming book release etc. I still miss Gypsy terribly and always will and I remain anxious about the follow-up ultrasound on my breasts but I am better able to put things into prospective. I will try to enjoy the next month until PMS comes along again to rear its ugly head!
RIP Gypsy Rigotty – we love you and always will. XOXO.