There was no lump -- a Breast Cancer blog

This blog is about my experience with Inflammatory Breast Cancer.
You can learn more about Inflammatory Breast Cancer at or

The names of my Doctors have been changed.



Contact me at Liane58 at gmail dot com
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Location: United States

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Thoughts on being a light crier

I’ve always been a light crier. Sometimes I state that a bit differently – sometimes the desensitization that life in our modern world seems to demand is a skill that I am lacking.

Thinking about the health care workers who have been so kind to me in these intimate moments and who I will never see again.

When I had the ultra sound, the room was dimly lit, and thus my tears escaped notice. Or did they? Is it better for them not to be noticed? A sympathetic reaction seems to provoke more tears. Or is it better to acknowledge them, and thus have the expression of human feeling be an exchange of communication, a sharing? I’m having this emotion – is it private, do I want it to be private, or is it a time to offer heartfelt compassion? Gosh, putting it that way, I’ve answered my own question, huh?

After all, I felt silly crying in those medical exams. I’d had ultra-sound before. It’s pretty routine, not scary. Of course what was scary was the thought that it might find something. And the stress – with them peering, looking, like through the periscope in a tense submarine movie, they really expected to find somet

Of course there’s the practicality of my crying being noticed. If I am lying on my back and weeping, I’m going to need some hankies and will need to blow my nose.

What really should someone ask? “Are you ok?” Can I get you anything? (Yes, hankies) Or something reassuring “it’s OK” when of course – it might not be, and anyway, I need those hankies. The gentle squeeze of the shoulder is a nice thing – boy am I noticing that. It’s hard to think that strangers can be caring – after all we spend so much time learning not to trust or believe strangers – even our friends and loved ones – but sometimes people quite simply are.

Could I track down that Irish nurse who squeezed my hand so reassuringly, to thank her?

There is the embarrassment that it is difficult to talk while crying. I mean I don’t want to start sobbing out loud. It’s not a crisis; it is an ordinary moment, in many ways.

There is the odd sensation – the physical sensation of the tears rolling down and pooling in my ears, indeed, filling my ears, drop by drop.

Away from the hospital, from the exam table, I am still capable of surprising myself with crying. Waking up crying just being struck by the realization that I’m sick – I don’t feel sick, I just have to grasp that fact. Wanting to learn more about my cancer, but reading can trigger tears – I am going to go through all this? But I feel so well. As I work to grasp it all, I am just very grateful to have the wonderful support of my family and friends.