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  • Micheline Lemay

Climbing a new mountain

Updated: Jun 28

This may not be a mountain on my bucket list or heck let’s be honest - it was on the do not climb- avoid at all costs lists but it is one that the universe decided to throw right in my face with no warning signs.


I love adventure and activity. I have had my fair share of accidents and injuries that have slowed me down- that’s a different book, but needless to say I have faced challenge. I’ve layed on the couch plenty of times after knee surgeries crying wondering when I would be back to the Michy that makes me feel full and enjoy life. I have faced adversity, challenge and had to remain patient and focused during recoveries. Here I was for the first time in a decade where I was back!! I’m talking full on back doing all the activities I love ~ skinning and skiing everyday this winter and mountain biking and nature walking every day this spring. I would have to pinch myself most days to make sure I was really here. It is the most whole and stable I have felt in my mind, body and soul In my entire life.


About a month ago I was getting ready to head out on a MTB ride. As I was rushing around my room pulling clothes from my towering laundry piles I found my favorite jog bra. As I put it on I was simultaneously reaching for my hair pony and snap! The bra smacked and landed down mid boob. As I went to shimmy it down I felt something- like a lump! WTF? Weird so I go in for the check- oh right I have supposed to be checking these for years… oops. Yeah this was a lump I’m talking a hard grape sized lump. Textbook. I finished getting ready, wrote on my hand call the doc and headed out on my ride.


Dirty, sweating and smiling I started driving home and saw the faint and smudged call the doc reminder. I call in… after lots of rings and the classic due to Covid-19 we are experiencing higher than average call volumes blah blah you know the drill. Once I get a receptionist on the phone I explain what is going on. Annual checkups are booked months out but she gets me in for a lump check in a couple weeks.


I wasn’t worried, I didn’t tell anyone. Igor was out in Colorado and I knew it wasn’t worth telling him as before I knew it he would be flying back East with a medi-vac team. It will be fine.


I get to my check up- the doctor confirms that I should get a mammogram and ultrasound - I was due for one anyway as like most of us missing our annual checkups during Covid was just the norm. It would have to be a diagnostic exam - and I was stressing over the deductible but you gotta do what you gotta do. She assured me that although we will proceed with all tests to remember that cysts are very common as well as benign lumps and dense tissue. Ok, ok.


I had gotten my first mammogram at 40 because my mom had breast cancer at 60. She hounded me and my sisters to stay on top this one. Thanks mom. I did get a call back on my first one about a year and a half ago. Igor and I were driving down to NYC for a small get away. Actually he was going to the Australian embassy to renew his passport, another side story. We get away about once a year so we were full guns blazing for a fun time! When the call came in for a second scan I was in a full sweat… we didn’t let it spoil our trip in fact we may have lived even a little larger knowing the eminent realities. Upon the recheck the diagnostic team felt between the mammogram and ultrasound that it was a small lump showing no suspicious properties- phew!

Here I was back in the mammogram room. I remember that it was not a very pleasant feeling getting your boobs squashed to the high heavens! Holy shit balls that hurts! I’m talking take your breath away uncontrollable tear dropping hurts. I’m sure that I was a little more anxious than the first time but WOW! I will definitely be taking some preemptive Advil next time. Then into the ultrasound room. After a few checks the team concurs that there are some suspicious properties and I should get a biopsy just to make sure. I also just have to side note this by saying that my 13 year old daughter had fallen mountain biking the evening before - double compound open fracture of the forearm. Between mountain rescue, ambulance, ER and emergency after hours surgery I hadn’t left the hospital until midnight the night before. Atleast the deductible was taken care of, thanks Sof. After just a few hours of disrupted sleep next to her on the floor I had to get her meds in her and head off to this appointment at 8:30am. Emotions were all over the place. I will also note how amazing each person was from soup to nuts on caring for my girl. We are so lucky to live in a town with such amazing intelligent and caring people.


I hoped in my mindful mobile with a little more worry in my heart and mind. Oh shit this could be bad...






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