There is Nothing Wrong With Needing Support

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I have a confession to make.  Do you know I didn’t know how to spell the word “mammogram” until I found the lump in my breast.    I guess it’s because I have never had one and have never had to type the word before.

Today I went to have the lump I found checked out.  I found a lump in my breast on Monday and had an appointment booked to get it checked out Wednesday.  The doctor felt it to and referred me to get a mammogram and ultrasound on Friday.  Today is Friday.

I went to The Breast Center in Fayetteville.  I was shaking as I entered the building, but I held my composure.  Actually, the entire day I was on edge.  I feel sorry for those close to me because I wasn’t myself and I wasn’t very nice because I was so stressed out.  The secretary handed me an iPad that was housed in a pink cover.  I will never forget that pink cover.

I had my first ever mammogram.  It was uncomfortable, but I clenched my teeth as my breasts were squeezed and xrayed.  I knew this was necessary to find out what that lump was that was living in my body.

After the mammogram they had me sit in a tiny room, not comfortable for more than one chair and a small table.  I tried hard to look at the magazines they offered as a way to buy time, but as I was looking at the pages, my mind was elsewhere.  All I could think about was this moment…where I was

It was time for my ultrasound.  The tech looked at the lump for a while.  Then she mentioned that there was another lump they had found during the mammogram, so she looked at that.  She looked at them and looked at them.  She even had me hum.  I hummed and hummed.  Then she said she was going to get the doctor and left the room.  It took everything in me not to cry while she was gone.  The music flowing through the speakers was elevator music, the worst of the worst.  The doctor and the tech came back into the room and looked again at the lump right below and behind my nipple.  They looked and looked and then came to the conclusion that I needed a biopsy to tell me anything more.

I continued to hold my emotions tight and within until after I made my biopsy appointment.  I walked out of the office, motioned to Brad who had been waiting patiently in the waiting room for 2 hours and then broke the floodgates that held my tears letting all of the held up emotions flow from my body.

My shoulders hunched over and sobs took over my body.

I am not one to air the things to the public that are going on in my life.  I never wrote about the fires that devoured my family’s home in San Diego, I never wrote about losing everything and filing for bankruptcy, I haven’t typed one letter about the divorce I am going through and I haven’t told very many people that my girls are in Florida while I live in Arkansas  only seeing them once a month.  I have been in some type of mourning for the past 5 years and I am done hiding my emotions and holding everything in.

This discovery has made me realize that I NEED to communicate and I NEED to release these emotions not only for myself, but for others that may be going through the same things and need some support…just like I do.


  1. I can’t even imagine. Thanks for sharing, and big hugs to you, my friend.

  2. Wow – stay strong, lady. You have a lot of friends and a lot of people wishing you well. I know it’s hard to open up about things like this. I’m so proud of you for having the courage to write this post!

  3. Courtney, you have been a woman that i have admired and respected for a long time, and I never knew these things!
    As you can tell by my posts in SF, I have only opened up in that community, it has been a safe place for me, I felt and was afraid that it was too much bad things to post about, but in the end, it’s finding our online friends and support that gets us through the toughest of times. Having been through everything i have been in these last few years, please know that I am always here for yu, wether for a quick chat and giggle, or a long cry fest, we always need those ;)
    love you!!

    • Courtney R says:

      You are so right Lily. The online support is what helped me open up and release some of the things that I have been burdened with for some time now. I finally decide I was tired of fighting the battles alone.

  4. Jenn @therebelchick says:

    My heart goes out to you right now, Courtney!
    I had no idea you were going through any of this until I saw you mention the lump on facebook. I know that it can be hard to share personal things but there are so many people who care about you and we will support you in any way we can! xoxo I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  5. I know I said this to you earlier, but I wanted you to hear it again. You’ve written a lot over the last 5 years, but this is the best, most honest piece of writing I’ve seen you produce. It sucks that it comes as a result of such a traumatic experience, but those experiences are what often make us look inward and evolve.

    I am proud of your bravery in sharing this experience as you go through it, and I have faith that everything will turn out alright.

  6. I really wanna hug you right now. We are ALWAYS here for you- or you know here on facebook or twitter, or forums or .. well you pretty much cant get away. So if you ever need to vent or purge or cry…you have friends everywhere that love you and will support you in any way they can.

    Big hugs Courtney.

  7. I sat in shock reading this post with tears in my eyes. You are my friend, whether we talk to one another often or just once in a while. You were the FIRST person to call me when my dad passed away (something that I’ll never forget). I can’t imagine what you’re going through right now, but I need you to know that I’m here for you – if you need me to hop on a plane and hold your hand, need to vent, or just want someone to sit quietly next to you while you’re going through this – please know that I’m here for you.

    You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

  8. Prayers that this will all turn out okay for you Courtney!

  9. Last weekend when I had a total breakdown in front of everyone at NicheMommy you hugged me and told me everything was going to be okay. You also said not to hold it in. Stop holding it in, blog, speak, cry. Do all of the above. I wish I could return the hug you gave me. I can only send a virtual one and I can tell you the same thing you told me – everything is going to be ok.

  10. I am soooo sorry. I was in that little room last October going through a lot of what you are right now. It’s scary…..and so emotional. Having lost my mom, I had so many bad moments, but I wasn’t alone, and you aren’t either. Even those you’ve only met in person once (me, at Blogher) are praying for you. Hugs!!!!

  11. Courtney, I know that we have only just met but I want you to know that I am behind you 100%. You are such a strong women and are going through so much right now but I promise you that you will get through it. So many people care about you and are praying for you, me included. Stay positive and keep smiling! (((Hugs)))

  12. Kathy Murphy says:

    Whqt a honest post – I’m glad that you purged all that you have been holding in. Secrets and stress can really do a number on your system. Power on!
    p.;s. I am scheduling my mammogram tomorrow

    • Courtney R says:

      Thanks Kathy! It felt really good to let it all out and looking back at the words on the screen was very therapeutic.

  13. Courtney…you are in my prayers. I am extremely sorry that you are going through all of this! You are not alone and I am happy you decided to share this so that we can be here to support you through it all. Please keep us posted and know that you do have a support system in place to help you during all of these changes you are in the middle of.

  14. I’m so glad you shared this with us because now you know how many people are willing to support and help you. You are not alone and I’m sure your story will help someone going through the same situation. My heart goes out to you during this scary time. I hope you know how wonderful you are and how strong you are in my eyes. You can make it through anything because you are a fighter!

  15. Paula Schuck says:

    Oh my goodness Courtney: I have the feeling we met at a conference before. I am sending you some really huge hugs. This is a scary time for you. I feel that and I am praying everything is okay. Let it be calcium or something harmless. What a lot you have going in. I am glad you shared. Be strong. Hugs from me.

  16. Oh, Courtney! I wish I could give you a big hug right now. Sometimes there just aren’t the right words to say. Just know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. My God comfort you and your girls and give you strength to get though this moment by moment. I have been through some very hard times and to say that you get by day by day is saying to much for it is truly from one minute to the next. Remember to ask those in your life for help whenever you need it because they truly want to help you.

  17. Oh Courtney, I am so very sorry you are going through this. I can not tell you enough how important it is to get everything out. You don’t have to post it to the world but please don’t hold it in. I have not known you long but, I have known you long enough to know you are an amazingly strong person.

    I know right now you are scared, I know you are worried, I know a million and one things are rushing through your head and the what ifs are about to consume you. I know because I have been there. I had my first mammogram in late spring. I don’t do self exams regularly but for some reason I did in May. I felt a lump about the size of a dime under my arm near my breast. After my doctor confirmed, I was sent for a mammo. I prayed so much over the few days between my exam and my mammo. Mine was not cancer and they really are not sure what it was, they think just my hormones flaring, but it was still just as awful sitting in that tiny room covered by a shawl hearing much older women talk about their first exams and all the others that followed.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. I know you have a wonderful group of people around you in Arkansas and a wonderful blogging community that will be praying for you as well.

  18. Courtney, I’m so sorry – for all of it. That’s just too much to hold in and keep to yourself. I’ll be praying for you, Courtney.

  19. I don’t know how I missed this post but I’m glad I found it now. Courtney, this is beautiful. I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes knowing the pain that you’ve held in so long. I knew some of it, but didn’t know the extent. I’m coming here obviously knowing that the outcome of your biopsy is AWESOME so I’m glad that you have that out of the way. You need to let go of your pain and enjoy your now. This is an incredible start. Thank you so much for sharing YOU!


  1. [...] A Man’s Perspective Posted on September 3, 2012 Written by Brad Leave a Comment Last week my girlfriend found a lump in her breast. She’s lucky. She had not done done regular self-exams in a long time, if ever. She happened [...]

  2. [...] to leave my home.  Basically, I have dealt with major issues in unhealthy ways and without the support I so desperately [...]

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