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Staying in Present Time During a Biopsy

A month ago I went in for a routine mammogram. It turned out 1 there was an anomaly in the X-ray that needed to be checked out.

I decided this was a perfect time for intensive RC. For the next three weeks I took every opportunity to counsel—on past medical experiences, my feelings about the current situation, contacts with doctors, X-ray visits, the next mammogram, and the biopsy procedure itself.

Then I was there, in the hospital early in the morning, waiting for the biopsy in the day-surgery staging area in an open cubical. I found myself listening to my fellow patients. There were five of us—three men, another woman, and me. The others kept trying to tell the nurses how frightened they were about their upcoming surgery. There wasn’t anyone able to give them attention. The patients’ feelings were not being treated as important; thought was given only to the procedures. As I listened, I realized I wasn’t scared. My counseling had me in good stead 2—I was fully in present time and actually attending to what was going on around me, which had never happened before in similar situations.

Finally I was taken to the X-ray area for the biopsy. After the technician had taken many X-rays to find the proper spot, I found myself positioned with one breast in the machine and the rest of my body glued to the chair. The technician said, “Sit very still; do not move a millimeter or the needle will not go into the right spot and we will have to do this all over again.” The command “do not move” has generally brought up hurtful memories, and I waited for the restimulations to come. They were nowhere to be found. I was uncomfortably stuck in this position for an hour and a half, but I was not restimulated. I did not feel bad. I was in present time. I could choose how I wanted to respond, feel, and handle this. I did “news and goods” with the X-ray nurse; read everything on the wall that I could see from my stationary position; tried to banter with an unbanterable doctor (who, after all, was wielding 3 the huge needle); validated the technician, nurse, and doctor for everything I could think of; and made it through—while staying in present time.

They had said I would experience pain, a lot of bruising and perhaps much swelling, and that I would need to take it easy 4 for the next couple of days. However, I had no pain, no bruising, only light swelling, and I felt fine as I healed. I had made it through the procedure and had done it my way.

I had had previous sessions on health issues, especially for a hip surgery, but I had never taken on a procedure so thoroughly, with daily mini-sessions and regular Co-Counseling sessions. For four weeks I spent every spare second counseling on this procedure, and took each restimulation to session as it came up. I was pleased by the results. I like being in present time!5 And the biopsy was negative.


1 It turned out means it happened that.

2 In this case, in good stead means with my attention out.

3 Wielding means holding, preparing to use.

4 Take it easy means curtail activity, rest.

5 The biopsy was negative means that there was no cancer.

Judith Haubrich Wheelock

Dallas, Texas, USA


Last modified: 2020-05-05 08:00:05+00