The Day my Divorce Seemed Like a Teeny

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Everyone going through a divorce, and everyone who is divorced has problems. So does every PERSON, even if they are happily married. What I want to share is a very personal experience about a day that that made my divorce seem like a teeny tiny problem. This was about 8 years ago, I think…

It was a Thursday and I was, as always, rushing around on work appointments, trying to squeeze everything in before I had to pick up my children from camp. I had a mammogram appointment scheduled, which I was annoyed by because I felt like I was too busy.


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I had rescheduled the appointment three times already, so I figured, I’ll just knock it out, it only takes about 30 minutes. So, all goes well and I’m out of there in time and everything gets done that day.

Friday morning I receive a message from my doctor. My heart sank. Do I have breast cancer? I called back and they told me that I had to go back to the mammogram place for additional photos, they saw something but it was “inconclusive.”

I scheduled the follow up for Monday, and then tried to go about my work day normally, which was really, really hard to do. It seems like every week I hear about someone I know getting breast cancer. I only know one woman who died of the disease, but generally the rates of success with treatment are good. That said, I can’t even imagine how difficult the treatment is, going through the pain, fatique, nausea, losing your hair, having so much fear, and not being able to have a normal life for a long time. And again, being scared for so long.

I spent the weekend wishing it away. I just wanted it to be Monday, because I wanted to know. There were times I let my mind go to the worst places, imagining myself getting chemotherapy and throwing up, having to tell my children I have cancer. It was horrible.


Lisa Lisser, Divorce and Spiritual Coach, LZL Coaching


Monday came around and usually my days go by in a blink, with never enough time. This particular day was going by so slowly it was torturous. My appointment wasn’t until 1:45 and I kept looking at the clock and the dial seriously was not moving. Usually, I am working and I look up and 2 hours has gone by.

With a deep breath, I went to the appointment, where they had to take 5 additional pictures, and smashed my breast down like a pancake, making me wince in pain. I couldn’t have cared less. I just wanted to know.

The doctor came in and said, “You’re totally fine,” and that’s when I felt like I was going to lose it. I tried really hard not to cry, but the relief was overwhelming.

He told me that I have very dense breast tissue, making any masses very difficult to see. He told me I had “complicated breasts,” which doesn’t surprise this complicated girl.



Driving home, I was at a stoplight, where saw a woman strolling her toddler in a park. She was holding a blue balloon and she stopped walking, and handed the balloon to her child. Together, they let it go and I saw her pointing up into the air to show the child how high up and small the balloon kept getting. The toddler, with a huge grin on his face was screaming in excitement.

All I could think of was how wonderful life was. I wondered if I’d gotten a bad test result if I’d have had the same or any enjoyment of seeing what I just saw, or if I’d even have noticed. I’m not sure that up until that moment I had ever felt so grateful in my life for the things I have. I said a prayer and thanked God.

What is so noteworthy is, I never thought about my divorce from the time I got the call from the doctor until after the additional tests turned out fine. Never even entered my mind. Why? Because it didn’t matter. My health is what mattered most.

I’m not saying you are doing something wrong by thinking about your divorce, and that just because you aren’t ill, you shouldn’t think about your divorce. But the point is, divorce is solvable. It will eventually end and everyone will go on with their lives and take that opportunity to make a better life for yourself (even if you didn’t want the divorce.) With an illness, it could be a lot more challenging.

Sure, I have some problems in life. They come and go like everyone’s.  But driving home from the hospital, I felt like I didn’t have a care in the world, because I had my health.


Juli Walton, Divorce Therapist, North Shore Reach


If you are a woman over 40, please get a yearly mammogram. Don’t be too scared or too busy to go. If they do find something, and you have to go through a lot in treatment, at least you’ll live. If you don’t go, and they find something later, your chances of dying are much greater.

Here’s a great idea. Every year when you get your mammogram, buy yourself a gift afterwards. It’s an incentive that might even make you look forward to it! It’s like buying a child an ice cream cone after their doctor’s appointment, only your ice-cream cone can be a cute pair of sandals!


Catherine Becker Good Law Firm


In closing, I’m not saying that divorce isn’t a problem, or that if you don’t have breast cancer everything in your divorce and in your life is great. I just want every divorced person to put things in perspective and realize that if you have health, you have the tools to go out and get whatever you want out of life. It’s really as simple as that.

You can use your healthy body, mind and spirit to succeed at work, raise your children, do some very special and important things in life, and even fall in love again. Or, you can play the victim, blame your ex for all your problems and wallow in the depression of your divorce. The choice is yours and it’s a really easy choice, isn’t it?

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Jackie Pilossoph

Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at:

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