Every year I get a mammogram and this year I was able to get one closer to home in a fancy new facility owned the hospital I use. It was a beautiful October day and I felt pretty lucky to be able to pop over and have my mammo and scoot back to work (and take a detour to get a nice Starbucks as a reward for doing the right thing) all within an hour. The place was new, spotless, and filled with very cheerful folk. Everyone was laughing and smiling, it was really a good experience. I even got a little buttermint in a pink wrapper when I finished. “Maybe that was for being a good girl and not crying,” I chuckled to myself.
I drove back home, enjoying the cobalt blue sky, I even found a place where they smoke their own salmon and bought a pound as a treat for the family. All was right with the world.
Three days later, I got a phone call. They wanted me to come in and get another mammogram of my left breast. They claimed that they did not have a clear enough picture of it. They wanted another. They wanted me to go to the big hospital to have it done. I thought, “Oh bother. *Sigh*” I made the appointment and went last week.
The hospital has valet parking and super nice people to help you in and get you situated. A lady who x-rayed me in years past greeted me but she was not smiling. “We are going to put you in tight this time, and don’t breath,” she said. I did as I was told and the machines made a scary sound, a ‘zot’ sort of thing.
I stood there waiting for her to adjust the machine for a side shot as she casually said,”…the spot we wanted to take a better look at.” I stopped breathing right then and there. It sounded like they were really looking for something. Not just a bad image, but a bad result! Oh dear. I could have breast cancer, for real. My feet felt as if they had become glued to the floor and my heart pounded as the technician said in a clipped voice,”I am going to have a word with the radiologist, I’ll be back in a minute.”
What would be the next step? I was not comforted by her tone of voice and somehow I felt very alone. See part 2 for what happened next.