Relief, no cancer
Big questions. So I go in for my yearly mammogram, and then I get the phone call less than a week later. “You have to come in, because we saw some suspicous things in the initial mammogram.” Okay. I am convinced I will hear the worst of news. I’ve had 3 previous surgeries for suspicious cysts. Nothing cancerous, but surgery all the same. Now this.
Steeling myself. I wasn’t very productive this week. All I could think of in the back of my head, is, they’re going to tell me I have breast cancer. After all these previous ‘incidents’ — this will be the B.C. news I’ve come to dread. How will I react? Will I cry? Will I steel myself against the bad news? How will I tell my husband? My son? What will happen? How far has it spread? How serious will it be? All these things go racing through my mind in the middle of the night, when I should be sleeping. And when I had asked on the phone if they could give me more information? “No. It’s because of HIPPA.” I’m like, wait a minute. “I’m the patient here. Why can’t you tell me?”
“It’s the law.”
Today’s tests. I go in for today’s 2nd mammogram. Various positions — squished within an inch of my life. (I swear the mammogram was designed by a male.) When the technician says, “Don’t breathe.” I’m like, “I can’t move, I can’t breathe, you don’t need to tell me, because I can’t do anything because I’m in here so tightly.” Then I hear, “Breathe, back away.” Thank God, because I couldn’t take it for another second. Really. Ouch.
And then it becomes nearly comical. God bless the technican, but when she says, “Oh my gawd, you’re the news lady!” I say, “yeah, I used to be.” But she says, “Oh, but you’re a celebrity. Now I’m nervous.” I really just want to laugh, but try to make HER feel comfortable so she doesn’t screw up my tests. I reassure her, “It’s okay. We’re just like other people, and besides, I don’t do news anymore.” She’s not reassured in spite of my best intentions. A few more torturous positions, and finally, I am done. That’s just the first part.
Moving on to the ultrasound. Last time I had ultrasound was 20 years ago when I was pregnant with our son. Hmmm. Ultrasound has improved a lot since then. The ultrasound gal is ultra nice. I’m amazed at the detail the screen shows. “There’s the muscle, the tissue, oh — there’s a black hole, a cyst.” She takes measurements. So I asked her, “You only do breasts on Friday?” “Yes, and babies, and scrotums, and gallbladders the rest of the week.” Well — I told her I already had my gall bladder out, so you won’t see that. That was a lot of Spring Breaks ago. The nice thing was – they warm up the ultrasound gel before they put it on so you don’t freeze.
The Verdict. Finally. The doctor is called in. After all this time, the People magazines in the waiting room between the mammogram and the ultrasound — I get the verdict: All Clear. Thank God! Truly. I’ve been worried sick, and then I find out that medicine has changed how they proceed with some of these things. I just have cysts. They’re not weird, they’re not solid. They don’t have to come out like last time. The doctor tells me, “If I was giving out grades, you’d get an A.” Nothing cancerous. All benign. Now I can enjoy my Mother’s Day!