|Manitoulin Island - Summer 2006|
On July 4, 2006, my wedding anniversary, I went to the medical imaging centre and had the mammogram and the ultrasound. (Now wasn’t that a fun thing to do on my anniversary?!?) This was the first mammogram in my life. The mammogram didn’t hurt but it was uncomfortable and awkward. If you’ve ever had one you know what I’m talking about. It really makes you feel like your breasts are just a piece of meat getting squished around on a slab of cold metal by a stranger. It is like the rest of your body doesn’t exist. I wasn’t crazy about the whole experience but I knew it was worth it to get some clarification on the lump. After it was over I felt like I had to shake off the yucky feeling it gave me. Kind of like when you’re a kid and you are trying to shake off the “cooties” that someone might have passed on to you. Having said all of that, never forget that breast cancer screening can result in early detection to ensure more positive health outcomes, more treatment options, less likelihood of spreading and could save your life. So go have an awkward moment ladies!
The whole mammogram process didn’t take all that long but then I had to wait for the ultrasound. The waiting part was kind of awkward since I was sitting in a very tiny little space the chairs placed very close together. I was wearing the bottom half of my clothes but had just a paper robe kind of thing on the top. It was the same outfit that all the other women in that waiting area had on. Nobody really spoke to each other but we did manage to smile the most comforting smiles we could muster even though we didn’t know why each was there. I guess we all figured it was all for the same thing. Mammogram, ultrasound, and wondering what the results will tell us. We were like lost children just waiting for someone to come and find us and tell us that everything was going to be okay.
The following weekend I flew to Vancouver for a work event. I chose to go a couple of days early to spend some time with one of my oldest friends, Vicky. (I must clarify that Vicky is not old but rather an old friend.) She met me at the airport and whisked me away to Whistler for the weekend. We had so much fun that I was able to put the mammogram and pending results out of my head for a while. We’ve been friends since we were 15 years old so it’s easy to be together. It’s like being “home” when you’re with an old friend like that. I eventually told her about the lump that I’d found because it was starting to take up more time in my thoughts and it felt good to tell someone. I was glad to get it out and talk about it a bit more.
On the second day of my work event, my cell phone started to ring and I froze when I saw that it was my doctor’s office calling. It was my doctor herself on the line. That was my first alert. My heart was beating really fast. My doctor wanted to tell me that she had received the mammogram and ultrasound results. “They don’t like the looks of it” was what she said. My heart just about jumped out of my chest! She said that she couldn’t really tell me much more than that at this point. She explained that the mammogram couldn’t conclude anything so that is why she wanted me to come in for a biopsy. What on earth is a biopsy I remember thinking. I asked her if I should be worried and she said that was not an easy question to answer until we got some more information.
She didn’t know where to tell me to set my “worry meter”. My “worry meter” had just skyrocketed through the roof!
Sitting, Waiting, Wishing - Jack Johnson
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