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The Second Appointment

The day of the second appointment arrived and this time I remembered before my morning shower. Already one step ahead of the last mammogram. I made sure to wear an extra comfortable bra just in case I have to have some extra “squishes” again. A girl has got to plan ahead. Sore boobs can put a real damper on a day.

I get to the imaging center and check in. Once again I head back to the land of pain. Into the changing cubby I go. Gee, I feel like I was just here. Oh wait, I was! From there I go back to the mammogram room. I go thru the motions again. Step in, step over, lean this way, don’t breathe, breathe, etc. She does have to do the left side several times again. Afterwards I am brought out to an area with chairs where I have to wait for the images to be reviewed. There are a couple other women sitting, also waiting for their mammograms. The tech comes out and tells me they want to do an ultra sound for a better view. I could feel the other women looking at me now with pity, sympathy and maybe even empathy. As if sitting around in a hospital gown with people I don’t know wasn’t awkward enough.

So I just sit, letting my mind wander. Thinking random thoughts, “how long will the ultrasound take?”, “how much more can they see?”, “what am I having for lunch?”, “if my left boob swells will they look lop sided?”, “should I stop at the grocery store on my way home?” Then out of nowhere a memory from years previous popped into my head. It had to do with a brother, a pair of nail clippers and an outrageous business idea. I won’t say how it pertained to that particular moment in my life (that is a whole other story). It did, however, make me laugh out loud. Why that particular memory surfaced at that time is beyond me. The other women were really looking at me now. Almost disapprovingly. I guess I should have been really nervous. Obviously there was something serious going on in my left boob that needed further investigation. But, after that memory popped in, most of the worry popped out. Funny how the brain works.

After waiting a little bit longer I was taken to a different room for the ultra sound. No big scary machines with paddles or anything else that might squish boobs. So far so good. Is that a bed I see? Nice. So I lay on the bed and the ultra sound began. She put a gel on the boob and had something that looked like a shift handle from a sports car. The shift handle thing is moved over and around the boob while images are taken (I could hear the clicking of the camera). I look at the images but I have no idea what they are. After a while she told me she needed to have someone review the images and I can wait there. Off she goes.

She returned after a bit with someone else. It’s the radiologist. She wants to do another ultra sound. Sure, I had 2 mammograms might as well have 2 ultra sounds. Besides, the bed was pretty comfortable and I was in no rush to get back to work. She goes thru the same process. When she’s done she shows me the images on the screen and points out an area with a small cluster of things. She told me that these are “suspicious calcifications”. She points to another area and told me that it is a small “tumor”. She said that neither one was specifically cancer, but they will need to do a biopsy on them to be sure. Well, how about that? Two mammograms, two ultra sounds and now two areas of concern. I kind of felt like Noah, “two by two they came….” And I thought my day started off pretty good just because I remembered I had a mammogram before my shower.

Alright, who do I talk to about getting the biopsy scheduled? I got dressed and headed over to get it scheduled. We got that set up and out the door I went. I wonder if I will qualify for “frequent flyer miles” with all my return visits. Maybe I’d get some kind of discount. I got to my car and sat there for a minute. OK, no need to panic. It might still be nothing. I mean they just go in with a needle and take some of the suspicious stuff out to test it, right? How bad can that be? In fact it will probably be even easier than the mammogram…….

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