The dreaded mammogram. Ugh. Yes, we hate getting it done. And I seem to put it off just a little bit later every year. I made myself go in mid June. I went on a Monday. On Thursday my doc called and something like, “It says here you recently had a mammogram. Do they usually contact you with results?”
“I usually get a postcard,” I said casually.
“Well, you’ll probably get more than a postcard this time.” That got my attention.
“Now is not the time to panic,” he said, “but they said the reading was questionable and they will be calling to schedule another mammogram and possibly and ultrasound.”
“Don’t panic,” I repeated.
“It’s probably nothing, but with all the crap that’s going on right now in the neighborhood, you don’t want to put this off,” he said. And he should know. He is himself going through chemo for colon cancer, as is another lady in our neighborhood.
I decided I was not going to think about this appointment and the repercussions until AFTER my huge bell weekend. I was just getting ready to leave for the convention when I got his call. I would make an appointment for the next week sometime and I would NOT PANIC. While I can’t say I didn’t think about it at all, I really was so busy with other things that I didn’t have much time to ponder and worry except very late at night, and I tried to push it from my mind.
As the day of the appointment approached, I found it harder and harder to make myself not worry. I am, by nature, quite a worrier. When we were building this house, for example, and Ryan would stay here late working on wiring and things and I couldn’t reach him, I would sometimes get myself worked up in a panic, sure that he was dead. Then to calm myself down, I would always have to think through how I would spend the insurance money. (Don’t tell me you don’t do this!) So, yes, I worry. I worry about stuff that matters and stuff that doesn’t matter. Even though I know it does NO GOOD and I am just wasting my energy on worrying, I don’t really know how to stop doing it.
I kept it together pretty well until the day of the appointment. No deoderant plus worrying equals sweat. The stress was literally exhausting me. I kept praying that I could be calm and strong and that I would be able to get through this…whatever ‘this’ was.
I had to check in at the registration desk, and answer the same exact questions I had just answered the week before. Try not to get irritated at the nice lady, Paige, she is just doing her job.
I went back to mammography and checked in. After a few minutes, they called me back to change into the lovely gown. I had only a few minutes to read about half an article in Entertainment weekly on stars ‘coming out’. What? That cute guy from White Collar is gay? WHAT? And then they called me into the little room with the big machine. The lady was very nice and trying to put me at ease, but I’m sure I looked as nervous as I felt. She explained that they would take a few pictures and that the radiologist would read them right now, so they would know if I needed the ultrasound or not. Two more squishes of just the left side to get different angles and I was done. She sent me back to the little dressing room to wait, and I got a chance to read more of that article. Yep. Matt Bomer Comes Out As Gay: ‘White Collar’ Actor Thanks Partner Simon Halls, Kids At Awards Ceremony. And she was back. I held my breath and listened, bracing myself for whatever news she had for me. “The radiologist read your mammogram and says it looks fine. Whatever they were worried about before doesn’t look like a problem now.”
I do not have breast cancer. You don’t know how wonderful that sounds. The technician went on to tell me that she had cancelled my ultrasound appointment, and I was good for another year, until next year’s mammogram. Just like that.
I got dressed, wishing I had brought some antiperspirant WITH me, since it was definitely needed. I quickly sent off a text to Ryan that said that it was good news, they didn’t see any irregularities on the scans today. He replied, “Awesome. I could have told you they looked fine….;)” Thank you so much, Ryan, for that expert opinion. It made me laugh, though.
Since I had been moping around this morning, I decided that we needed to do something fun this afternoon, so I took the three kids who were home out for Snowasis and went to the fun park with the splash pad in Alpine. And it was nice to enjoy a worry free afternoon.
If you haven’t had a mammogram–do it. If you’ve put it off longer than you should–call them. While I don’t want anyone to have to go through that stress, I understand that it’s good that they called me back for a second scan. Better to be safe than sorry and all that stuff.
And I can be blissfully worry free.
Until about next week when I’ll probably find something else to worry about.