Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Friday, February 12, 2021

Feeling relieved

So back in November, I called to make a mammogram appointment because I'd last had one a couple of years before and I'd put it off, mainly due to COVID. I needed a late appointment, which pushed it out to January 18th, but that was okay, I figured. I went and got it, didn't think much about it, and had decided that all must be fine or they'd have called me, and I'd probably get something in the mail in 2-4 weeks (or more, given the challenges of getting anything through the Postal Service these days).

Then they called.

It was all matter-of-a-fact. There was need for a diagnostic mammogram because of something on the images. I was in enough shock I didn't ask what it was. At the urging of a co-worker who has been through cancer and was talking me down from a panic attack, I called back and was told it had to do with assymetry, something showing up inside one breast but not the other, something not noticed on my previous imaging. I was to come today for that mammogram and prepare to stay one to three hours in case there was need for an ultrasound or biopsy.

Fortunately we've been dealing with ice in our area, so I haven't had much chance to overly worry. But I went today and had just the left breast scanned, and then sat in the waiting room in my little half-gown wondering how it would come out. Then someone called my name, told me I was free to go, and took me to the changing room and showed me the results were normal, that it was just normal tissue. I was very much relieved, dressed, went back to the car, and texted my friends at work--two of whom were not so lucky to get good news--my results. All in all I was in there about 37 minutes, only about 25 past my appointment time. It was over very quickly, and that was great. But there were other women who were there, and I remember one pacing in the hallway, others quietly introspective. One of them might not be getting good news.

So that was the sum of my little scare, but it all came out happy in the end. Thank you so much to Jessica, who talked me through the panic and got me to seek as much information from them so I could empower a sense of calm.

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