A month ago I had a routine mammogram, and a few days later I got the news.
The news, via the Internet, telling me (in somewhat technical language) that they didn’t like what they saw and I needed to come back for further testing. I was on the phone in a heartbeat, making that appointment, only to be told they couldn’t get me in for three weeks.
I’ve had so many mammograms and they always came back negative (as in nothing wrong), so it hadn’t even occurred to me this one might be problematic.
I did a self-exam (something admittedly I’m typically lax in doing) and felt a small bump. That’s what they tell you to look for — a lump the size of a pea.
I went to work that night knowing my life might change in three weeks. Three weeks! I had to wait that long.
The next day I contacted my doctor’s office to see if they had any clout in getting me in earlier. They didn’t.
It was, as you might imagine, a long three weeks. I was able to put it out of my mind for short periods of time, even telling myself they couldn’t have been that concerned about what they saw or they would have gotten me in earlier. But I wasn’t sure about that. Still, for the most part, I was able to maintain my equilibrium. I didn’t tell anyone and as far as I know, no one suspected anything.
I didn’t check the bump again. I didn’t get on the Internet and research everything. I figured the testing would tell me everything I wanted to know.
So yesterday I went in for the ultrasound. Even longer than the three weeks was the wait in the lobby. The television set was airing an episode of Love It or List It. I didn’t care what the homeowners did.
And longer than that was the wait between the time they did the ultrasound and the time they gave me the news — which I’m guessing was five or ten minutes.
When the tech came back in, I could see the relief in her face. It was only a cyst, she told me. Very common. Didn’t mean an increased risk of cancer. Be sure to have my annual mammogram on time. Did I have any questions?
The obvious one, although I didn’t voice it. Why did I have to wait three weeks? For an appointment that altogether took less than 30 minutes?
I don’t have the answer to that, but at least the answer to the other question weighing on me for three weeks was the one I wanted to hear.
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