My mammogram was scheduled for 9:30AM on August 8th, which meant if they could speedily slap that saggy left boob between the two plates and snap a few quick glamour shots, I'd be on the 10:30 train to Boston and at my desk by just after 11.
This was just a confirmatory follow up appointment to the one the day prior. I had found a lump and went in to see my PCP (actually, I found a lump, said it was nothing, showed it to Brian, who forced me to go to the doctor). He is my life saver, but much more on that later. My PCP was on vacation, but the covering physician told me it was probably just a cyst. "You're so young, no family history." She brushed it off, and seemed almost reluctant to schedule the mammogram. The dork of a health care attorney that I am, I was wondering if she considered the health care cost containment reform bill that the Governor had just signed into law as she punched in the order. Luckily, she spent the bucks. Brian had come with me to that appointment, and we both left relieved at her answer. Ahhh. Just another one of my hypochondriacal ills. We held hands walking out to the car thinking, phew, now what should we do for dinner? Given the near certainty that it was nothing, Brian took the kids to the zoo on the morning of my mammogram.
After the mammogram, and additional images, clearly didn't look right, the ultrasound gel emerged. I used to love the cold feel of that gel because it meant I was about to see a picture of a little baby inside me. This time it was just cold goop, an informidable weapon used to help hunt down an intruder.
The radiologist quickly informed me that yes, an intruder could be lurking. I could barely hear his words. Something about the ducts. Something about invasive. While he clicked away grabbing biopsies, I cried, catching only a bit of his attempt to comfort me. Treatable. Not a death sentence. Best care in the world. But all I could really hear was cancer.
I lay there, shivering, trying to figure out whether I was really awake or whether this was just one long and very vivid nightmare.