mammogram monday

fell asleep with a headache, woke up with a headache. not too bad yet, refuse to call them migraines. how am I supposed to know trigger points or if it is the start of a migraine vs. a regular headache, this is all new to me.

the house is cluttered, my room overflowing with trash and in disarray. i keep saying i will do it tomorrow when i don’t have a headache yet that day hasn’t come yet. it’s been about two weeks in a row. yes, I am seeing my doctor on monday after my mammogram and ultrasound, yippee.

English: Woman undergoing a mammogram of the r...

English: Woman undergoing a mammogram of the right breast (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

really looking forward to that day….to be over. how could it be another year? how many posts have i written about measuring the time going by so quickly by the time in the pink-purple room of the waiting room in the mammogram section. i should count them or maybe you can. they are all in this blog, i’m sure saying the same thing over and over like the warnings not to use deodorant or baby powder.

it’s always the same, not the outcome, but the process. I worry, I know everyone worries, most people can hide it, i can’t. there’s a shocker. i try to make light conversation and people seem so grateful. we are all the same in this room, in every mammogram room, we breathe the same nervous air, we give each other half smiles laden with fear, we wink, we nod. when someone leaves happily, there is always the thumbs up for them, spreading fear within.

this time i will try to do mindful meditation, it helped during my dentist appointment and i didn’t need nitrous oxide, i was so proud of myself, the dentist so proud of me. will it help on monday? i have no idea but at least i know this much, i know it won’t hurt.

a universal feeling, women in their robes, waiting to be called in. we smile encouragingly to each other. one by one we go in, we leave, sometimes through different doors.

*IF YOU DON’T SEE IMAGES, I DON’T EITHER. I ALREADY TOLD ZEMANTA/GETTY SUPPORT. I’M SO TIRED OF THIS HAPPENING.  THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCE.
 
 

 

 

Pink, Plus

pink for the cure

pink for the cure (Photo credit: silviaON)

Some people measure time by New Year’s Eve, they stay up till midnight, drink champagne and say good-bye, hoping for a better year. I used to measure years by the start of school in September for my children. I was the queen of the mommy hot-line, until they grew up and went to college.

Now, I measure time by my annual mammogram; it feels like I was just IN this same pink room with the stained chairs a minute ago. After having mammograms since I was in my twenties, I know the drill but the nurse tells me again, what to do: place the clothes in the closet, gown open in the front and as soon as she draws the curtain around me, my mind goes blank. I forget everything: did she say the opening goes in the back or the front? I didn’t use deodorant, (their loss, I think to myself) and I can never find the tie for the robe. Every. Single. Year.

I sit in this crowded room, next to me there is a tray of free pink pens and individually wrapped pink mints. I forgot for a second, that it’s October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. After reading many articles about how “Pink” has become an incredible marketing tool for companies as well as a great fund raiser. Awareness for Breast Cancer is WONDERFUL but I know that heart disease is the number one cause of death for women than all cancers combined. My own breast surgeon laughed at that (I know) and said “Hey, it’s good for me.” That definitely soured me a bit. Please read *Carolyn Thomas’ information on Heart Sisters. Carolyn is a pioneer among women.

The technician calls my name immediately and I am joyful, “This will be very quick” she says and I foolishly believe her. I kept this appointment and ultra- sound a secret from my mother who I know will worry all day; I keep this from her, I’ve already inherited the job. The test is quick, I go out to the waiting room again and sit and wait. All the people who have been with me have had their mammogram, are dressed and have left. Doors slam loudly. I can’t sit anymore, I stand, I pace. I don’t go to the women’s room for fear of missing my name being called. My head feels detached and numb and my stomach feels nauseous. I try to hide my nerves but now it’s been over two hours.  I asked a technician, very politely, if she wouldn’t mind checking for me and she was kind and I was grateful. She came back after ten minutes and tells me that the ultra-sound request was lost (yes, the one they had confirmed on Friday by phone) and they needed another one. Couldn’t they have just told me the result of the mammogram first?  No.

I was led to a different chair now, for the ultra-sound, where a well-meaning but over-talkative technician gives me a detailed explanation of what she sees. “This is a lymph node” “This is something, it could be fat or could be bad like a tumor” “I have to be honest with my patients but it’s not official, official only comes from the Dr.” She is talking to the wrong patient. She is scaring me to death. This ultra-sound takes at least 25 minutes. She takes me to the radiologist to sit and wait again. After what seems to be a very long time, she comes out and tells me “Doctor wants one more picture of lymph node” At this point, I’ve pretty much lost my mind but accepted my fate and I’m calmer. She does the picture again (another ten minutes) and we go back. I wait until the technician motions me in. The radiologist does not ask me to sit down but in an off-hand way that lasted under two seconds says “You’re fine.”  I stutter as she is about to wave me out of her door “Wait, what about the lymph node, and the tumor/fat that you were looking at?” They were fine. I truly felt like I had cut into her lunch time and she was being disturbed.

I had been in that facility for over three and a half hours, my best friend and my husband who DO NOT worry, were worried. There was no happy feeling or relief because of all the time, drama and their unpleasant way. Usually I would have said something but in this situation, after this time, I found myself completely tired, numb and mute.

I spent Tuesday in bed, still not over that stressful day. I wanted to avoid a flare-up of my Fibromyalgia but I have to say I still haven’t gotten my fight back. Yet.

*For more information on Heart Sisters:myheartsisters.org/