|Before the...'thing' happened|
Recently, I underwent a procedure familiar to all breast cancer survivors, The Yearly Mammogram.
But not just ANY mammogram, oh no. The 'screening' ones most women only ever have are simple affairs by comparison, with only a couple of shots ('vertical' and 'horizontal,' if you will) to check for any suspicious entities. The ones we lucky survivors gets are so so so much more, with top and bottom and sideways and slantways and rounds and rounds of them, focusing on iffy areas until the radiologist on duty is satisfied (or not) with what they're seeing and can release you, either to the wild or with an order for follow-up work.
I got the order for the follow-up work.
Specifically, a biopsy.
In the boob that didn't previously have the cancer in it.
You might imagine how very worrisome this is, and you'd be halfway there.
Thankfully, I'm good at ignoring unpleasant things, so was able to enjoy Thanksgiving with our little nuclear family and have a chance to relax a bit, relying on the radiologist's statement that she was ordering the biopsy out of an abundance of caution, but still there was a whiff of terror wafting around if I allowed it to.
Plus, needles and lidocaine were to be involved, which I am not a huge fan of, or really even a fan at all.
At last, today was the day, and as I drove to the the appointment WAY THE HECK OVER THE OTHER SIDE OF RALEIGH the thought of 'oh God, what if it's THAT again?' was very hard to ignore. What if the big C has popped up on the other side? What will I do? The brain was working a tiny bit overtime as I headed west on 98 then south on 50. Of course I missed the turn into the parking lot, but I never don't.
One there, stripped from the waist up and begowned and with my belongings in a lovely plastic bag, I sat in the 'gowned waiting room' (no, really), with 5 other women all similarly attired and toting their possessions too. We all knew what we were there for, and all of it had to do with boobs. Sisterhood carries some heavy burdens, far outweighing a sack of clothing.
My turn came, I sat in a remarkably comfy chair that the tech wheeled me around on like I was Captain Pike until I was within boob-smashing range of the Little Plates (the better to see you with!). She had warm hands, which is a nice touch (ha!), and got Old Gal in position to take some pictures of the suspect area. Then another couple of shots. Then she went and fetched the radiologist, who was going to perform the numbing and cutting and biopsy-ing acc'd to the prophecy and Good Medical Practice.
After the introduction to the doc and me gawping at her absolutely glorious head of hair, skintight pants, and totally awesome boots (listen, the lewk made an impression!), she and the tech had a confab over the images, probably discussing where to stick me with the numbing to best effect before cutting me open and doing the deed.
The tech pulled the gown up over my nakedness, spun me around ('beep boop!') as the doc was saying 'Good news! The spot the radiologist saw last week isn't visible on the pictures we just took and must have resolved itself in the week. There's no need to do a biopsy and you can go.'
It is at that point I lost 10 pounds of anxiety and floated out of that building, after getting dressed, of course. The day was more beautiful that I remembered, the people more lovely, the birds gifted me with a 'congratulations!' poop on my windshield, all was right with the world.
I took the long way home to avoid a meeting I probably could have made it to at work, because I Simply Did Not Feel Like It. Not sorry about that, would recommend an amble home after getting great news.
So, this was the one that wasn't. No new scar, no wait for the biopsy results, no worrying about what happens next because it's already happened.