I had my first mammogram when I was fifty, and when I received the letter to have another at fifty-two, I thought no problem. So last week before leaving for camping I went for a mammogram, and was told if there was an issue, they would call me. Off camping I went with no worries. Well apparently I should have worried because the Breast Screening program phoned, leaving a message with the teenage boy. (I wish I had not gone away, because then I would have received the telephone call, not the teenage boy). He was a tad concerned, wondering why I needed another scan. When he gave me the message, I put on a brave face, telling him that sometimes the scans don’t give proper images, thus the need for new ones. Inside though, I was worried because I knew the first scans were done perfectly.
I was the first appointment of the day. I squirmed in my seat as I waited. Finally, they called me and the first thing I asked was “why?”. Apparently the technician had seen something. I asked “where?”. “Your left breast”, and she pointed to the location. (Now I had been checking and re-checking my breasts the past few days, but I didn’t feel anything out of the normal). The extremely nice woman positioned my breast in the mammogram machine, so she could take the new pictures. It really hurt, but I wasn’t complaining. It didn’t matter how much it hurt this time, I wanted the images to be perfect. After she had the new pictures, I was told to wait in the waiting room while the doctor scanned the pictures and depending on the results, there may be need for an ultrasound.
Well I was waiting a few other women came into the room. Thursday was repeat day. The day for women with questionable scans. There were a few worried faces.
Another ten minutes or so went by before I was called in, an ultrasound was needed. Now I am scared. The ultrasound took very little time. When the technician was done, I was not sent to the waiting room, I was asked to wait where I was. I tried not to freak out. Images of my family went through my mind. I thought of my sister-in-law, who had lost her battle with cervical cancer not too long ago. It seemed like a long time before the technician re-entered the room, and when she reappeared, she just said all was fine, you can go. That was that. No explanation, nothing. Just everything was fine. I worried for no reason. I should have been happy but I wanted a better explanation.
On the way home, I happened to see my eldest daughter working (her summer job is cutting grass for the city). I waved, drove some more, then as soon as I could, I turned the car around. I drove to where I saw her. Then practically running out of the car, I gave her a great big hug and said “all is fine”. It had hit me. I was okay. Thank you Breast Screening Clinic.
To all women/men fighting breast cancer, I send you my strength, and hugs.