It was Monday, August 21st. Thankfully I was able to get in to get my first ever mammogram.
When I checked in the lady said, "here’s your paperwork fill it out and have a seat. You know the drill" …I stared at her long enough to make her question her own joke. "Oh is this your first one?"
"How old are you Angela?"
"40 & I would like to get the 3 D, please."
"Okay Angela you are getting the Cadillac on the first time!"
"Eh yeah, I guess, but I’m more of a VW person." She must have felt the need to not laugh at my joke cause I made her feel stupid about hers a minute ago.
"You can have a seat."
My first mammogram was 30 minutes later. I was told nothing except we will call you if we need to have you come back for anything. If not, you will get a letter in the mail.
I said, "how long? For what?"
I said, "when you will call me?"
"Oh don’t worry about that, that’s only if something is abnormal."
I said, "well will it be tomorrow? Or how soon?"
She said, "usually yes it would be the next day. But again, Angela, that is only if something is out of the normal."
I said, "I’ll talk to you tomorrow" as I was leaving the area.
I was working when I got the call the next day. I remember when the lady said, “Angela we're going to need you to come back for an ultrasound, can you come this afternoon at 3:15?”
My filed memories (you know the ones in the file labeled “if you open these in this life, it’s still too soon”) took me back to 2014 when I got the call for my melanoma diagnosis. I got hot, my heart started beating like it was trying out for the Nebraska drum line. My hands were shaking when I hung up the phone. I was in the middle of training new employees. All of which got to hear and witness my call. Here comes the fake smile and BS.
"Okay sorry about that everyone. Let’s get back to the training."
I snoozed the inner screams. It was a tough one. I felt as though I was trying to shut off a hundred cuckoo clocks like Geppetto was in Pinocchio. I swear the time between snoozes kept getting shorter and shorter. I’m sure there is an off button in you to silence these screams for good, but unfortunately, mine hasn’t worked since 1976.
I headed to the ultrasound at 3:15. The first lady was trying to find the “something” that the 3D mammogram showed for 15 minutes. She finally got up and said she would be back in a few minutes. 57 of them went by. I was on the cold table breasts exposed and deciding what approach I was going to use to tell my husband I had cancer. I mean if they leave you in a room for that long, you would figure it can’t be good. When she returned she handed me a paper that said see you in 6 months.
I said, "what is this?"
"I couldn’t see anything so we can recheck in six months."
I asked, "who is the oldest person / has the longest time in at this job back behind those doors?" She said her name. I said to send her in.
So the master of the ultrasounds comes in and I asked, "will you please try to find what the mammogram saw?" She took the wand
and found my cancer in less than a minute. She was clicking away on the photos like it was a celebrity. She was finished and said you can get dressed someone will call you for the results.
I once again said, "when? Tomorrow?"
She said, "I’m sure you will hear something by Thursday."