Last week I had a 3-D mammogram. This scan marks a bit over five years since the diagnostic test that indicated I had a solid tumor on the outside of my left breast.
Heading into this appointment, I wasn’t particularly worried. Yes, I admit to having little heartbeat skips over “lumps” in my breast that aren’t really lumps: if you recall, I had felt something before my last oncologist visit; my doctor reassured me it was nothing.
And because last August I’d had a chest MRI, a more sensitive scan than even a 3-D mammogram, it was HIGHLY unlikely that there was anything to be found in this mammogram.
But still, after the pictures were taken and the mammography technician left the room to consult with the radiologist, I got that all-too-familiar uneasy feeling.
WHY? I knew that the radiologist wouldn’t find anything. The technician practically said that out loud, since she was aware of my recent MRI.
I sat alone in the mammography room, breathing, looking at the clock on the wall and simply hovering. My attention was like a butterfly looking for a place to alight. I wasn’t holding my breath…but mentally, I had put the rest of my life on hold when the tech stepped out the door.
It took all of four minutes and the mammographer returned and gave me two thumbs up.
I breathed a sigh even though I had expected the good news. And while I wasn’t “freaking out” waiting for the response, it became apparent to me that I might always feel uneasy during that period of uncertainty.
I didn’t want that. I wanted to be completely unaffected, as if I had never had a bad experience and my heart was calm.
But hovering it was, because there are no guarantees. And as the gears of my life started turning once again, I remembered that there was no going back. All the negatives that have happened have happened and I can’t change that.
Eventually, years from now, my emotions may soften, but in the meantime, I’m just going to have to be okay with hovering for a few minutes.