• Another 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 189 (Pre-Op Testing: Round 2)


    Friday, January 16, 2015

    Run/ Walk/ Bike/ Elliptical (Today:  2.72 miles;  Running Total: 136.39 miles)

    Day 189 of *Another* 100 Days of Good Karma.

    Today’s pre-op testing involved a mammogram and an ultrasound on both breasts.

    The appointment was early in the morning (again), but traffic wasn’t as bad.

    Probably because it’s Friday. Or because I gave myself more travel time. Or maybe it was just too early for even the sadistic Traffic Gods assigned to the Houston area to be awake and fuck everything up.

    Whatever the reason, I’ll take it.

    Since traffic was so light I arrived an hour early. I settled into a waiting room chair to. . . um. . . wait.

    What does a writer do when she’s bored and in a crowd?

    *someone stands up in the back row, bouncing up and down with their hand in the air*


    Well, yes, there’s that. But I didn’t feel like reading. So what’s the next best thing?

    *sounds of crickets, and puzzled looks from the audience*


    *nods from audience and murmurs of ‘ohh’*

    (someone whispers to me offstage) What? There’s no audience?



    Shut up.

    It’s my blog and I’ll imagine an audience if I want to. *sticks tongue out*


    So I sat in the waiting room and eavesdropped.

    I focused in on a group of five women. I took notes on what they said and how they said it. I listened to how they talked and tried to turn it into words on a page.

    At some point they got up and moved to another part of the waiting room.

    Personally, I’m choosing to believe they relocated because the chairs were more comfortable on the far side of the room and not because they thought I was a weirdo.

    (My ego is fragile. Don’t argue with this choice. Don’t do it.)

    The next time you see a creepy lurker in the corner giggling over their phone, beware. You might be in the presence of a creative genius.

    A nurse called my name then ushered me back for my mammogram. Which was as fun as ever. My favorite phrase during mammograms: “Hold still and don’t breathe.”

    A note to mammogram technicians everywhere: I know you have to say it, but I stopped breathing the second you clamped my breast between two ice cold panels and smashed it pancake flat. As for the ‘hold still’ part, really? Where am I gonna go?

    On the bright side, that’s probably the last mammogram I’ll ever have on my right breast. The left will continue to have its regular annual smashing but after surgery and reconstruction the doctor said I won’t have mammograms on the right side anymore.

    After the mammogram I was shown into a waiting room with a group of women in white robes that matched my own. We were all waiting for our ultrasound appointments.

    I noticed almost immediately that this crowd was much easier to be around than at a regular breast imagery center though it took me a minute to identify why. It finally dawned on me though:

    No one gave me side-eye glances that tell me I’m their worst nightmare come to life.

    You know why this didn’t happen?

    Every woman in that waiting room was there because they either currently had cancer or because they’ve had cancer in the past.

    It was a nice change to feel like just another patient and not a freak on parade.

    The ultrasound was the normal KY-jelly-on-your-boobs mess it always is (believe me, this only sounds like I deserve porn star status. A breast ultrasound is the very definition of unsexy).

    After it was over I was turned loose and headed home.

    Later in the afternoon the doctor’s office called with all the test results:

    • Tests came back good.
    • The PET scan showed that the cancer is still localized to my right breast.
    • The mammogram and ultrasound showed that the tumors shrunk. I don’t remember by how much so don’t ask. She flung some numbers at me, but in the last two days I’ve been injected with a radioactive substance, had an EKG, had my breasts manhandled into a mammogram machine and wanded with cold lubricant, talked to countless nurses, an anesthesiologist, a plastic surgeon and a radiologist. My information retention capacity is maxed out. I heard the word ‘shrunk’, breathed a sigh of relief and forgot everything she said after that.

    Today’s silver lining: The second round of pre-op tests are done and the plan is solid.

    I’ll have a single mastectomy on January 28th. All that’s left now is bloodwork, a pregnancy test and the surgeon marking me for surgery.

    I can’t say I’m looking forward to surgery. I’m not sure anyone looks forward to that. But I am looking forward to getting it over with.

    What’s your silver lining today?  I love comments!

    Don’t want to leave a comment, but have something you want to share?  Send me an email at gettingthewordswrong(at)gmail(dot)com.


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One Responseso far.

  1. Leslee says:

    So happy your test turned out good! “HIGH FIVE”

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