At least, at first. Now that I look back, it was all just routine procedure, but at the time? At the time, a co-worker had just been diagnosed. Two classmates of mine were survivors. Another friend wrote a book about her experience. So, when my mammogram showed a particularly obnoxious little mass, I was scared.
In the span of a week, I had my first mammogram, my second mammogram, and my first trip to the cancer treatment center for the ultrasound. Again, these experiences were mild. I don't want to diminish anyone else's actual diagnosis or treatment. I was scared for a week. In the scheme of things, that is no big deal.
But at the time? Yikes.
No matter how pleasant and soothing a cancer center is designed to be, there is some bad juju in those places. Even after being greeted by the nicest possible reception volunteer and noting both the natural light and high ceilings, I walked the length of the hallway with a sick sort of resignation.
The room was waiting for me. Top off, lie down, cover breasts with the towel were the instructions.
To calm myself from the many possibilities for emergency, I stared at the ceiling.
She used this machine to get an insider's view of my breast.
That's when she told me I would get the official results in the mail, but after seeing the images, she was not concerned. There was some formal language about monitoring the lump annually and watching for changes, but for now, there was nothing to worry about.
Nothing to worry about. As promised, my letter arrived in the mail the following week.