Several very good friends, over the years have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Thankfully, (sometimes after very difficult treatments) they are fine for now.
So I remained calm when my doctor told me, during my annual physical last week, that she wanted me to have a diagnostic mammogram because she felt a suspicious thickness in my left breast. A “diagnostic” mammogram consists of the usual exam with extra pictures of the area in question plus a sonogram.
I went on with my life as usual, but began to feel anxious on the day of the exam. The technician promised me that I would get the results immediately either way. The mammogram itself was long and painful. The technician showed no reaction to the pictures, which is the right thing for her to do.
The sonogram seemed to take forever. Back and forth and back and forth over the same spot. No emotion on the technician’s face. After what seemed like forever, she finished and left me to get the radiologist. During her long absence, I was thinking about how I would deal with a breast cancer diagnosis.
The radiologist wanted to look for himself. So, more gloop, more back and forth with the sonogram transducer.
Finally, the result.
“You have very dense tissue, but we see no malignancy,” said the radiologist.