The technician pushed and pulled and dragged what felt like the entire right side of my body into the machine.
"Hold it. Don't breathe and don't move. Okay, and one more time. Don't breathe and don't move" After a routine mammogram a week ago, the radiologist had seen calcifications in my right breast. A nurse called me last Thursday and after introducing herself, she opened with, "Don't freak out." She told me that this situation was common and was most likely not anything serious. Today I was back for a diagnostic mammogram and possibly an ultrasound.
"Okay you can relax and close your robe now." A nurse led me to an exam room to wait while a doctor looked at my new tests. In the waiting room out front I had magazines to chose from like Elle and Martha Stewart Living. In this small room my choices were three issues of a magazine called Cancer Today. Don't freak out.
Somewhere I read that the incidence of breast cancer in women my age is one in forty-four. Perhaps I read that statistic when I was Googling "breast calcifications" while I was not "freaking out" in the days leading up to my second round of tests.
My first tests of the day indicated that I would need the ultrasound. The ultrasound room had no magazines, just a white machine like the one at the gynecologist's office. After the exam, I waited again while a doctor looked at my results. I watched the minutes change on the computer screen and tried to think about anything but one in forty-four. One in forty-four of my female family members. One in forty-four of my women Facebook friends. One in forty-four of my mom friends from Bob's school.
Twelve minutes later the technician returned. The calcifications were not obviously malignant nor were they obviously benign, they were somewhere in the middle, not close enough to bad to require a biopsy at this time. I was to come back in six months for more tests to see if there was any change. I was told this was good news for today.
Today, right now I am a most fortunate one in forty-four. Have you been tested lately?