Retrieving My X-Rays from the Breast “Care” Center

by Maggan

in Anxiety & Fear,Health Care,Mammogram


Friday afternoon. I drive back to the Breast Care Center for the fourth time in less than a month to retrieve my mammograms. I need to give them to my surgeon when I see him.

Again, I ruminate  over the hopeless, pointless, and completely unanswerable question: Why did they not find my lump last year, before it grew to 1.5 cm?  Why have annual mammograms when 80% of all lumps are found by the women themselves (or by their partners)? Why at least not have diagnostic mammograms with more views?

The staff is neutral whens I ask for my x-rays, although they must know that I am now a cancer patient. Why else would I pick them up?

This is what I need: Calm indifference, no looks of pity. No sideways glances. I don’t want them to be kind. Any acknowledgment of the seriousness of my diagnosis would worry me. Did they train the staff to be neutral? Or did it come with experience? Fatigue? Did it come naturally to them after awhile, like unseeing fish eyes in the subway system where you learn not to “look?”

I wait 45 minutes for my plates because I was supposed to have called 24 hours in advance. How could I have known? It occurs to me that a breast imaging center should give women a pamphlet , or at least a one-pager, describing the steps to take in the unfortunate event that they have cancer.

During my wait, I think: At least now I won’t have to deal with Alzheimers’.

Then lightening strikes.

One does not preclude the other. I can get both cancer and Alzheimers, if I linger long enough. My supposedly slow-growing cancer, kept in check by, perhaps, Tamoxofin and/or chemo, will keep my body alive until my mind is attacked by plaques.

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