All Tests Aren’t Created Equal

I woke up the next morning ready to book my breast ultrasound. I called a local hospital. There was an ultrasound office nearby so I figured I could run over real quick during my lunch break. This was an emergency right?

I called frantically and let her know the deal. I insisted I come in for an ultrasound that day. She calmed me down (sort of) and said actually, I would need a mammogram too and unfortunately they don’t do mammograms at that location. I got defensive, I told her that my doctor told me I would only need an ultrasound and I wasn’t interested in being exposed to the radiation of a mammogram. I told her that was ridiculous and I am only 30. I didn’t realize it in the moment, but I was the one being absolutely ridicoulous

She was disgusted with me, I could tell in her voice. She put me down, made me feel like I wasn’t respecting my body. I asked if they did thermography there?  A friend of mine had told me about it and it was the safer alternative to mammography. She had no idea what I was talking about and I hung up the phone frustrated and annoyed.

I called another hospital and asked if they did the thermography. They once again had no idea what I was talking about. Why didn’t anyone know what this is?! What is wrong with our healthcare system?!  She then said, well we can just do the ultrasound if you’d like. OH perfect yes lets do that!!! Then she said, “but ma’am, why wouldn’t you just get the mammogram too. We can even tell you your results right then in there”. There was something in her voice, a genuine concern that made me stop in my tracks and had a quick reality check. What are you thinking Janine!? I also wanted those results, as soon as humanly possible. I agreed and she said the first available appointment was that coming week. SHIT, I had to be in the city for work that week. How was I going to delay this?! What if there really is something wrong with me and I end up dying because I had to wait a week. She assured me that a week wouldn’t make much of a difference and I booked my mammogram with right breast ultrasound for February 2, 2016.

I went to my meetings in the city that week feeling lost but in much need of a distraction. I didn’t tell anyone what I was battling in my mind. I didn’t tell anyone that I was pretty confident that I was dying. I didn’t want to be that girl, I didn’t want to be dramatic and take away from the very important meetings we had that week. I threw all of my energy and thoughts into work and was feeling a sense of relief. I felt invincible again and thought  I am strong, I am healthy, this is going to be nothing.

I almost completely forgot about it after a long day of meetings into the night until I saw my one coworker. She is one of my very good friends. Since, working remote, we rarely get to see eachother besides on google hangouts. I saw her and instantly got sick to my stomach. I have a flashback of 2 weeks ago, before I ever had an idea that something was wrong with me, when she called me distraught and told me her mom had found a lump in her breast and they had to do a biopsy. I remember her telling me and a wave of major anxiety came over me, I felt worried sick for her, for her mom, for her family and I remember thinking, what if that was my mom? How would I handle that? And then reality hits again, its not my mom, its me. They found a lump in my breast and all of those feelings send me spiriling.

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