When the tech on duty, Helena, asked me why I was six weeks early for my mammogram, I explained that I was taking care of business early. My company was on shaky ground. I needed to take care of everything while we still had health insurance. We were also trying to leave California and move to Oregon as soon as possible.
All seemed pretty much normal. We were kidding about politics and life while she took the photos. She left the room to do the initial viewing of the x-rays. When she came back, I knew immediately that there was a problem. She told me she needed some additional shots.
I asked her if there was anything wrong. She said that she did not have the authority to evaluate the x-rays, but I noticed that her face had gone quite white. When she took the additional pictures, she squeezed my right breast so hard that it left bruises. This was not in character. She was obviously upset. I told her I knew something was wrong, but once again she said she couldn’t tell me anything. Then she hugged me. This was not a good sign.
I dressed, and on my way out, in the front office up on the screen were what I knew were my x-rays. There was a bright star-shaped mass in the very center of my right breast. With all the publicity and information available, there was no mistaking what it was. The office told me that the radiologist would be contacting me on Wednesday of the following week.
I then went directly to Trader Joe’s and bought three pounds of dark chocolate truffles, came home and ate them all.