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I Want My MRI

jencullenjules

I will start by telling you that everything is ok. Not to worry. Better than ok. I am still cancer free.

I went for a mammogram this morning. My first one since last February when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I barely gave it a second thought this morning as I got ready for my appointment. Because it’s too early for me to worry about a recurrence.

Especially since I have one more Herceptin infusion left. The really worrying won’t begin for a few months. Maybe even a little bit longer.

I walked into the doctor’s waiting area, checked in with the receptionist and had a seat. Then I looked around. Women. Lots of them. And I started thinking that what has happened to me is what many women sitting there feared. Cancer.

Cancer used to be my fear. Well, my main fear was actually ovarian. Breast cancer was a secondary fear. And sometimes, when I would get a headache, I would think I had a brain tumor but the headaches always went away.

But when one of your fears becomes your reality, you can’t let it stay one of your fears.

I started to get nervous waiting for my name to be called. A mammogram. What was I thinking. I should have pushed for an MRI. I don’t trust mammograms. I found my own tumor. And it showed up on the mammogram. Of course it did. It was big enough for me to feel. Hard as a rock. The size of an edamame.

But the ultrasound done right after the mammogram showed an additional tumor. And the MRI showed three. Three tumors and only one showed up on the mammogram.

So who gives a shit about having a mammogram.

Not me.

As the radiation tech started manipulating my dimpled, left-turning, scarred right breast, I tried to focus on my breathing. But she kept telling me not to breathe as the images were being taken. While checking the films to see if they were good, she asked me if I was also having an ultrasound.

“No. Do I need one?”

And then it was done and I really started to freak out because she told me not to get dressed yet in case the doctor wanted more pictures.

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

It was only a few minutes but it felt like an eternity.

“Ok,” she said. “You’re free to go.”

“That’s it?”

That’s it.”

And I walked out to my car not really sure how to feel. Happy to still be cancer free. But thinking, “Fuck. This is how it’s going to be everytime I go for a diagnostic test.”

My MRI is scheduled for September.

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