Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Glad I was in the dark

As the end of the year approaches, I am trying to make certain I get in all my standard annual doctor's visits. Since I have passed that magical 40th year, I get a mammogram each October. For that not-so-fun procedure, I like to go in October, Breast Cancer Awareness month, because they always give you pink ribbon goodies. I am a sucker for freebies. This year I got a jar gripper, some power bars, and a nail buffer. Woo Hoo!

I think there should always be giveaways at the doctor's office. "In exchange for your copay, here is a lovely Prozac pen as a parting gift." And, if I get free medication samples, I am as happy as a kid with a full Trick or Treat bag!
But, a week after my initial appointment, I got a call from my primary care physician's office. I needed to go back for additional tests ... someone was supposed to have called me already but they had not ... please make an appointment for an ultrasound ... the doctor will fax over the orders. I called the Women's Health office and arranged the appointment for today. No one seemed to be in a rush so I did not give it much thought. When I asked the reason for the new test the explanation did not sound too ominous. I try to take a low key approach to these things. No reason to add drama before there is a need.
When I got to the office I changed clothes and was put in the waiting room with the other ladies, all of us wearing the latest in pink, open-down-the-front tops. After a few minutes a nurse came and got me and quietly explained I was being taken to another part of the office. She was too nice ... too caring ... too attentive. I started to get unnerved. After a few more minutes a technician came and got me and explained that she would be "escorting" me to the procedure. Since when did I need an announced escort? Typically it is business as usual and you know to follow the businesslike nurse to wherever she goes. No explanations needed.

The technician was also very attentive and kind, explaining the process to me as though I was a nursing home resident suffering from dementia. By that point I felt as though I had stepped into a scene from the Twilight Zone. Nothing seemed normal.

The doctor arrived and explained why I had been asked to return. He had reviewed my xrays. There was a concern that I had lymphoma, cancer of the lymph nodes. He was quick to assure me about the success rate with early detection. I was stunned. But, less than five minutes later Dr. H assured me that everything looked fine. He showed me the original xrays and what had caused the concern and then an anatomy lesson of what nodes should look like. Mine were perfect.

Wow! Those few minutes seemed like an eternity. I can't imagine how I would have felt if I had known for several days about the possible prognosis. Just think - I missed all that opportunity to worry. So, just for the fun of it, I have been shopping online for Guatemalan Worry Dolls.


a corgi said...

so glad it was alright in the end, Donna, but wow, what a scare!! glad you found out sooner than later too about it and have it explained like the doctor did


Nancy said...

Oh my gosh I was getting worried as I read this, I am glad you are ok and all is normal!!!!! You'd think they could hold off on saying words like lymphoma and cancer until they have actually seen a 2nd or 3rd confirmation of it. Sheesh.
Now I am all flushed and sweaty just from reading this, I am so relieved for you!

Meg said...

Well, that kinda irritates me (for you) that they went around it backwards. They should have waited until they knew something before worrying you, don't you think? And as it turned out, you would not have had to worry at all.
I'm glad everything is fine.
This reminds me of my experience last year. I think I'll make an entry about it.

Missie said...

I'm sure glad it turned out okay. I was getting worried about what I may read!

Have a good night.

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Wow, what a scare. So glad that your nodes are perfect :o)

Honey said...

Wow!! reminds me of my FIRST mamogram!! I got that same call!
man was I scared!!!! PFFFFFFT! It was a shadow...dumb x-ray reader...grrrrr