Waiting Is the Worst

by Laurie Cheslak • More.com Member { View Profile }

"Hello, is this Laurie Cheslak?"

"Yes!"  I’d noticed the caller ID saying the call was from the William Backus hospital.

"I’m your breast health contact.  I call to let you know that I’m here for you to answer questions, or help you manage your breast health care. I call when you are scheduled for another procedure after a mammogram. I see you have an Ultra-sound needle biopsy on your left breast tomorrow. Do you have any questions for me?"

Two weeks ago I had my yearly mammogram. Last week I had a second mammogram and ultra-sound at Backus hospital.  When you have "asymmetrical tissue in both breasts" that requires more tests, you get very nervous. I’d had a needle biopsy in Hartford, in 2005. Then I’d had a cyst removed from my left breast. Both lumps were benign. Such a lovely word "BENIGN"!!! Now I was having to think about my breasts as potential concern instead of  thinking of them fondly as "the twins". 

After the mammogram, the  hospital technician walked me to X-ray for my ultra-sound. The ultra-sound tech gooed up the ultra-sound device and began looking more closely at "the twins".  After she was finished, she had a doctor come and take a look. The doctor smiled kindly, too kindly, and said, "I’m going to need to do a needle biopsy on your left breast, Laurie. I just need to decide the best way to do it. Your left breast tissue looks okay."

After getting home, I went about swiffering my floors, doing laundry, filled and started the crock pot and created a Valentine’s Day musical poem video on my YouTube channel, "Lauriewriter".  The phone rang.

I saw it was Women’s Care Medical Center.

"Hello, may I speak to Laurie? This is Dr. Donahue."

Oh, man, I thought.

"Hi, Dr. Donahue. It’s me."

"I don’t know what all the doctor told you, but you will have an ultra-sound needle biopsy. I wanted to make sure you knew and answer any questions."

"Thank you, Dr. Donahue. You’re such a wonderful, caring doctor. The ultra-sound doctor told me she’d be letting me know how she was going to do the procedure, but that I needed the biopsy and that my right breast was okay. When will she call?"
"She will confer with other specialists and then determine the best way to do the biopsy. That’s the way Backus does this. They all meet and share perspectives and then call me. I’ll let you know just as soon as I do."

"Thank you so much for your call, Dr. Donahue. I so appreciate how you care about my well-being."

I called my husband, sharing my news.

"Are you okay? You want me to come home instead of going to the gym, after work?"

"I’m fine. I’m sure it will be benign like before. You go ahead and work out. I made some yummy homemade chicken noodle stew. See you. Love you."

He came in the door at 4:30.

"I thought you were going to work out. I’m glad you’re home. You know what I mean."

"Time with you is more important than a workout," Gary whispered in my ear as he pulled me close to his six foot wall of protection.

I cried.

Tomorrow I get the ultra-sound biopsy. The informative Backus health care worker described it. It would be different than just the needle biopsy I’d had in 2005.  I’ll remove my clothes from the waist up, and put on a lovely hospital gown. I’ll lay down on the ultra-sound table and have my breast protruding through the table so it’ll be immobile. Then the doctor will clean the breast with antiseptic and numb it. Then she’ll do the needle biopsy, take a tissue sample, then seal the fingernail-tip-size wound with a special liquid adhesive. Then my husband can drive me home.

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