I'm back in this room again in the hospital: the waiting room for mammograms and related breast things. I was here the day I found out I likely had breast cancer, and I was here 6 months ago for my first mammogram since my surgery. Today, I'm here for a breast ultrasound.
The women still sit in their incongruous blue pajama-like gowns. The TV blares. The women read, fill out forms attached to clipboards, stare off into space. There are still no keys to lock the clothes cubbies. The magazines are still out of date.
Someone calls my name. Surprise! I'm getting a mammogram, too. The tech is kind, but it hurts. At least she doesn't pretend that it doesn't hurt like some of the techs; I appreciate her honesty.
After more waiting, a different woman calls me in for the ultrasound. The ultrasound tech tells me that she loves her job. She uses warmed gel on my breast; she covers me with a blanket. She points out muscle, fat, and milk ducts in my breast. Fascinating. My breasts are dense, she says. What do non-dense breasts look like? I ask. "They are clear, like a clear day; yours are cloudy," she replies. I always wonder if I should apologize for having dense breasts.
The radiologist is young, Asian, very friendly, and handsome. He explains things well. Nothing untoward found today. Come back in 6 months for more. Any questions?
Now I have an hour to wait until my liver ultrasound. They don't do livers here in the breast clinic, so I have to go someplace else. I'm hungry because I'm not supposed to eat before the liver ultrasound. The coffee at Starbucks smells amazing...Everyone is eating lunch.
I walk over to the other Radiology department. They are able to take me a bit early. This technician is younger, chewing gum. I don't have to take anything off or put anything on. She just rolls up my shirt, and squirts more warm gel on my belly. She says "take a deep breath, hold it" and then "okay, you can breathe." She says this about 30 times. She takes a lot of pictures. She tells me about the liver. It is quite large, and has a lot of lobes. "What are you looking for?" I ask, trying to engage her. "The two lesions they found on the MRI," she says bluntly. Oh, yeah.
When she is done, she goes off to talk to the radiologist. I wipe the goo off my belly. Soon, she returns. Everything is benign, she says. The two lesions are hemangiomas, and there was another one she found that is just a cyst.
I call A to tell him that everything is fine, and go off to find myself some lunch. I'm tired, hungry, frustrated to have to go through all this, but relieved that the news is good. Now, onto the rest of the day.