Well, here it is. The day of my mammogram, which careful readers will note is one of my very very favorite days.
I’ve talked a lot about careful readers lately. You know what else you are? Annoyed readers.
Back in aught eight, when I was already 43 and shoulda been havin’ mammograms for three years, I finally went with a group from work, at my old job, to get mammograms together. I don’t mean we disrobed and smashed out in front of one another. But they sent limos to work and served us sparkling cider in the cars, and drove us to the local mammogram place, so it was kind of more fun.
That was a Wednesday, if I recall, the week before Thanksgiving. I remember this vague, “Where’s my post card?” feeling that weekend, as they’d said that’s what they’d do. They’d send a post card saying everything was okay.
I wasn’t worried, though, till I got a call on Monday. “This is Ma’am O’Gram,” said the operator, who did not call it that at all, but maybe that’s what they should do: Give these places funner names. “Are you getting yours at Yes, Ma’am’s or are you going to AppleSqueeze?”
“Oh, my family has always gone to Booby Tuesdays.”
I like how they all have to be bad chains. Because eventually they would be. Someone would have a local, boutique mammogram place that would get bought out by The Man.
“Back when HootieFlats was local, their gowns were artisan.”
When Boob Evans called me the following Monday, my first thought was, I musta left my coat there. Because denial. It’s what’s for dinner. And of course I hadn’t left my coat there; if I had I wouldn’t be telling you this endless story. What they said is they found something and could I return for another gander.
And see, I was fairly new to blogging then, so I rushed back here and told y’all, a thing I’d know not to do now, because oh, with the horror stories, and then one of you said, “You need to know every detail. You need to call them back and find out what they saw.”
See. That was terrible advice. And I took it.
“Say, receptionist at Bad MaamaJaama’s, what all did the doctor think he saw?” I asked. And she read my report, which indicated a spiculated density, except the brain scientist receptionist called it a “speculated density.” “Aw, that’s okay, he’s just speculating that there’s a density!” she said brightly.
So not only did I Google spiculated density and SCARE MYSELF TO DEATH, I also had the mammogram place call my terrible doctor, who called me that night to say, “This sounds bad. Prepare for the worst.”
And that is how I spent 72 hours shaking and crying. In a fetal position. Because I’m nothing if not all the way with my dramatic reactions.
Then I went to a new place with a better reputation, my old images in hand, and they did an ultrasound and said, “You’re fine, but come back in six months” and Marvin can tell you. Oh, how he can tell you. I SPENT SIX MONTHS OBSESSING. I mean, that’s all I did. Oh, I Googled and I checked chat rooms and I thought and I worried and I carried on, and why so divorced?
Then I was fine at that appointment, and hey, six months later, I went back for a regular mammogram and
They called me back again. This time for the other side. When they called me that second time, I burst into tears and asked, “How could you do this to me?”
Turns out that was normal, too, but if I could describe to you the depths of my terror when they call me back, you’d be sitting here reading this post. Is what you’d be doing.
I’ve had normal results since then, but then for the last couple years I just didn’t go, because I was sad about breaking up with Ned and I KNOW THAT’S RIDICULOUS, but I was all, I feel bad enough without adding this terror, so I didn’t go.
I KNOW SHUT UP.
At the beginning of this year, not only did I say I had to get my finances in order, but also I had to get a PAP smear (another thing I’d been putting off), get my colonoscopy (I was two years late for that) and finally, get the dreaded mammogram.
PAP, check. Colonoscopy, check.
And that brings us to today. I switched places because their radio ad said they gave you same-day results, had my records switched over and everything, so when I get there the Bay City Rollers will be on.
I’ll be here all week.
But when I made the actual appointment, they said they “don’t do same-day at the Greensboro office” and FUCK EVERYTHING. So now I know I have ice-cold terror to live through for maybe, you know, a week.
…I just heard a loud thump, which means Steely Dan is done being on the roof for now.
But I don’t see him. That was all jarring and annoying, but when I looked, there was nothing.
Kind of like how I hope today turns out.