Chasing cancer: The prequel
I’ve always been a rule-follower which is how my story begins…following the rules. Back in May 2013 I went to the “dreaded annual exam” and left with an order for my first mammogram. I asked my OB-GYNE, Dr. Eileen Morrison, if I needed to go right away, to which she said I could wait until school was out. So I did and made an appointment for June 26.
The day of my mammogram, the kind tech at the Advocate Condell Medical Center Imaging Center explained to me how the process works and that I shouldn’t be alarmed if I was asked to go to the hospital for any retakes. Since this was my first one, they’d have no previous exams to reference. I was surprised by how easy/not scary/not painful the process was. I even told my best friend Michelle that annual visits would be no big deal.
The next day I returned a call I received from the hospital and was put through to Central Scheduling. The gal that answered that phone read me the order, saying…blah, blah “abnormal” blah, blah. (Whoa! Did I just hear that right?) Telling her that I’d be out of town for the holiday, she offered an absurdly early time on the 9th. (Hey guys, it is summertime, and I am a teacher…) I opted for a more suitable time available on the 11th.
When the 11th came, I went without my husband, Chris as I really didn’t think he needed to come. The mammograms and ultrasound went well and it wasn’t until Monica – my Breast Health Navigator – asked as we were nearing the session’s conclusion if anyone was with me, that I began to second guess my coming alone. Nonetheless, she led me to a counseling room where she explained what my films showed and that the doctor wanted to do a biopsy – on BOTH breasts. They conveniently had an appointment opening the next day.
The 12th was a humorous, in a twisted sort of way, event. The ladies were FANTABULOUS and the procedures were rather uneventful. I was actually quite calm as I entered each of the three rooms, which may be why I noticed the comfy office chair near each door. I decided that the chair must be where God sat because it was always left empty. (No one is permitted to go in with you AND all of the medical staff already have their set places within the room.) Although I dared not verbalize this, as I only had local anesthesia and didn’t want them to second guess my sanity.
I actually learned a lot of new medical lingo too. Like what their definition of “time out” was, that the ultrasound readings actually look like storm-tracking Doppler radar, and that doctors too are forced to wear the name tags around their neck. Poor doctor had to flip it over her shoulder and bend over in such a way as not to have it fling back into her workspace.
Anyway, back to Monica. She told us that we’d need to wait 48-72 hours for our results and then promptly set up a 1 p.m. appointment for July 16th.
To be continued… Part 2.
About the Author
Michele Dador has been an elementary school teacher in Lake County since 2003. Teaching has afforded her ample opportunities to participate in her other loves – traveling and reading. On weekends you'll probably find Michele on the back of her husband’s Harley Davidson, taking in the local sites around Southern Wisconsin (but not during Chicago Bears games, of course). And if the weather isn’t cooperating, Michele is completely satisfied relaxing at home watching DVRed People’s Court and Judge Judy – “It’s about the principle, never the money!”
Thanks for sharing your story and strength, Michele. Your positivity is so inspiring!
Thanks for sharing your story, Michelle!