Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My head is a dangerous neighborhood

It's a routine screening, but I convince myself something will be found. Then for the next five days I live in terror that the phone will ring and someone at my doc's office will tell me they have bad news. This year I set my phone to silent so I could choose when I'd listen to the bad news message. The outcome was that I had five days of silent terror and missed several calls from people I should have answered.

As each day passes with no message I wonder if they've lost my records, or if the news is so bad they're trying to figure out how to tell me. This year I also wondered whether I might have given them my phone number with the wrong area code.

I do this every year when I get a mammogram.

I can talk about this today because I got the "all is normal" in a form letter from the doc's office. Now my life can resume its normally scheduled events.

I am embarrassed to even write about this. Partly it's because I have family members and friends currently being treated for breast cancer, and if they happen to read this they may think I'm making light of the topic. Partly it's because I know mammograms are intended as screening tools so that anything amiss can be caught early when it's most treatable.

My head is a dangerous neighborhood to go into alone when I'm stuck in fear. It's happened with other subjects during my life. When I'm not afraid I can talk to anyone about anything under the sun. I have a feeling, though, that talking when I'm afraid might make sense.

Next time maybe I'll consider it.


16 comments:

#1Nana said...

I'm glad that everything was clear. That reminded me to call my kidney guy...I still don't have the results of my MRI to investigate some sort of irregularity. Obviously I have a different style for dealing with medical problems. I'm enjoying being in denial. Nothing serious can be wrong or someone would have contacted me. Of course I don't listen to my phone messages either!

Linda said...

How awful to be caught in that kind of fear. I have a letter here by my chair to remind me to call and schedule mine. I don't give a mammogram a second thought. Ovaries, and I'm in outer space with sheer terror. So glad your report was good.

Quilly said...

Next time consider this: my mate had a mole removed. It was on his lip and interfering with his trumpet playing. They said it was normal procedure to do a biopsy but not to worry, we'd hear back in 8-10 days. We heard back in less than 24 hours. The more time that passes, the more apt it is that nothing is wrong at all. They don't wait when it's serious.

Linda Reeder said...

I'm glad you had a good report.
I got a call from my health care provider yesterday that I needed to have some tests done, specifically my thyroid hormone levels. I have been on thyroid replacement for many years, and this is standard.
I went in to the clinic this morning, and by this afternoon I got my report via email. Group Health Co-op has a great system.

Retired English Teacher said...

I understand your fear. Been there, felt that. I'm glad the report came back normal.

Georgia said...

I too find it scary to have 'tests' even if they are routine. I found it interesting that the heart doctor considered my surgery to be an uncomplicated procedure. To me it was HUGE!
I think you are completely normal to have the feelings you have and hooray for you to be willing to talk about them, in fact to write about them!
Well done cousin

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I know that feeling all too well. Does your mind just play tricks on you? I let my imagination get the best of me and then I'm a nervous wreck. So glad that it was great news.

Arkansas Patti said...

So glad you got a good report. I am just the opposite, no news is good news and until I hear differently, I am in good health. Yeah, I know, how annoying.

Olga said...

It seems natural to worry a bit, but turning off the phone ringer struck me as extreme! Being touched by breast cancer, as having family and friends who are diagnosed would do, must make the possibility so much more real, though. So glad you got the "normal" letter.

DJan said...

Congratulations on the letter about it being normal. It's great to have assurances that all is well. I had several abnormal readings in the past, and having to go back for re-screening is pretty upsetting. You are not alone in your fears, that's for sure! Good post, very honest.

Deb Shucka said...

You are so not alone in your fears. And you are so right about the power in talking about them. So glad you did here - amazing post.

Friko said...

You made perfect sense to me. I wish I had your memory.

Between the actual tests (whatever one it is) and the letter telling me whatever, I have already forgotten the former. Does that make sense?

I sw your very funny comment at AG and decided to pop over. You are just as funny on your blog.

Friko said...

saw, you twit woman, "SAW"

Tabitha Bird said...

Wow. glad everything was all clear. :)

marciamayo said...

I'm with you on this. I'm always assuming that they are all standing around the doctor's office saying, "you tell her," "no, you tell her," "no, I told the last one."

Ms Sparrow said...

Thank god for mammograms and getting a jump on breast cancer. But, it still doesn't lessen the terror of the wait or the dread of that diagnosis.