|The black dot on the right?|
One of my new bad-ass tattoos.
© kittelberg writes
Today started bright and early at the cancer agency. Turns out I was scheduled for a CT scan, not a CAT scan.
The CT scan, as I told my friend Brandee today, ensures the radiation is aimed precisely, all the better to kill off stubborn cancer cells that may or may not be there, and save my organs from being inadvertently fried.
You may have also heard women talk about getting their tattoos, which help with setting up the radiation therapy machine properly.
These new tattoos may not look like much, but with all due respect to the artists who gave me my other tattoos, I think they're way more bad-ass than any other ink on my body.
Now I wait - up to 10 business days - for my radiation oncologist and her posse to refine my treatment, then start. No fuss, no muss.
After a quick visit with my colleagues, I head to Mount Saint Joseph for my mammogram. This is the stressful part. After all, it's about the unknown.
The technician has me wait while she has a doctor look at my results before either sending me off, or having me stay for more tests. I'm sitting outside the ultrasound room, and notice the happy baby poster which had me bursting into tears last time I saw it. Nothing like a reminder that treatment could leave me barren!
This time? No tears. I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that George and I are "one and done" when it comes to children.
A lifetime ago
Then I see the couple. They look younger than me, late 20s or early 30s. She's on a gurney, he's following. I wonder if she's here for a fine-wire placement, which will show her surgeon exactly where her tumour is. Does she have breast cancer, or some other type of cancer? Is this her first surgery?
Less than six months ago, I was in her hospital-issue fuzzy socks, scared out of my mind. My husband was the guy waiting in the hallway, trying hard not to lose his shit.
My ultrasound tech comes over and tells me I can get changed and go home. No more tests today. This must be a good sign. After all, the last time I had a mammogram, I stayed for an ultrasound, then was told I had to come back again for a biopsy. We all know what the result of that was.
I get changed and am ready to cartwheel out the door.
Then I walk past the young man, still waiting. He looks up at me and gives me a nervous smile. I smile back.
I get outside and wish I had said something to him. But what? I hope his loved one is okay. I hope I'm okay. Maybe I'll meet his Mrs. at my next mammogram, and we'll cartwheel out the door together. One can hope.