On Wednesday I posted an essay on the blog about the importance of having an annual mammogram—prompted by the fact that I had to go in for a screening mammogram that afternoon. Before another moment passes, I want to let you know that I’m fine. The results were the same as the screening mammogram I had to take last year at the Cleveland Clinic; in short, stable. Many of you sent me personal e-mails, some of you left comments here, a few of you phoned. Thank you from the bottom of my relieved heart for your concern and support.
It was a long, stressful afternoon, despite the soothing atmosphere of the imaging center to which my gynecologist referred me. The staff could not have been kinder, and they were especially helpful when a mix-up occurred with my Cleveland films. Still, as experiences go, I could have done without this one. I needed all of yesterday to recover my equipoise.
These screenings are sobering affairs; you know that for a few of the women sharing space with you in the waiting room, the news is not going to be good. Last year, at the Cleveland Clinic, a woman wept in the anteroom. There but for the grace of God …
The thing is, my wonky breasts are likely to lead me down this path again. And again and again. As I wrote earlier this week, I was diagnosed with fibrocystic disease when I was in my twenties. (The condition goes by other names: mammary dysplasia, benign breast disease, or this euphemism—new to me—which apparently was coined to diminish worry: “fibrocystic change.”) Last year was the first time my annual mammogram raised a red flag with the radiologist. In my case—and here I’m quoting last year’s test result—”there is a moderate amount of fibroglandular density noted within the right breast … Underlying fibroglandular pattern is stable.”
Stable is a good word. I’m all for stable. It means that for one more year, I don’t have to think about these wonky breasts anymore. (And you won’t have to read about them.)
Thanks again for your concern. But tell me: did you schedule your annual exam?