Hospital Gown

September is the month the World Trade Center fell right before my eyes.  It’s the month my mother died and also the month of my yearly check-up at Sloan Kettering.  I should really pluralize that last phrase as I have check-ups with various doctors.  This year they are spread out over two weeks due to schedules that proved uncooperative.  I had my mammogram this afternoon.  The unsightly gown always seems to put my nerves on high alert.  The first round of boob smashing went fine but then they wanted a second round.


I saw white specs on the radiologists screen.  The doctor circled the area he/she wanted the technician to concentrate on.  I can’t really read these images and when I do it’s always with a negative slant.  Hugging the machine I started writing my obituary.  Thought about my life and what I have or haven’t done.

I was sent to the waiting room again.

Thirty minutes or an eternity.  It’s all the same in a flimsy pink gown.  Finally, the technician appeared.

All clear for another year.  NED –  I wanted to hug her.  I had been there for two very long hours.

“What about all the white dots I saw on the screen?”

She said, “They were nothing, we were just being thorough.  You have a dense breast.”

I left the hospital with a huge sense of relief.

In exactly a week, I leave for a two-week vacation to Europe.  It’s a photography trip I planned with my friend Freda.   I am ecstatic to go and the past few months have been filled with anticipation.  In the waiting room, I wondered if I should have planned something so wonderful in September.  I haven’t been to Europe in four years.  Four years seems a lifetime ago with all that has happened.  I’ve got two more doctors appointments between now and then.  Between now and then there will be anniversaries and people to remember.  Between now and then I will be packing and revisiting some of the thoughts I had while hugging a machine.

I am thankful all went well today.

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16 Responses to September

  1. marydpierce says:

    Two weeks in Europe, photography with a friend. Sounds like something not only wonderful, but well-earned. I can’t wait to see the the results. I am truly happy on the all clear results. Enjoy!

  2. LB says:

    Aside from the unhappy memories of September, there is so much about this post that makes me happy!
    OF COURSE that your mammo was good and I’ll hope the rest of your appointments also end on a good note.
    I am so very excited that you are taking some time off!!!! You very much deserve it! Be sure to take some quiet moments in Europe to sit quietly and breathe.

  3. Terry says:

    Enjoy your trip!!!

  4. We are all also thankful all went well Mae. I think we all worry when tests are performed, but some of us have more of a reason to be worried than others.

  5. tw says:

    Good that they’re thorough, not so good that you had the time to ponder your obituary, good that all is well and very good that you have a break coming up. I think we have to do what we want to do and deal with the medical shenanigans if or when they happen, otherwise we’d never be able to get on with the living part of our lives.

  6. elroyjones says:

    Me too, thankful all went well, Mae.

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