In January, I had my yearly mammogram.  Although it was only a routine test, this year I opted to have it done at a new facility—one with state of the art equipment and the promise of less discomfort.  In preparation, I secured my old records from the previous facility and brought them with me.

What can I say about it?

New equipment.  Still uncomfortable.  Whatever.  Done.

A month later, I received a letter from the new facility stating that they were “evaluating my case” and that they would contact me at a later date once completed.

Wait a second!

“My case?” I thought to myself.  What case?  I had a routine test, not a case.  Nevertheless, I managed to shrug it off after opening my electric bill, cable bill, etc.

Admittedly, it’s wasn’t the letter I had been hoping to receive, but I reasoned that it was taking a little longer due to the new facility needing to incorporate old film from an older, more outdated system.  No problem, right?

A month after that, I got another letter.  But it wasn’t the same.  It was one of the letters that no woman ever wants to receive from her mammographer.  It read: “abnormal mammogram/right breast’.

Instead of the “happy letter” that usually comes every year (shortly after the test), this one stated that I needed to come back for “additional tests/surgical biopsy.”  To say I was devastated is an understatement.

Why?

Just two years earlier, I had received a similar letter regarding my left breast.  As it turned out, I had calcification in my milk ducts that required surgical removal.  It was a painful procedure, make no mistake, but I was ever so grateful it had not been cancer, as suspected.

Now, this new letter was discussing possible complications with my right breast.  Would I be lucky enough to get away with evading cancer again?

Already eating away at me was the fact that my maternal Grandma died with breast cancer at 34 years old, when my mother was just a child.  This made it difficult for me to have to tell my mom that my mammogram had come back “bad” again.  I didn’t want to worry her or other family members who had assisted me through the previous ordeal.  So, I kept it to myself.  I figured I would casually bring it up a day or so before the retest.

As fate would have it, the weather refused to cooperate.  Snow fell and, long story short, I missed my retest appointment.  I had to wait another two weeks before retesting.  Right then, I was glad that I had kept the incident to myself.  No one was the wiser…and no one could pull their hair out in the interim.  But, with that, I had nothing but time to pray that Yah would move in my favor.  I ended up telling my family two days before the actual exam.

I finally arrived at the facility to be retested.  I noted quite a few other women there for the same thing.  They too had received the unwanted letter.  Apparently, that was retake day.  One by one, each of us took the retest.  After a battery of tests, additional mammograms/sonograms/xrays, some were cleared while others needed additional testing, biopsies, etc.

In my specific case, it was ruled that the abnormality had been a false alarm.  Nothing showed up on the screens, test, after tests, after test.  Nothing was there.  Nothing!  I was cleared without further ado.  See you next year!  Yah had indeed ruled in my favor.

But, although I was excited, I was muted.  I felt badly for the women who had not been cleared and whose lives would never be the same as a result.  They were in for a journey that I had had a front row seat for with many of my own family members and friends.

For me, it was over.  Instead of going for a surgical biopsy, I could go home.  I could go home.  And, l did just that, rejoicing all the way!  But what about everybody else?  And what about the support they need to get through what’s coming?  What about that?

Can anybody hear me?

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