That's me in the "changing area" of the Women's Center yesterday before I went in for my mammogram.
I was tickled by the fact that these changing areas had mirrors.
It was like they were saying, "Please feel free to remove your clothes, put on this adorable paper gown (and sash!) and take a look at how STUNNING you are!"
I guess if you know you're going to third base with the radiologist, you wanna look good doing it.
So yes, I definitely took a snapshot of that little giggle for your amusement. You're allowed to keep on clothing from the waist down, but from the waist up, you're in this sexy number.
I walked out of the changing area to the waiting room and saw another woman about to endure the same fate. I felt so bad, then, because she looked genuinely worried. I realized that I was very lucky to be seeing the humor in my situation because, regardless of the outcome, I understood it was in God's Hands. Not everyone has that luxury, and the scared looking blonde woman gave me that sober reminder. She silently walked into the changing area after accepting the blue gown from the nurse and came back out a few moments later looking like she'd been crying.
I really felt so terrible, then. Maybe this woman had already gotten terrible news, maybe she'd lost family to breast cancer and was just worried her number had been called, or maybe she was just really scared about whatever might show up on these results. I grabbed the tissue box off the side table and handed them to her saying,
"So I see you got the memo. Flimsy blue gowns are totally in right now."
She looked at me cockeyed for a quick second. I guess talking to strangers in clinic waiting rooms is taboo or something. She smiled, though, and then she chuckled. She actually did a little spin and said, "Yeah, but you would think they'd be pink, right?"
I laughed with her and agreed. Considering we were there to get checked for breast cancer, and everything else in the office was pink, you'd think the stupid gowns would be, too. Ah well.
An older woman heard our exchange and she mock-lamented that she didn't have a blue gown to match. I was grateful that she joined in our little conversation. I think she noticed the blonde woman's anxiety and wanted to help, too. The three of us sat together in the waiting area just chatting until the radiologist called me back.
The mammogram, itself, was painless. I was afraid it'd be really uncomfortable, but honestly, it was only slightly annoying trying to maneuver your body into the contortions they need for clear shots. The technician was really sweet and I thanked her for making an awkward situation less-awkward. I could tell she really enjoyed her job and felt like she was really helping her patients stay well. She kept going on and on about how important self-exams are and how important getting clear mammograms done regularly is. No doubt she's saved many, many women by being so thorough and careful in her exam prep.
Once I was done, I went back out to the waiting room (because I also needed an ultrasound of the area). The older woman was still there, but the younger blonde had already been called back. The older woman offered to share her shawl with me. Isn't that so sweet? She was now in a blue gown, too, and I guess she'd been through mammograms enough to know to bring a shawl. Smart woman.
I declined because I knew I'd be going back again in a moment anyway. I asked how the younger woman was after I'd left. Apparently she was still super nervous and confided that she'd had an aunt pass away recently to breast cancer. The blonde didn't have lumps or anything, but she was worried that she was at-risk for cancer and now that she was 40, she wanted to be sure.
Good for her for being more pro-active than me. I have no idea what her results were, but when she came out of the room a few moments later, she looked to be in much better spirits. We passed each other in the hall as I was going back for the ultrasound and I gave her a big smile. We didn't say anything, but she smiled back. She'll be okay.
Turns out I'll be OK, too. They found a cyst-like thing in my right breast, but the doc is pretty sure it's nothing. Yay for that! I'll be going in for one more test, but from the results he got back thus far, I'm A-OK. So thanks for the prayers, everyone! I'll keep you posted if anything changes, but I doubt they will.
Let's pray that there other women receive the same news today. <3
And again - if you don't already, please make sure you're checking yourselves regularly. It can make all the different in the world.
Oh, and as I was driving into work this morning, a thought occurred to me. It's good the gowns were blue and not pink. It was like we each got to be covered by Our Lady's mantle that day. So whenever you put on the blue hospital gowns for whatever procedures you need, think of Our Lady. Maybe she worked it out so that hospital gowns are all blue so we can all take comfort in knowing she's right there beside us.