Mammogram today….upstairs first, back down here for chest xray…new insurance card…copay 40 dollars…change in here… locker won’t work try another… here take your key…sealed plastic bag with gown in it…that’s new…what a waste of plastic…sit out here and wait…women in gowns…come with me…stickers over all the scars…oooh I stink…scar marker tape won’t stick…try again…put a new one on….do you have on deodorant on…no I know not to…sorry I stink… gown open in front.. .gown off…wait…step up arm here…toes pointed front…foot pushes peddle…compresses…compresses… compresses…breathe lauren, very painful crush…hold…she touches woman’s breasts all day….standing half naked waiting…cold tiptoes…breast lifted and smoothed out….turn shoulder this way…painful crush… hold… sorry I know it hurts on that breast…hold…I will be quick…I thought I would get through this without crying…just checking to be sure they came out…she sees something I know she sees something….one more….holy shit, release damnit…I am sorry…it’s okay sometimes I cry too…I will cry with you…the ptsd just sucks right now… I know…I will run these to the radiologist…dress..go downstairs for chest x-ray…everything off but pants…gown closes in back….again…close in back or front?…back…wait in the stall….now come out…stand here face the wall…crosshairs on a wall…nice boots…zappos…wait…take markers from upstairs off…they wanted the markers on last year…no, take them off….hold turn sideways…arms in the air.… deep breath blow out… hold…don’t breathe…dress…here is your letter…NED on chest xray…no lung cancer…no bone mets…the radiologist wants to take some more pictures upstairs…why, is there something wrong…he is seeing something he wants a better picture of…the right breast????…head spinning and it’s getting dark…going to pass out…put your head down…lean over…head down…breathe…where is my phone I need my phone…key to locker won’t turn…open damnit… text…something is wrong on mammogram…what did they say…spot on right breast…when are they taking more pictures…now, I am going in now…please pray…it’s back…my heart….breathe…lauren walk….keep leaving the key to my locker behind…here is your key….how will I finish coaching odyssey…I just made it to five years…this can’t be happening…it’s back…knew something felt weird but it always feels weird….we are waiting for a room…come with me…no sorry someone is in there, sorry… please sit down again…tears pouring out…still waiting…get the god damn room ready…okay now come on in…nurse feels bad about not having a room…let me get the magnification slides out…do you want to see what he is looking at…No!…don’t look at it…feel bad for yelling at her…just get the damn machine ready…looking at it will make it real…painful, painful compression…it hurts… shaking…cold…scared…be still for the picture…breathe…crying and can’t be still…deep breath…hold…deep breath again… hold…okay go back out and sit…nurses avoid eye contact…I’m cold….picture of Elizabeth Edwards on magazine next to me…it’s over again…chemo will start next week I bet….waiting…nurses walking all around with slides…you can come back now…the radiologist wants to talk to you…can’t stand…look up at the nurse…eye contact finally…she leans over whispers…everything is okay…sobbing…it’s okay…here’s a tissue…walking back…all the nurses look at me…dr. bird…gentle old man…still crying…grabs my hand…everything is okay…you are okay….I understand more than you know…my daughter had a double mastectomy yesterday…he will be really careful then he gets it…I’m sorry…nurse stays with me in this room…why is she here? must need chaperone…black films of my breasts surround…we have the last five years from Duke… all here to look at…no change in left breast at all…I can’t think straight…what is he saying…spinning…don’t forget to ask about the mri….calcifications we know are always there….upper left screen in corner…here is the guy we are looking at…pen touches white splotch on film…yes I see it…white blotch…is that what cancer looks like?…it’s not a tumor…I see it…here is the magnification…it’s gone…for sure…yes it was nothing…no really sure…yes…let’s take another to be sure…no it’s fine…I need an mri…no it’s fine…mri’s are 3,000 dollars…BCBS…I can pay it…long explanation of why it was denied…can’t remember what he says..it’s important and I can’t think…if it was your daughter what would you do…radioactive isotope test…let’s do that next year…800 dollars…will go talk with your oncologist right now…talk to the big guy, yes…go…you forgot your key…are you 100% sure…yes….warm hand on my back…can’t get key to work…here’s your letter….don’t touch the elevator buttons…go to car eat reese cups for lunch…go upstairs to oncologist…waiting…woman’s head in scarf next to me…don’t tell me how much I weigh, it weirds me out….blood draw…can’t find vein…try my hand…temp…ask if she has a beer…blood pressure normal…gown on…no new meds?…close in back…waiting… waiting…an hour and a half wait…so very tired…facebooking…waiting for the big guy…hate the paint color…yellow writing tablets…big guy comes in…are you 100% sure…yes…but I need an mri…no you don’t…pulse…feeling under armpits for lymph nodes…he’s looking for enlarged nodes…tickles…digs in deep…don’t laugh it will be all over if you laugh…what is he thinking…scared…what is he feeling…wait, why is he so quiet…he found something I know it…all good…pressing along my collarbones…he’s looking for tumors…breasts examined…arm over head…why is this dimpled?…you lost weight it’s normal for that…palpate stomach, deep breath…thump thump thump…liver tumors he’s looking for liver tumors…thump thump thump…your breasts are less dense now…no mri…but…I thought we were at four but we are at five…yes!…powerpoint slide…with your tumor type…30 years have never seen recurrence after year five…listen to me…San Antonio breast conference….no more risk of metastases to lungs bones liver after year five…out of the woods…do I have cancer…happens usually in the first two years after treatment…you don’t have cancer…20% risk of primary in other breast…you don’t have cancer…how are your kids…no you don’t need to see the surgeon anymore…love hearing about your kids…high school…colleges…my kids were why I couldn’t die remember?… Stanford? nice…how do you get a kid into Raleigh Charter…pray to grandma in heaven and throw coins in the lighthouse wishing well…great boots…is my heart okay from herceptin?…takes bravado to wear those…yes…chest x-ray in one year….I’m sure….you don’t have cancer…big hug…you saved my life….breathe…carpool….coaching odyssey…kids…breathe….

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