You live a healthy life and hope you are doing the best that you can. There’s always room for self-improvement, and you make a promise to get better with each day. You go to Western doctors, you practice Eastern medicine. You eat kale and consider going gluten-free. You meditate, swim, do yoga.
And then the call comes, the one from the nurse at the radiology lab telling you the mammogram was indeterminate, that your left breast needs to be rescreened. In that moment you are stirred awake as if you were asleep, your eyes are wide open.
I wonder about the medical assistant (or nurse) on the other end of the phone, who are they, and how they do it day in, day out. How they process the information and manage to inform all those patients on the brink of uncertainty.
I try not to think about (aka Google search) what it may or may not mean to have an indeterminate screening. And instead, I call the health insurance hotline to confirm coverage benefits.
My internist leaves a voicemail reassuring me that initial screenings like this are common in women over 40. Breast nodules are not necessarily an indicator of cancer. She notes that the nodules could be fatty tissue or a cyst that requires drainage. It also could be nothing and that it was better for me to wait for results from the next screening before getting ahead of myself.
I take a deep breath, try to calm my mind. The fear of the unknown can be exhausting. I reschedule my afternoon so that I can take a nap.
Finn comes in from outside as if he knows that I need him nearby. We cuddle side by side and drift into our dreams.