I’m at the hospital for my annual mammogram screening. Totally banal. They cover the walls in pink-framed nature and flower scenes–this does not calm me down. I still feel like a beast at a slaughter facility. It will be a narrow escape.
It’s a feeling more than a thought–wearing the antiseptic gowns that smell like frozen meat makes me utterly vulnerable.
There’s the total silence (except for the bad news tv channel playing) and the dim yellow green lighting in the waiting room.
We waiting women do not bond. We sit in fearful stillness awaiting our moment of radiologic scrutiny.
Then there’s my lifelong irrational thought that I will get breast cancer at some point. It’s just a matter of waiting. There is a history in my family. I’m not just a breast pessimist.
The silence in the waiting room is accompanied by a lethal clinical silence from the administering professionals.
No one tells you your odds. There is no attempt to calm you down with human empathy. Pull the random trigger of gene expression and wait for your lottery results.
ps: As negative as I am about this womanly right of passage, I am deeply grateful for the care. Knowing is always better than not knowing–it gives me the freedom of options.