The ultrasound technician at the diagnostic imaging center was cold, as was the ultrasound room. I’m not saying the technician was physically cold, her personality was cold, almost to the point of rudeness when I walked into her domain. No small talk from her, only a very brief explanation of what was happening and what she was going to do. Some radiologist in some other room had decided that this day’s right mammogram showed something that needed further analysis via ultrasound. No discussion of what that something might be. At least the mammogram technician was kind, but this woman was not. By the time she finished taking her ultrasound photos of my right breast, she was even more unresponsive. “I have to go take this CD of pictures to the radiologist.” How did I manage to request a blanket from her to get warm before she left? She returned and told me that my primary care physician was expecting me at her office across the street. When I asked what was going on, she said that my physician would be able to fill me in. And then she gave me a hug and said “bless you” or something to that effect. Hmmm????
I left the cold room and walked down the hallway to the exit. Leaving the dark, subdued building, I walked out into the sunshine. The anxiety I was feeling inside didn’t match the bright, beautiful, sunny New Orleans day outside. I crossed the street and went to my primary care doc’s office. Quickest wait I have ever had at her office–she was at least ready to talk to me. She informed me that my ultrasound looked like breast cancer.
I remember being calm about the news. I didn’t cry. I think I was in shock. Or denial. Or both.
I have no great insight that I would like to go back and tell myself at this point. However, I wish I could simply go back and hold my own hand as I am going through this experience, giving myself comfort and reassurance that we can get through this.
I don’t think one ever forgets the day you get your cancer diagnosis… Mine was on the phone and I was home alone… In hindsight I would have liked to give that doctor a piece of my mind about his lack of bedside manners… In fact there non existence … And what his phone call felt like… And how it could have been handled better… I felt like a bolt of lightening had hit out of the blue it was so unexpected….
Oh that’s heartbreaking. Bad news is hard enough to bear as it is. I was told over the phone, but kindly and was called by my surgeon’s office within 2 hours, to schedule a consultation the next day. This system worked well for me.
Harder to comment on this than the Haiku post….my heart goes out to all of you…..
I’m sorry about the technician’s coldness. That was really inexcusable. And yes, the contrast that day between the sunny, bright day and your anxious inner feelings… I know exactly what you mean. Thanks for sharing.
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