finding breast cancer: dimpling

Tuesday morning May 25, 2004, I felt the dimpling under my breast, so palpable it seemed like I should have felt it months ago. It was early, so I had to wait until 7:00 am to call the doctor’s office about an appointment. My gynecologist was unavailable, so I made a 10:00 appointment with my PCP. He turned out to be a graduate of the internal medicine program here at UCI where I manage two other residencies, so we talked and he was very sweet and cordial. He seemed to know that I knew the dimpling was not a good sign. He scheduled a mammogram and ultrasound.

When the front desk scheduled the appointment, it was set for some 8 days away. I kept asking if they could get me in sooner. No luck. From there I went down to the gynecologist’s office to make a routine appointment and got to talking to their office staff about my suspicious mass and the fact that my diagnostics were scheduled 8 days away. They gave me some advice: go back to my PCP’s office and tell them to put a STAT on the order so I could get in within 3 days. I did this, and it worked. The mammogram and ultrasound got scheduled for the next day, Wednesday at 1:00.

Nighttime. Fright sits on the bed. I shake uncontrollably. I get up so I won’t disturb Marvin. I quietly sneak into our office, hoping fright would not notice. I sit down at the computer and play games, surf for California earthquakes, political views, writing tips and references, more games, galleries of photography, museums from NY . . . I write in my journal. I am exhausted but still shaking. It’s 4:30 am.


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