As You Read This

The 'As You Read This' series chronicles my experience of finding a lump in my breast at 23 years old and again at 31 years old.

As You Read This
Photo by Carli Jeen / Unsplash

I am sitting in the waiting room of the Breast Center at Albany Medical.

My body is pressed firmly against the back of the chair. My arms are straight down beside me. My elbows are locked. My hands are grasping the sides of the seat cushion. My fingernails are scratching. My legs are shaking.

Jeff sits beside me and rubs my back, as I try to breathe in, out, in, out, in…

My name is called.

I walk into what looks like a clothing store fitting room. I remove my shirt and my bra and wrap a medical robe around my torso.

I exit the ‘fitting room’ and enter a room full of women. Women who are sitting, waiting, and wearing similar robes. They are much older and flash sympathetic smiles in my direction. They think she is too young to be here. Or maybe that’s only in my head.

I sit. I wait. I stare at the wall. My feet are tapping, as I breathe in, out, in, out, in…

My name is called.

I stand, my arms wrapped tightly around my stomach to keep my robe closed.

I enter the exam room. The door closes.

I wait.