Linwood Shares How Diagnostic Tests Provide Peace of Mind
Last winter I happened to be reading in bed, able to sneak away for a little break from my two and five-year-olds to finish the last few pages of a good book. The way that I rolled to one side and tucked my hand under my armpit led me to find a lump in my left breast. It was small, maybe the size and feel of a pencil eraser, but it was there.
Mild anxiety and pragmatism fought one another for a few days until I was able to make time to go to the Swedish Covenant Immediate Care Center for a cold and to have them see what they thought of the lump. I was expecting that they would say that it was just a cyst or something normal and nothing to worry about. Instead, she encouraged me to make an appointment to have it looked at in the Women’s Health Center. I wrote my doctor on the Patient Portal and she sent me a referral that day.
At the Women’s Health Center, I received a mammogram and ultrasound. My experience here was so positive, from the nice robes they put you in to the modern facilities and warm, professional staff. I knew that I was in good hands and was glad to be getting to the bottom of the situation. Just being there calmed my worries, knowing that whatever the situation was, I was in good hands and was being proactive.
In the results, the lump was described as ‘suspicious’ and that a biopsy should be taken. At this point, my pragmatic side gave way to anxiety and fear. I immediately broke down sobbing, with my kids climbing into my lap to ask what was wrong. It was one of those times when you realize that everything that you take for granted—your health, getting to see your kids grow up, could be taken away.
It was about a week before Christmas and my parents were flying in to spend it with us. The thought of enduring the holidays with my family with this hanging over my head was unbearable. I called the Women’s Health Center to see if there were any openings to get in as soon as possible.
I spoke with Linda, who was extremely warm and understanding. After I explained my concerns, she said if I could come right then that they could get me in. I said I would head right in, and called to see if any friends could take my two-year-old son.
Again, the excellent facilities and professional staff soothed my nerves. The biopsy was quick and painless. A day or two later, I received a personal call from Linda that the results were benign. I could happily announce this to my parents. I was able to enjoy the holiday and my family without this hanging over me, knowing that I had done my due diligence for my health and could be grateful for the results.
Going forward, I know that I will be proactive with self-exams and physicals. Breast cancer is a scary thing, but with vigilance it can be caught early, greatly improving the odds of recovery. I feel fortunate to have access to such excellent care with the Women’s Health Center at Swedish Covenant Hospital.
To schedule a mammogram, request an appointment or call 773-878-6888.
Published October 1, 2018