First of all, let me just say this: Premarin is a wonder drug.
For me, that is. Perhaps not for those of you who have decided to go another route, but for me. The "personal summers" and general mood swings I was experiencing....oh, let's get real, shall we? The sweltering hot flashes and the constant hatefulness I was experiencing due to certain hormonal changes of women my delicate age are now under control.
Well, as much as they can be.
But along with that comes a price.
I have always been one to get my yearly checkups without fail. Having had two aunts die from breast cancer and/or the spread of it to other places, I have always been one to get a yearly exam and mammogram like clockwork. I know the results of letting things like that go. And with it running in my family, I can't take the chance.
Or can I?
My last mammogram was over two years ago.
At the time I went in for the usual self-imposed torture, I had no doubt everything was going to turn out just fine, just like it always had. I did the usual vice-grip views of each side, then sat to wait as the technician checked the films.
And I waited.
And I waited.
And I waited.
And then I got worried.
And the longer I sat, the more worried I got.
Finally the technician came back in and told me there was "just a little shadow on one of the films, so the doctor wanted to re-take that one just to be sure."
And my heart dropped into my stomach, which then threatened to spew all over the exam room.
We took the extra film, and the technician left again, promising to be right back in a few minutes.
The "few minutes" seemed like four years. It was all I could do to hold it together while I waited in that room with that little cape covering me. I kept thinking "What if???" I was 49 years old. My daughter was 14. My son was 12. My grandchildren had not yet been born.
The technician came back into the room and told me I could get dressed. It was, it seemed, just a shadow after all. I thanked her, and as she left I burst into tears. I don't ever think I've been that scared in my life.
And so I did a stupid thing. I didn't go back.
Until today, that is.
In order for me to keep getting the prescription of Premarin, I have to have a regular mammogram. That's the rule. And the prescription I have is about to run out. No mammogram, no Premarin.
So I went.
Yes, I explained to the technician my fears. Yes, I got teary-eyed as I did it. Yes, she was ever so kind and ever so sweet about the whole thing, and did not keep me waiting at all for results. If there was the slightest delay, she made sure to explain it to me so that I wouldn't worry. She was a gift from God.
And speaking of a gift from God, Xanax, People Magazine and the iPod Shuffle are wonderful inventions. Let me just say that. Because, Brethren and Sisterns, there is no way I would have survived this ordeal today without major tranqulizers, the distraction of Patrick Dempsey, and the podcast of Joyce Meyer speaking about confidence all at the same time.
As it turned out there was no need to fear. Everything turned out the way it should, and I got a clean bill of health until the next time. I'm hoping this will alleviate my fears for the next go-round, which I plan to do without the use of pharmeceuticals.
But Patrick and the iPod are staying.