I recently went for a mammogram which is one of my favorite things. It combines all of my favorites, fear, pain, and waiting. I am terrified of anything medical because I fear the results. I’m not a big fan of a big clamping machine designed to squeeze my breasts. But most of all I hate waiting to know the results. I’ve been through countless mammograms because, well I’m old, but this one was a little different because I was having discomfort. So my doctor ordered a diagnostic which means it’s a little more thorough than a screening and you get your results before you leave.
If you are not familiar with the typical process, you are moved from a waiting room to an intake space and then a holding cell where you wait to be called and then you are released. But when it’s a diagnostic you go back in your gown to the holding cell and wait to hear your results. While I waited I started to notice that there were two options that day. You could be called to the left and it seemed you got to go home relieved, or you could be called to the right. The ladies that went to the right didn’t seem to go home. At least not right away through the door we had come in. I suspected that those ladies did not go home as relieved, maybe not with a diagnosis, but with more tests at the very least.
So I sat praying oh please God let me go left. It seems like the right way to go. When I first sat down there were at least 6 or 7 women in the room but after awhile it was just me and one other woman. There’s an awkwardness to sharing a moment like that with a stranger and yet I think those moments create an unusual bond between you. I was elated when the technician came out and said come left, all is well, and you are all set. Because I had driven myself into a frenzy I hugged her and felt the weight of the world lift off of my chest. But then I looked up and I saw the woman I was waiting with be called to the right. In the midst of my joy I felt a crushing sadness for my holding cell partner.
That night I was telling my husband about my experience, and he reminded me that it was a time to celebrate, and he was right. Because the truth is eventually, we all get called to go right. We all get the news we hoped not to. There’s just no way around it. So we have to make a choice about what we are going to do with the days in between. And my choice is not to waste them worrying about things I can’t control, people I can’t control, and the future which I definitely don’t control. I chose to be tremendously grateful and appreciative of the chance to go left yesterday. I chose not to take my good luck for granted. I chose to pray for my holding cell friend that went to the right. And I chose to trust that when its my turn to go to the right that I will not be alone and I that I will have lived all of my days to the fullest.