Some Mistake

1 minute read time.

Failed tests are usually what I associate with a car M.O.T. A mechanic giving you that long intake of breath before saying something about high milage, expired warranty and age. So, getting a “failed” mammogram test did not seem so bad. At least there was nothing about having high emissions and a leaking gasket.  There was a letter with it saying that there was probably nothing more than a smudge on the Xray. Could I do a retest?

My academic life has been full of retests and so has my driving record, so I was not unperturbed. The Xray probably had an artefact, not the archaeological kind but a human error in it’s graphic. A mistake.

With a casual air I walked into the retest expecting just another photo shoot. I was shown an Xray picture of something that looked like a deep-sea jellyfish. There were fascinating webs of light running through it. Part of the web seemed to be gathering in an area where there were little twinkles of brightness. Blood vessels and calcium deposits showing an area of activity. The medical staff took a painless biopsy and inserted an inert metal marker in side my breast. What is it made of? Titanium! Of course it was!

Twelve days later the result arrived. I had a very small growth, the size of a small garden pea. Several emotions can run at once. Fear, fascination and relief.

One screaming ‘This is the big one!’.

One quietly asking, ‘How did that happen?’

One saying ‘They got it early! It won’t be too bad’.

No one said my warranty had expired, no one suggested scrapping and no one mentioned a bill. I was good to go. My real problem was going to be my family.