Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.

Name

E-mail

facebook Canyon News twitter Canyon News

Canyon News

Bel Air News

Beverly Hills News

Brentwood News

Hollywood Hills News

Laurel Canyon News

Los Angeles News

Los Feliz News

Malibu News

Melrose News

Pacific Palisades News

Santa Monica News

Sherman Oaks News

Studio City News

Topanga Canyon News

West Hollywood News

Westwood News

Woodland Hills

Celebrity News

State News

National News

World Headlines

Deaf News

Entertainment

Film

Television

Music

On the Industry

Star Gazing

St. John's Confidential File

Theatrical Musings

Life & Style

Event Listings

Tech Talk

Looking Good For Lots Less

Spirit & Creativity

Miller Time

Books

View from the Hill

NY WEST

Chrystal's Recipe Corner

Career and Life Coaching

Gardening With Tony

Life According To Lenson

Real Estate Realities

Food

Sports

Marathon Running

Keeping It Bruin: A Look Into UCLA Athletics

Baseball

Basketball

Football

Hockey

Pets

Vi's Corner

Pet Tips

Point of View

John Armor

Message to America

Critic At Large... Ruta Lee

Labor Week

Ramblings

10 Degrees Cooler

McConnors corner

Edge of the west

The Physics Wizard

Auto

Kyle's Kars

Travel

Susan Michelle's Compass

Advice

Ask Deanna

Dear Lily

Ask Oona

Features

Dancing with Earthquakes

Archives

Sports Schedules

Traveling Beyond the Canyon

Edge of the West

Law Man

Ask Us

Nathan Tabor

The Angry Economist

Truth Probe

As I See It

Columnists

Truth Conquers

The Live Wire

Notes from Exile

Letters to the Editor

Dog Training by Anthony

Canyon Mews

Speak!

Sponsors

America's Most Wanted Dogs

World Recipes

Vegetarian Lifestyle

Humor

News Briefs

Local News

Books

News

Canyon Fodder

Bad Movie Night

Critical Projection

Ed's on the Town

Fitness Quests

Flashback Films

Stories of the Strange

Gourmet Grandma

He Said/She Said

Home Matters with Yvonne

L.A. Etch-a-Sketch

L.A. Ruminations

McConnor's Corner

Mommy Minute

Musically Speaking

My Back Pages

Publisher's Pages

ResourceINK

Scene and Heard in L.A.

Silly...But Wise!

Sunset Diaries

Table Options

The Paws Cause

TV Stuff

Cartoon of the Week



View from the Hill

A Biopsy And Its Afterglow
Posted by Catherine Durkin Robinson on Apr 24, 2011 - 2:12:56 PM

LOS ANGELES—The waterfall behind the receptionist’s desk at the Breast Clinic is supposed to be comforting. If you close your eyes, you can pretend you’re on the beach and listening to waves pounding against the shore.

Unfortunately, the rush of water and moistened drops glistening off the mirrors didn’t encourage me to relax. Upon entering the clinic, I immediately felt a) nervous and b) an urge to use the ladies room.

I did not have time beforehand for either event.

When they first scheduled my biopsy two months away, I told the appointment setter to let me know if anyone canceled.

“I can even come in the same day,” I said.

All the time thinking, who cancels a biopsy?

Turns out, someone canceled.

 
IMGP3141rectangularcropsize550x339.jpg
Beach. Photo by Jocelyn Holt

They called the following Thursday, asking me to come in the next day. Thank goodness for family and a flexible work schedule. I rushed to get everything done and didn’t think about the procedure itself until I walked into the clinic and sat down near a fountain like Niagara Falls.

As I leaned over the side, my hair got wet.

“What are you doing?” a young girl asked.

“I just wanted to see if there were coins in the bottom, like fountains at the mall.”

“Sure is loud,” she said. “Can’t they mute that thing?”

After a well-deserved potty break, I walked back to the waiting room and sat next to an older woman who fell asleep in her chair. At least the rushing water worked for someone.

“Catherine Robinson!”

I jumped. She sounded like my mother. I narrowed my eyes and noticed a rather large woman waving her arms about a half-mile down the hall under a sign that read: Check-In.

“You guys don’t have microphones or speaker systems?” I asked Check-In Lady after my heartbeat returned to normal.

“Most of us have kids,” she said with a smile. “We don’t mind shouting. Have a seat.”

I looked over at another woman checking in. Bald, with a bright pink scarf covering her head; she laughed a lot. I looked at a poem on the desk about all the things cancer cannot destroy: hope, good will, courage and love.  

I looked at Check-In Lady again and wondered if she ever felt depressed, dealing with either scared women waiting to find out if they had cancer or women who already knew.

She didn’t seem depressed. She laughed a lot, too. Her happy mood seemed genuine. I wondered if the woman with the scarf on her head wanted to be a role model. She’d probably prefer to be at home with her kids or lunching with friends ”“ I know I did. I would have preferred spending the day anywhere but at a biopsy.

If that’s how she felt, she didn’t let on. She seemed brave.

They made me feel better almost immediately.

Later in my private stall, I took off my bra and shirt as directed. The pink drape slid over my torso and tied in front. I looked at myself in the mirror.

“Mom was wrong,” I said while I adjusted the toga so I wouldn’t flash anyone. “There is something less attractive than shoulder pads.”

A tech walked me into the room with the giant needle, and I noticed X-ray films on display.

“Is that it?” I tapped the screen where a shadow sat in the middle of my breast’s silhouette. It looked like Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.

“Yes,” she said, “but the image is magnified. Yours isn’t that big.”

“How big is it?”

“About 9mm.” She pointed out the size of a small jelly bean on a handy chart she kept in her pocket.

I keep a chart in my purse, too. One that helps me calculate proper tips.

My chart is a lot less depressing.

The doctor came into the room. She seemed to be about my age, with long blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail. Her calm and measured tone put me at ease. She introduced me to a few more student doctors who were going to stare at my naked chest for a while in the interest of a “learning experience.”

“If I had a dollar for every time I heard that line,” I said.

Her tech drew on my breast with a marker. It tickled.

“Ever been to Mardi Gras?” I asked.

“We’re marking the spot where your lump lives.”

The tech took a paintbrush and covered my right breast with Betadine.

“Ever been to Key West?” I asked.

The doctor adjusted the equipment and warned me that I would feel a slight stinging sensation.

“Feels like a tattoo,” I said. “Ever been to Venice Beach?”

When they were finished, they left a tiny chip in my breast, formed to look like a breast cancer ribbon, so future radiologists will know that they weren’t my first. After a kinder, gentler mammogram and a few ice packs, I went home.

I passed by the Niagara Falls fountain and looked in the bottom one more time. Too bad there weren’t any coins. I know exactly what I”¦what we all”¦ would have wished for.

 



 

Cliffside Malibu

-------------------------

-------------------------

 

MANHATTAN BEACH

Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.