On the subway I was reading Salman Rushdie's memoir, Joseph Anton. I just happened to read the part of the book when his first wife's breast cancer comes roaring back five years after her initial diagnosis and takes her life in a matter of days. This was definitely not the thing to read on my way to a mammogram.
The waiting room had been redone and the gowns we all wore were now brown instead of pink, but it was still the same place where I received my diagnosis three years ago. As I waited, I finished the passage in the book, hand over my mouth, tears in my eyes. I must have looked like a crazy person.
Then it was go time - smush, press, hold count one-two-three. I couldn't stop thinking about that woman, the cancer coming back all those years later, taking her totally by surprise. The more time passes, the more you allow yourself to think you actually got away with this. You never entirely forget; it's lurking there, in the periphery. But you let yourself hope.
The doctor comes to tell me she has "great news" - all clear. All clear!
I won't have to make this pilgrimage for another year.