On my way to work on this sunny Election Day morning, I stopped in at my polling station. I walked into a room with a half dozen poll volunteers and no line. One of the volunteers suggested that it might be a good idea for me to play the lottery today. I laughed and thought to myself that the lottery could wait; if I could cash in any good luck today, my pocketbook wasn’t at the top of my priority list.
Good omen #1: It was sunny on Election Day.
Good omen #2: I was first in line.
There were at least five people standing in line when I finished voting, three minutes later.
I arrived at the office pretty much at the usual time, and I ate my usual breakfast at my desk while checking email: coffee, granola bar, banana. And I managed to actually be productive, given my preoccupation with what awaited me at 2:40pm: a follow-up mammogram.
From the title of this post–and by the fact that I’m blogging at all right now–you may have gathered that I did win my own personal lottery today. Benign. The most beautiful word in the English language to me today.
This was the first time in almost a decade of mammography that I’ve been called back for a follow-up, so you might be able to imagine the panic I experienced when that phone call came. Even though they tell you it’s routine, it’s not necessarily something to worry about, etc., etc., all I could think at the time was, Not necessarily something to worry about. But for every percentage of women who get good news, there’s a corresponding percentage who do not, right?
Since the call came on Thursday, I’ve swung between tears and denial, pessimism and optimism. When I woke up this morning, I felt both relief (today is the day) and terror (what if?).
Even though I’ve been getting mammograms since my mid-thirties, this was my first time getting one at the leading cancer center in my city; I recently had to change doctors, and therefore health systems. I happen to live in a city known for its excellent hospitals, and said cancer center is renowned. It’s also where my mother went for her chemo and radiation treatments more than four years ago when she was battling–futilely, I’m sad to say–pancreatic cancer. I drive by this cancer center at least once a week, on my way to and from church, and there have been more than one occasion when I’ve wondered when or if I would need their services myself.
I suspect that one of the reasons I was called back has to do with the thoroughness of said cancer center. I kept telling myself this over the last few days, as I felt the terror creeping in. It’s probably nothing. They’re just being cautious.
But what if I’m in that other percentage…?
Good omen #3: I found a metered parking spot on the street in front of the cancer center, saving myself $5 in parking fees.
Good omen #4: The locker I put my clothes in was #7. Always a lucky number.
Good omen #5: A waiting room full of lovely women with whom to bond over terror and optimism, and a common distaste for the phrase, “Let’s take some more pictures.”
Good omen #6: In spite of being kept waiting longer than expected, I did not get a parking ticket.
Good omen #7: I had a haircut appointment this evening, and I actually like how it turned out.
Seven good omens…gotta love that number.
Although I think I could keep counting. And the irony is, I don’t really believe in omens; I’m more of a blessing-counter than an omens-collector. Semantics aside, one word I really love today is relief.