There’s nothing quite like sitting in a room full of anxious women pretending to be nonchalant.
Around me this morning are about a dozen women, all of us waiting to go in for mammograms and ultrasounds. Some, like me, are there for regular standard checks. Others, I assume, are facing the particular terror of having found lumps or noticed irregularities. I’ve been there. On those occasions, I’ve sat here with fear gripping my throat.
Today we all sit here quietly, waiting for our names to be called, with the spectre of breast cancer hanging heavily over our heads. The many, many women we all know who have sat in waiting rooms just like this only to hear bad news. Celebrities. Friends. Mothers. Aunts. Acquaintances. Grandmothers. Fellow school mums. Neighbours. Sisters.
Sometimes it feels like breast cancer is an epidemic.
We’re all in our 40s in the waiting room this morning. One woman knits. Another reads a magazine. One has brought in some work and taps diligently away at her laptop while the rest of us peer at our phones with distracted urgency. It’s 8:45am.
There are tea and coffee facilities and Tina Arena sings “I’m in chains” softly through the speaker system. It’s a nice place as waiting rooms go but nobody wants to be here. (Post continues after gallery.)