Sounding the All Clear . . .
Yesterday was the appointment for my "additional diagnostics" regarding the mass they found in my right breast during my routine mammogram two weeks ago. It wasn't a wonky artifact or a skin fold.
It was this:
That, friends, is a fluid-filled cyst. According to the report, it's 8 x 5 x 4 mm and is a "simple cyst," something my body seems to have taken an interest in making in the past five or so years. I know I have a cyst or two on my cranky kidney, my body made a cyst around the infection in my jaw that caused me to lose the concomitant tooth, and now one of my "girls" has made one.
The 2-3 hour appointment I had been told to expect was over in less than 40 minutes. I got up at the buttcrack of dawn and caught the 6:48 a.m. train into the city. I then walked for half an hour up to the hospital and got checked in for my 8:15 a.m. appointment. Now I know why sometimes they take people to the right (for regular screening mammograms), or to the left (more serious stuff). The order from the doctor was for diagnostic views with the option of an ultrasound. First they did a couple of targeted/diagnostic views, and then they had me sit and wait, but not for long. They took me almost right away for an ultrasound. The image above is from the ultrasound. The technician took quite a few photos, and then she said I could stay lying down or sit up, and that she was taking the images to the radiologist to read immediately. I snagged the photo while she was out of the room ;-) She was not gone very long, and when she came back she said, "The radiologist says it's a fluid-filled cyst. Nothing to worry about. Sign this and come back in a year for your regular mammogram."
Well alrighty then!
I got dressed and let the few people I'd told about the original news know the happy second news, and then I realized that I would make the Member Hour at the Art Institute! I had planned to go there in the afternoon, when I was finished with my 2-3 hour appointment, but it was just past 9 by the time I got dressed and was headed out, so I took my time heading south to the Art Institute.
There were a LOT of tulips in the sidewalk gardens along Michigan Avenue. Many were spent, but these beauties were just about to open.
It started to rain lightly as I got closer to the Art Institute, and it was colder than I thought it might be that day. I stopped and rested once on my way - my legs and feet are not used to walking such long distances as they used to. Even so, I made it there by about 9:45, and I got in line. There were three couples a head of me. Not very many! By the time it was about 9:55, the line behind me looked like this!
I was at the top step. All these people are members there to enjoy the Member Hour. (It's still so strange to me to see Michigan Avenue empty at 9 in the morning on a work day . . . )
My feet were really tired, but I wanted to see the exhibit so I headed in. This was my first time at a large, indoor venue since well before the pandemic. They monitor the people going in to keep good social distance and everyone has to wear a mask to enter. I love the Art Institute. It's a favorite place of mine and I'm going to take more advantage of the Member Hour for as long as it lasts. I got into the virtual line electronically, and by the time I was back to where the exhibition was, my phone had alerted me that it was my turn to enter. I was the seventh person in the door, so I pretty much just walked right back to the exhibition, where they checked me in in their system. They scanned my member ID a second time and I was in!
I went through the exhibition more quickly than I might have - I confess I was a little nervous about being indoors even though everyone was masked. But people were good about keeping social distance, and in many of the galleries I was completely alone! I watched one of the videos, but there was no place to sit and my feet and legs were just wiped after close to 11,000 steps already that morning.
The exhibition is called Monet and Chicago. This quote from the Chicago Daily Tribune back in 1888 was on the wall, and it's quite appropriate: "Why go to Paris since Paris has come to Chicago?"
There are multiple ties between my city and Monet - the Art Institute has the largest collection of his paintings outside of Paris, and some of the original movers and shakers of the Art Institute had personal relationships with him. In 1872 Monet's "Apple Trees in Blossom" was purchased by the Union League Club of Chicago, and was shown that year in Monet's first solo show at a museum in the United States - the Art Institute. It was called 20 Works by Claude Monet. The Art Institute was also the first American museum to purchase one of Monet's paintings in 1903, "Bad Weather, Pourville" (1896), which, interestingly, they sold in 1930. It's now in a private collection and was not part of the exhibition.
This painting is one I hadn't seen before and it really captured me. It is from a private collection. It's called The Towpath at Granval, painted in 1883. I felt like I could enter the painting just there at the bottom right corner and walk on along the towpath into another world. The photograph doesn't do it justice at all. I could have stood there a lot longer . . .
I was through the exhibition in less than an hour, mainly because my legs and feet desperately needed a rest. There was a good bench at the entrance to the exhibit and I sat down for probably 10 minutes or so before I made my way to and a stop at the gift shop on my way out. I got the catalog from the exhibition and it is well worth the $25. Then, I toddled on south another couple of blocks to catch the 11:20 a.m. train home! Wow!! Over and done in record time, but it was a great morning, filled with good news and great art. :-)
I'm stuck back in the 70s again, and I can't seem to stop listening to The Four Seasons . . .