Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Mammogram Mirror

So there I was.

Looking once again in the Mammogram Mirror.
It seems like forever since I first wrote "Send This To Someone You Love" back in 2006, a post that brings in more blog traffic than all else combined. That was the year of the lump.

The lump that turned out to be nothing. But not before I had a dandy of a time dramatizing every minute of that awful wait in typical pencil skirt fashion (complete with couch fainting). If you missed it, you missed a doozy of a drama. Anyway....four negative test results have been gratefully returned to me since that stressful Fall.

There were six of us in the waiting area today. They've painted the walls and installed fru-fru specialty coffee machines for us. Other than that, all the same.
Blue throwaway gowns.
Tiny rooms of unrobing.
Gilded mirrors.
Largely bloomed wallpaper.

And chairs that look like they belong in a funeral home.
I really must say something to their decorator. I do not find this amusing.

Most doctor visits can be easily cheered by holding conversations with other waiting sick people, texting your best friend about the squishing and smashing that is to come, as only girlfriends can do, or reading magazines strewn about annoyingly featuring articles such as, "Ten Signs of Cancer Every Woman Must Know."
Or "What would your loved ones do if you died?" advertisements between pages of perfectly coiffed bodies of steel - in bikinis - the likes of which nothing in there had room to be squished let me tell ya.
Mammography screening rooms are different than any others I've encountered.
Nobody says a word.

Nothing. Not hello. Not 'how are you?' Not even much eye contact is made. It's best to just hold tight to your womanhood before the little white strings unstring themselves in the presence of strangers, or worse.

I wondered which one of us would get bad news and who would skip away happy for another year.
I had reason for concern. I was there for a diagnostic.
I'd waited a couple of weeks after the doctor said I needed one. I wanted to wait until after the baby arrived. Who wants to be brooding about dying in the presence of a baby? And trust me, even if I'm not  going to die anytime soon, I still would have pitched a melancholy fit for a good long while maybe a month before I got hold of my skirt again. It's the way I cope.
Today was my day of reckoning.

Eh. Me, scared? Pffffft! I've been blogging mammography for five years now. What's so scary about that? You know, it's odd how snuggily I've grown into blogging. I can make up words like unrobing and unstringing and no one cares. I can proudly take my camera into places where no man has seen and pretend it's my duty as a pseudo-reporter or just for sillies sake.  I knew there were five other women sitting just outside the door of my to the "click click" of a camera shutter....this time it only occurred to me to put the camera away while in the presence of their chic little blue fashion statements. I don't have a death wish. (I can't believe I just said that) It seems perfectly natural to me to be shooting pictures in chronological order for a story I know I may write later. "Oh, I'm just blogging my day," I'll say if asked. I've blogged my moles, my gall bladder, my love life, near death car experiences enhanced with utter hysteria and all 3,253 times I fell down.
Arianna Huffington does it for a living. Why can't I?

So I put on a good pout for your benefit (and mine) and prepared to face a room full of silent gawkers.

Tucked inside my buttonless shirt with no front was a heart beating just a little fast and a little too loud. And a brain that's always thinking ahead wondering if I'll really say what's on my mind in this blog post or disrespect the muse.Things like....I really don't want to lose my breasts. I can't stand the thought of such a horror. And how many memories lie always exposed just below the chest wall that only I can see. And babies...oh babies on that is a woman's blessing. No use denying. I wouldn't want to lose what is so much a part of my feminine persona. Who would? Truth.
But I won't say that on the blog.
No. I won't say it.

You see...blogging doesn't scare me.  But breast cancer does.
So I'll be getting those mammograms like a good blogging girl does and try not to think about my cousin and my aunt who received news that meant I wouldn't get to see them grow old.

Today I got good news but I don't think all my blue shirted twins did. And that makes me sad.
 I'm enjoying my life with so much yet to do. I'm sure they can say the same. I've tried not to worry the past two weeks...nonetheless, it hasn't been far from my mind. Three friends have been diagnosed with breast cancer this year.  I've been amazed by their strength and positive energy. They are doing well, even while undergoing chemotherapy and least they seem "well" to my reluctant eyes.
They weren't far from my mind today either.

I took off the blue and put away my pout.

See you next year. 
Get your mammogram. OK?

Join us for BlogBlast For Peace Nov 4, 2011


Travis Cody said...

I know that if the bad news ever does come, that you'll have your quiet moments of agony and despair, and then you will get on with getting through it. This blog post, and all the other blog posts about it, tell me that. Be comforted by that, because I am.

Remember, I'm with someone who lost her mother to breast cancer. Pam goes through the yearly squishing and smashing, gets her good news, and gets on with it. In the back of her mind is the fear that one day it will be bad news, and we talk about it in the days leading up to her appointment, in the days just after her appointment, and periodically during the year as she does her self-exams.

It scares the hell out of me too. But the women in my life do what is necessary. They are aware of the danger and they take the precautions. So do you. So should all women. It's the best way you can all be prepared.

BTW - Are you sure it's only 3,253 times? I could have sworn it was closer to 4,000.

Shannon said...

I have to get a mammogram soon. I keep putting it off and it should have happened last year!

The Social Frog said...

As soon as I am old enough, I sure will! I keep telling my mother to go!!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you got the all clear. I know how it feels about the ones "who received news that meant I wouldn't get to see them grow old."

Mimi Lenox said...

Travis - Pam is lucky to have such an understanding and supportive partner in life. It's something you do because you have to but that doesn't mean it's easy.

BTW, I think it may have actually been 4,000. You were counting weren't you...

Mimi Lenox said...

Shannon - Get to that appointment girlfriend!!

Mimi Lenox said...

Social Frog - I'm not sure when mammograms are supposed to start but I'm so glad you are supporting your mother!

Mama Zen said...

Got mine yesterday!

Mimi Lenox said...

YAY Mama Zen!

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