Friday, June 20, 2014
Another Mammogram? Really
I should have gone months ago for my six-month follow up but life and death and a certain amount of apathy have kept me from it.
Fact is that as of today I'm pretty sure I've had more diagnostic mammograms than screening ones. I don't think I've ever had a normal mammogram.
Seriously, my first submission to this sign of aging had me a nervous wreck. Not only the horror stories about the pain (and I'm pretty sure if men had to have something similar there would be a better system), but the process itself. The screening mammogram was followed by a call from my doctor. And a diagnostic mammogram that probably had me up half the night before.
Ten years ago it even went to the point that I had to undergo the removal of a lymph node for biopsy. Once again I was a wreck. It turned out to be nothing. There's a one-inch scar and a slight deformation of my right boob.
Last year two friends of mine were diagnosed with breast cancer. One had a lumpectomy and has only recently finished her treatments and began to regrow her hair, currently cancer free. The other, due to a family history of breast cancer, had a double mastectomy with simultaneous reconstructive surgery. She posts pictures of herself at the pool with her sons and I celebrate each one for and with her.
I was diagnosed with cysts. Painfree, but still aggravating in that they keep me from that elusive "normal" mammogram.
I've decided there's far too much drama attached to what, in my case, are two fairly insignificant bits of flesh. If I had the money, even without a family history, I think I'd take Angelina Jolie's course and have them both removed and replaced with two perkier models. Not necessarily even any larger, because there's a certain amount of freedom that comes from tiny boobs, but free of the worry of the big "C."
I'll also admit that, since my son's death, I have a more fatalistic approach to life.
Whatever is going to happen will happen. It's all beyond my control and worry is a waste of time.
Not that I'm feeling any need to ignore doctors and medicine or not take care of myself, but I'm not going to obsess over mammograms or colonostomies or too much sun and red meat. My days are numbered, whether I know it or not, so it's just a matter of living each one in a way that brings me peace, or as much of it as I can manage.
By and large, I don't feel like the outcome of today's exam makes much difference.
There's a point where you feel that, having survived what you have, you decide you can deal with whatever is to come or you can't. I've fallen into the category of having faith that God has seen me through the last six months and He'll see me through whatever lies ahead. It doesn't mean I believe I've had my share of pain, or that I'm certain I will never reach a point where it is too much, but I do know that if it's just me, God will help me handle it.
So on to the drama of a mammogram. If it's OK, I'll probably never mention it again until they drag me in for another one. Then I may rerun this blog.
If it's not, it's just another journey.