gratitude-a-thon day 2070: the mammogram



Today I had my yearly mammogram. I do what I always do before I have it.

I plan my funeral.

There are a few decent reasons I do this. 1) I have had cystic breasts since I got these girls, which means they tend toward cysts, so you have to be alert because a benign cyst can masquerade as a cancerous one. Happy Halloween. 2) I take a small amount of HRT, on account of menopause for me was no fun at all (as most everything that has had to do with my lady parts has not been my whole fucking life), so I chose to up my risks for all sorts of maladies and take this small amount of hormone, in order for me not to be road ragey in every day life or wind up the crazy lady in aisle five. 3) I’m generally anxious about stuff like this just because that’s how we roll in my family (You shoulda met my dad).

So, there’s some legit reason for me to be nervous before sticking my boobs in a machine that squishes them so hard, I can feel it in my feet, while being asked not to breathe. I can barely breathe anyway, because of the contorted positions I’m in, but also because I’m so damn scared. I mean, if ever there was a candid camera situation, this one is it. I have to hand it to the radiation techs for not howling with laughter looking over at us with our arms in the air and our boobs between plexiglass while holding our breath. Sort of a Lady Liberty pose.

Today I had the extra delight of having a lymph node under my arm ultra sounded because it has been sore and swollen for the last month. This was another good reason to plan my final resting phase, since it could not only have meant that I had breast cancer, but also some kind of blood cancer. So, a sort of two for one there.

My funeral will be a Shabby Chic affair. Expect a lot of white, and definitely only white flowers, except for carnations and lilies, because they are hideous and remind me of funerals, except for not mine. There will be pine and Mason Jars. Mongolian fur throws, white twinkly lights and for God’s sakes comfortable chairs. There will also be a nice Rose being handed out at the door. That’s for color.

Yes, as you guessed, my mammogram was just fine. My girls will live to see another year. And my lymph node is also nothing to worry about. “They can just swell up sometimes, ” said the radiologist who I’ve been seeing for decades and who I have so much gratitude for because of her gently way and her keen eye. She currently has a woodchuck in her garden, which is really something to worry about.

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