They haven’t been all great days, but yesterday was a good one.
I had a good breast day yesterday. I started off with a mammogram, which I have once a year. When I made this appointment, about six weeks ago, the lady on the phone said “is this routine or is your breast bothering you?” I’ve never heard it phrased that way before and it made me think. Was my breast bothering me? Honestly, I hate the self-check exams because I always find something. Usually it’s my ribcage, but still. I’ve talked to a few girlfriends and they all sort of feel the same way. I’ve had my doctor, multiple doctors, really, show me how to do the exam, but I still can’t tell. Maybe that’s my learning difference. It’s frightening.
But I didn’t want to tell the lady on the phone all that, so I said “routine.” Which it was.
Papa came with me, because he always does.
“I’m so nervous,” I told him. “It just seems like it’s a matter of time.”
“A matter of time for what?” he asked.
“Before they find something,” I said.
“Not everyone gets breast cancer,” he told me. And then he reminded me that I have no family history of it.
“But your mother died when she was young,” I said.
Yes, but she had heart disease, he told me, probably thanking his lucky stars that I didn’t go to medical school.
“Hey, my eyes are RIGHT HERE,” I told the mammography technician as she fed my breasts into the machine. She smiled politely. I’m sure she heard it all, including my all-time favorite “thanks for squeezing me in!” that I like to say as I’m leaving.
The news was good, all negative, which I like to hear.
“Are you doing anything else today?” the technician asked when we were done.
“No,” I said. And then asked what the other options were.
“There’s bone density, other scans, some people get it all done at once,” she told me.
I considered it.
“This isn’t a spa,” Papa reminded me. He’s one of those eccentrics who thinks that people should only get tests that their doctors recommend, not what “sounds good” on a particular morning.
I was grateful for a negative mammogram and I decided to celebrate by buying new bras. When’s the last time that you bought a new bra? I still remember my first bra purchase, with Mama, at Lord & Taylor, where the saleswoman looked me over and said “you don’t need a bra,” before walking away. I’m guessing they didn’t work on commission in the 1980s? Thank goodness Ronald Reagan changed all that.
This time I went to Saks. And I was measured by their Glamazon. Their Russian speaking Glamazon.
“Hey, my eyes are RIGHT HERE,” I recycled for her. She laughed. There’s more levity in shopping than in mammography, it turns out.
“Your body is perfect, but your bra is not,” she told me. And then she brought me some bras to try on, to have and to hold and to wear.
It was a good breast day.
One year ago ...
- Inevitable - 2013