Monday, May 10, 2010

Don't cry or I'll give you somethin to cry about

So, when you have big boobs, you have to get creative performing your civic duty of self examination. It doesn't exactly work like the nice little charts explain, lay down and make little circles around and around. This doesn't work when flopsy and mopsy are naughty little bunnies and don't want to behave. The easiest way I found was in the tub. You lay on your tummy, and after pretending mermaid for awhile, you get down to business. It's amazing how boobs float, like two fabulous jellyfish, and then you can really get at em.

I've always been good about this. Self examination. Here's what nobody ever told me all the time I was looking for a pea or a kumquat or a golf ball. Breast cancer doesn't always feel like that. Let me explain. Most a the time my boobs feel medium rare. Ok rare. You know. Like that trick when you check the doneness of your new york strip on the barbie while your blue cheese olive is marinating in your No. 209 gin martini. You open your hand and that skin between your thumb and pointer, you touch it. When your hand is open, it's rare. Close the hand a little bit you start heading towards medium rare. A little more, medium. You get the idea.

I noticed on my left breast, just about 2:00 o'clock, no not the time, on me 2:00 o'clock, an area close to my nipple and heading towards my arm pit, felt medium well. That's the only way I can explain it. Somethin just didn't feel right. It kinda hurt, mostly around my period. Hello, raise your hands up and stomp your feet and do the Beyonce booty shake if your boobs hurt on your period. Hello. My brain was sayin "don't worry, it's not a kumquat." What the hell do you do with a kumquat anyway? Do you peel that little tiny thing and eat it like a miniature orange, or do you pop the whole thing in your mouth. You ever made anything with a kumquat in it?

I don't look at myself naked in the mirror very often. I am usually focused on my face and fabulous hair. The universe or my angels or somebody conspired though with my gut to make me take a look one morning. Hello, hello girls. Hmm. Something was off. I noticed that my left girl was just not hanging like she used to. There was a very slight pucker, almost negligible. Something was different. Right girl. ok. Left girl. A little forlorn. She was talking to me. What are you trying to say baby?

I called my doctor and asked if I could get in for my mammogram, like soon. Don't usually do this stuff till around my birthday. In November. Just being cautious, right? Couple days later, there I was. No biggie, I've had them before. No problem. Here, put this boob on this tray. Squish. Like a flapjack. Ok, now flip the tray the other way, squish. Ok, now lets see if we can squish them like a crepe so we can fill them with coconut custard and silverado trail strawberries and drizzle orange grand marnier sauce on them. Flop. Squish. Next. Usually a couple a pictures on both girls. In then out. No biggie. Hey, give me a couple swigs a that sauce while you're at it.

When the mammogram technician took my pics out to show the radiologist she was gone for awhile. Hmm I tried to tell myself. They are just busy. My gut was saying oh Jesus. Oh Lord. Not taking his name in vain. Dialing 911.

When she came back in the room, she didn't make eye contact with me. Shit. I am in deep shit. I notice this stuff. I notice when people are looking me straight in the eyes, I notice their body language. I would a made a great poker player. I am great at reading somebody's tell.

Ok she says, just a few more pictures. She didn't touch my left again. Lots and lots more pictures squeezing and flipping and torturing my right side. Nothing more on the left. Oh geez, gut whispered. They already see what they see on the left. Now they are just checkin the right to see if it's there too. This is what I thought. I was right.

I usually got my mammogram results in the mail. I got a call back from my primary care doctor that day. "Well" she says, "looks like something we need to get a better look at on the left. We are going to schedule you for an ultrasound, and probably a biopsy." I hung up the phone. I called back. "Doc, give it to me straight. What else they say? I need to know worst case scenario and then I'll work my way back from there."

Quiet. Quiet. Like when the universe gets super quiet right before an earthquake. No sounds. No birds. Everything is still and eerie.

"The radiologist said in his years of looking at these, he will be very surprised if this is not cancer. Your ultrasound is next Monday. Your biopsy on Wednesday. I will pray for you."

Oh no, don't say it, don't say that word, the "c" word. Don't say it. Why'd you tell me that? Oh man, that's gotta be a bad sign when your doctor says "I will pray for you."

Panic. Panic. Panic. Sh-h-h. I hear a voice say. Sh-h-h. I get quiet. Yeah, I said all kinds of prayers. I focused on white light. I tried to bargain with God. I talked to my boob. I told myself the good ol don't worry about what you don't know until you have somethin to worry about. You know like when you were little and your Dad says for the millionth time to your brother "Don't cry or I'll give you somethin to cry about."

It would be another two weeks of diagnostics before I would get my somethin to cry about.

But I already knew.

The voice told me.

1 comment:

masonmft said...

Honey I think you need to send this to the American Cancer Society to be included in their breast self examination pamphlet. Then pass it on to the best psychology journals. Love you. Ann M

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