Mammograms and a Yearly Reprieve

What is it about that yearly exam that makes one think of death as an imminent event in one’s life? True, most of us don’t know when we’re going to die, but there are certain reminders of that fragile state known as “living” and one of them, at least for me, is my annual boob mashing.

Yeah...it is as uncomfortable as it looks.

Yeah…it is as uncomfortable as it looks.

All year long I’m busy living my daily life, taking my health for granted and the illusion that I’ll have it forever.  Working at a doctor’s office, I talk to patients who have all sorts of health concerns, and it always freaks me out when cancer is involved.  Cancer knows no age limits, no general health indicators, no gender or race preference.  I have lost family and friends to cancer and there’s always a story from a friend or acquaintance about some unlikely, for lack of a better word, victim, who has just been diagnosed with this scourge.  At work, there have been patients whose cases have made it difficult for me to maintain composure and all I can think is “Fuck cancer!”

So every year I get checked.  And every year, while waiting for the results, I think to myself, “What if this time…?”  So every time I get the all clear, I feel as if I’ve been given a reprieve from the inevitable.

The point of this post?  Just wondering if I’m the only one who goes through this.  Am I?

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3 thoughts on “Mammograms and a Yearly Reprieve

  1. Well, Glenda, I don’t think about “getting cancer” whilst going through or waiting for the results of my yearly “boob mashing”, as you so aptly call it, but the process itself, the pain in the neck of scheduling the appointment, having it done, then going all the way downtown for a second boob mashing because they see a “density” in my right breast (although it’s nothing), and saying to myself, “Duh, I could have told you that.” when the results come back as negative and the myriad other crap we women have to go through to make sure we aren’t diseased in our breasts are just beyond my capability to deal with sometimes. I figure if I’m going to get it, I’m going to get it whether I’m checked or not and it’s really up to God as to whether I survive the disease or the “cure” or not. I figure that when it’s my time to go, well, there you are… And knowing about it or worrying about it isn’t going to make a whit bit of a difference – my days won’t be any longer. Just sayin’…

    • You’ve had to deal with cancer firsthand, so your perspective on life in general sounds way more pragmatic than mine. My mother-in-law has had to deal with it several times, and she’s hard to get riled.

      • Well, Glenda. It was everyone else BUT me who freaked out about it in the first place! I mean, really – when God calls you home, he does just that. Sometimes, it’s His way of bringing you home and sometimes it’s “someone” else’s. However I go, whenever I go, it’s all in His good timing, not mine. So, one should really accept it, learn to live with it and be at peace with it. Otherwise, you’re just stressing!

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