Tuesday, June 06, 2006
The lovely garment above is called a mammography cape.
Little did I know that while undergoing a mammogram, you could actually make a fashion statement.
And...a fashion statement representative of not only one, but two different decades. I first wore ponchos way back in the '70's when I was a hippie wanna-be.
A few years ago, I thought, why don't they start making ponchos again...they're cute, easy to put on, functional, and will make every baby-boomer feel young again.
Well, guess what? That's exactly what happened. Two years ago, I found a poncho. It was fantastic, freeing, youth-inducing.
So when I found this picture, I thought...perfect...just the thing for women in their 40's, 50's, and 60's to make getting a mammogram a nostalgic experience.
Little over a week ago, I had my yearly mammogram. I am diligent about this, and have been doing it every year for the last 10 years.
Today, while driving home, my cell phone rang. (well, I should say, played the happy little tune from Sex in the City).
I answered only to hear:
caller: "Is this Cruisin-mom?"
me:" Yes, it is...who's this?"
"Well, this is your doctor's office calling, you'll need to come back in to retake your mammogram".
My heart sank. I knew this couldn't be good news. I quickly asked why, and here's what she answered:
"We need to take another "view" that we were unable to get the first time".
me: "Is anything wrong?"
caller: "Oh, we just need to get another view...can you be in today at 5:00?"
me: "YES, I'll be there".
How many different things go through your mind when you are asked to repeat a mammogram? Too many to mention.
My kids, what about my kids? Who will yell at them, and nag them, and tell them to clean up, and love them more than the ocean is deep?
And Mr. Cruisin...he comes across indestructable, but I know he'd be lost without me. (shhh, don't tell him I said that).
How can I possibly do this to my mother with all that she has lived through? And my brother...who has always protected me?
Ice cream, what about ice cream? Who will win the next American Idol?
What about my dog, who follows me wherever I go?
I could go on, but as I said, there was to much to mention.
A wave rushed over me...I couldn't breath.
As I was driving home...I just so happened to see Mr. Cruisin driving down the street...I honked and had him pull over. I told him about the call. He said, "I'll come with you".
I can only imagine what he was feeling. My husband is not a "mushy" person. But I know how deeply he feels. He is a man of action, much more than words. He will do anything for a friend, no questions asked. And being his best friend, I knew he'd be there for me.
We drove to the doctor's and as we drove, I burst into tears. I admit, I was scared.
I entered the mammogram area, and asked the tech, what was really wrong. I knew it couldn't just be "the view". She told me that something had "changed", since a prior mammogram and they needed to get a better view of the area. She said a doctor would look at it immediately for determination.
Now, as any woman who has had one knows, mammogram and the flattening, stretching, cranking, and picture taking of one's breasts, is not the most pleasant experience...but you do it, because it's just what we have to do. It's well worth the early detection, and prevention, that is hopefully the result of a yearly mammogram.
I sat and waited, all the while still thinking, what will I tell my husband, my children, my mother, my friends.
Mr. Cruisin sat patiently in the waiting room.
The tech came back out, and told me everything was okay.
I quickly got dressed, came out to the waiting room and told Mr. Cruisin the good news.
He hugged and squeezed me. We both...breathed. I'm not sure who was more relieved.
I had been given a gift. All I could think about was how quickly life can change in the blink of an eye. I thought about all the women who did not get this reprieve, and bravely set out to do battle with breast cancer. I thought that perhaps, I needed to think about what was really important, and worth getting upset about.
So I came home, saw my son, and yelled at him for leaving dishes in the sink...
and I knew, that everything would be okay. At least for today.
(for another viewpoint on mammogram, read Sweettooth's post here)