Wednesday, October 07, 2009


I'm going to share a secret with you. I am beginning to really hate October. It's not the weather. It's not Halloween. It's not because the holiday shopping madness is about to begin. It is because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Now, if I had paid closer attention to this month four years ago, I probably wouldn't dislike October so much. The way it is now, all these reminders about self checking for breast cancer, getting a mammogram, and so on, remind me of how stupid I was.

I was stupid enough to go for about ten years without my "woman's" check up. When my general practitioner would ask, I actually lied. When he pressed as to who was doing the pap and breast, I told him I was still going to the old gyno.

I don't know why I finally bit the bullet and went to the doctor. I intended to go to this doctor for six years. He had delivered all my daughter's children. My DIL was going to him, and her mother was also going to him. I just procrastinated.

Finally the spirit moved me. I walked out of his office thinking I had dodged a bullet. From his exam he thought things were just fine, but he prescribed the dreaded mammogram. At the time there was a lot to gram!

When I got the call to come back in, I knew. I knew there was a problem. When I had to go to the surgeon, I had to pick up the films from the mammogram. I could see the tumor. Then I could feel it. Why I had not been able to feel it before I really don't know. That sucker was 2 cm (almost an inch).

So every year I spend the entire month with reminders to self exam, get mammograms, walk in walks. It all just sort of mocks me. I was stupid, and I get reminded more everyday of October.

Don't get me wrong. I get reminders all through the day anyway. There is the numbness beginning mid chest going on through the underarm area to the mid-side. Each evening when I take a shower and see myself in the mirror I get a strong visual reminder. Sure I have had reconstruction, but the chest is still a crazy quilt. Plus I vetoed the construction of the nipple.

I will be glad when October is over. At least one of the reminders will stop!



flying eagle woman said...

I love that you shared this. LOVE IT. sometimes you just need to say these things.

Judy said...

I am so glad you shared this with us-- I know about lying to the doc and not getting tests done. I have never had a colonoscopy and don't intend to, so...if I have a tumor, but the time the symptoms come, it will probably be too late to do anything about it. It's the same with smoking--denial that anything will be wrong.