Or in my case, slap a lot of gel on 'em and ultrasound 'em. That's right. A mammogram is on the horizon. It's officially been scheduled for a week from Friday. I've decided how I'm going to handle the whole health insurance thing (thanks to some great wisdom). I called and ordered my slides from the previous doctor. I've opted out of the MRI (at least, for now) and I get to have a serious conversation about DNA testing. It will be an important day for me.
All seems to be set.
Everything is in place. And well, I'm still not certain. What I mean is: I'm scared. I had a flashback last time I went to have a mammogram. It's one of those eerie parts of my grief. I don't remember certain events -- and then things come rushing back too quickly when I don't want them. This is what happened to me when I last got a mammogram. I cried hysterically. Not because of getting my breasts squished (get over it ladies), but because I suddenly remembered going to these appointments with my mother.
Of course, it was too late for her to have a mammogram. When she was my age, my mother woke up one morning and could not raise her arm. My father rushed her to the emergency room. Sometime later, they found out that she had breast cancer. Four years later, my mother lost the battle to this disease. The math is imperfect. I'm 28. She was 33 when she died. Whatever. There are parts that I remember very, very vividly about her illness. No one should remember their mother like I remember my mom. I hope no child does. Perhaps this is what motivates my heart toward justice -- but I don't remember the doctor visits. I know that I went. I remember her doctor and lollipops. I remember when she showed me the jagged scar under her right breast in our bathroom at home. But, I hadn't remembered the doctor visits until I was wearing a paper gown and my own breasts were poked and squished.
I wish that I didn't worry so much about my reactions. But, fuck it. I'm worried about how I will handle this for the second time. I've done it before. I will probably cry. I will definitely cry. But, it should be fine, right? Right. So, if you were me and you had a whole afternoon by yourself after getting a mammogram, what would you do? Go to the beach? Drink coffee? Read a book? Get a massage? Sometimes I wish my mom was here to talk to her about these things, ya know?