Last week I went in for my yearly mammogram. I have reached the age where that is a thing now. I won’t bore you with all the “ouch that crap hurts” because if you have had it done, you know and if you haven’t, you will know. The pain is fleeting though so go get yours checked out when you are supposed to.
A couple of days after the exam, I was called and told they had found something. My boob wasn’t symmetrical. That’s evidently a thing too. I said there were a lot of things about me that weren’t symmetrical and no one had ever complained before. I got no laugh out of that line and was scheduled for more films and possibly an ultrasound.
Panic immediately set in. All the negative thoughts were there. I envisioned the worst.
I reached out to a group of ladies that have, for about the past 10 years, been my sounding board. You might find it funny that I have only actually met one of these ladies face to face. Yep, the majority are 100% online friends but I know more about them and they know more about me than people we see every day.
Immediately, I asked the gals to pray for me. They did. Thanks Ladies! They also told me this was very common and nothing to worry about. This was great to hear but I really didn’t believe it. My boobs and I have had a love-hate relationship most of my life. First by just marginally showing up enough so my mortified self had to go with my mother to Sears to buy one of those horrid training bras with the pink and blue tennis rackets on the front. Why tennis rackets? Why pink and blue? Why? Then they solidified their slacker status by not showing up at all in high school when they could have come in handy but waited until I was 19 to make their appearance. Then they once again let me down when I had Bean and they decided “no milk for you” was their motto. So I was a bit leary that they were on the “let’s be okay” bandwagon.
I went this morning and showed my boobies to one more stranger. She took two boob-smashing photos and left me in another waiting room. I stayed there for 30 minutes while watching two clueless 20-somethings on House Hunters complain that they couldn’t find their dream McMansion for $120,000. Ugh. Young, dumb idiots, and I bet her boobs will never let her down.
Once I found out which house those dummies picked, I was shuttled off to another room by another stranger for an ultrasound. I was worried for real then. She lubed me up and proceeded to take 130 pictures. (Boob: Dude, it was like 12.)
Then a lovely soft spoken doctor (with one of the nicest ties I’ve seen) and an eager intern came in for a look. I was told it was just a pocket of cysts. Praise God! The boobs hadn’t let me down!
While I was getting dressed, I said my thanks to God for a clean bill of health and went to get my car. I used valet because that’s the treat you give yourself when you have to have your boobs smooshed. As I waited for my car, I saw something that stopped me in my tracks and put all of this nonsensical worrying in perspective.
A child about the same age as Bean in a wheelchair. The child was totally bald. I could not tell if the child was a boy or a girl because cancer had ravaged their little precious body of any distinctive gender features. The child was wrapped up in a blanket and had the maddest look on their face. They have every right to be mad really. They just want to be a kid – to run and play and enjoy summer. The mother was pushing the wheelchair and waiting for their car too. She had a smile on her face. I wondered why she didn’t have the same mad look on her face because I probably would have. I wouldn’t begrudge her that look if she did have it.
Her baby is fighting the fight of their lives and all she can do is stand there watching. I pray that I never know what that feels like. Their car came and she picked the child up like it was a baby, still bundled up and mad, and placed them in the back seat. Off they went to face another day.
Here I am – a grown woman just given a clean bill of health. I get to leave there and go to work and go home and play with my healthy child. I don’t have to fight a disease that might get the best of me. Today I don’t have to help my child through the side effects of chemo or radiation. Yes, my life might not be what I want it to be. But I have had one. I’m not seven and facing death at every turn. I might not have what I want or not been to the places I want to go but I have had the chance.
I closed my eyes and prayed. I prayed for that child. I prayed for that mother. I prayed for healing for the child and peace for the mother. I can’t give them my clean bill of health but I can give them my prayers.
Not sure exactly where I’m going with this piece but I just had to share this. I was so worried about myself and I’m ok. But then to be faced with this glimpse into a life I wouldn’t wish on anyone just made me feel like I needed to give praise and thanks and beg for something for someone else. It is true. No matter how bad you have it, someone always has it worse.
But for the grace of God go I.