The Girls Are Fine and Other Boobie Stories (Get Your Mammogram, Ma’am!)

I am camped out on the couch next to a sick little girl.  Sitting here beside her, waiting to be needed, is oddly restful.  However that is.  Our house is beautifully clean and tidy and I am ready to just lie low today with my two little ones. 

It has been a week, that is certain.  

I had a mammogram Monday and then they called wanting a second look.  The last time that happened, five years ago, I ended up with  a core biopsy and then a lumpectomy which turned out to be benign.  The WAITING was what killed me.  The WAITING for answers.  The worry about what the answer could be.  It seemed every appointment was a few days before a weekend, and every answer was due on Monday.  Or Wednesday.  Oh, the waiting was worse than everything else.  

That might be the last time I got even a little drunk.  We were post surgery or pending surgery.  I was hurting a bit and we had kind of had it all without being through it all.  There was previously ignored hard alcohol in the house and John and I didn’t have kiddos to tend.  We had some drinks in front of the TV and eased our stress with laughter and inebriation. 

I wore a new lipstick in for the surgery. I remember that.  And then I was so relieved to learn it wasn’t cancer.  

But then this week.  When they asked me back for more views.  OH.  MY.  That fear...well, that anxiety.  The knowledge that life as I know it could change with a word.  I had avoided another mammogram for years but I knew it was time.  And the process was maddening;  I explained to my OBYGYN who wrote the mammogram order that I  had had a core biopsy and then a lumpectomy.  That I have since nursed two babies and never been back for the boobie squeeze again.  That I have, if you must know, dense tissue etc and probably need more than a baseline screening.  

So they requested a baseline screening.  Or maybe they did request a diagnotic but then the scheduling center countered that I surely only needed a screening since it had been five years.  I fell to the system of professionals and ended up with a regular screening mammogram.  My Beloved Mother-in-Law Monte came to watch the girls, make dinner, keep the house joyful.  After my appointment they called the next day and requested a diagnostic and thus a second visit.  Which means I needed to get more childcare coverage.  More worry.  More phone calls to friends and family requesting help or prayer or patience.  Awesome, huh?  It is hard to be your own advocate...the system is quite a system, yes?  

My husband stayed home to take Portia to school with her birthday cupcakes.  To take Libby to Toddlertime at the library.  I went to the big hospital this time.  I got squished and squashed and I got the results immediately: I was clear.  

My boobies were GORGEOUS.   I thanked God and left the hospital with a lighter step.  I drove straight to Kohl’s for some power shopping AKA Retail Therapy.  What do you buy to say, "WHOO HOO!  My Boobs are gorgeous!”  How do you shop in a way to explain,   "My breasts might hang lower these days but they are clean!” or  "Thank you Lord, for my health I never appreciate enough!"  Well, if you are me, you buy Huge Ridiculously Happy Owl Pillow.   And a white oversized fur pillow for our bed, a sparkly green bird scarf and maybe (finally) marabou slippers to replace the stinky beat up pink ones your husband actually complains about. (Love you Kohl’s!)

So it is Friday and I sit next to a little girl who doesn’t feel well and admire my Ridiculously Happy Owl Pillow.  I hold her hand, adjust her hurl bowl, and smile. 

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