A fine pair of boobies *grins*

Posted on Dec 5, 2011 in News | 3 comments

Red -footed boobies

I don’t suppose there’s anything scarier than that moment in the doctor’s office when they say those lovely, fateful little words – “Now, it’s probably nothing but we need you to go back to have these tests redone…” In my case on my mammogram.
They were quick to reassure me that what they were seeing was probably just an anomaly. Nothing major. But my grandmother, aunt and a cousin on my father’s side – that I know of – all had breast cancer, although my parents didn’t really talk about it. My grandmother and aunt had died of it.
I’ve always had a sort of love/hate relationship with my breasts. At times I’ve been oddly proud of them (not too big, not small, so no complexes, you see). However, they did sometimes draw unwanted attention. As a drunken Naval Officer once said to me in a bar in Key West – “your mother must have said seven hail mary’s to get you.” She didn’t, but you get the drift.
So I’d always had regular breast exams and mammograms but I’d been through a brief time when I’d been struggling. Doctor’s visits were low on the totem pole compared to keeping a roof over my head and the electricity on. It’s not that I wasn’t working, my health care program just sucked.  It’s just tough when you have to choose between the bills you have and adding a new one. The next person who tells me they don’t want to support poor, lazy people getting better health care will get bitch-slapped. Fair warning. Until you’ve been there, shut up.
So, there they were, little calcifications that might or might not be ‘something’. Most medical folks will probably say the same thing – probably nothing, but better to check.
It was a rough year in a lot of ways, personally and professionally. It had started well. I’d married my husband at the end of the previous year, and with his support I had quit my day job on the strength of two novels I’d been fairly certain would be accepted. No two ways about it, though, the loss of my income did leave us more vulnerable.

Dude, your feet are blue…

Then I lost my beloved pet, my cat Bay, a friend and companion of 21 years. The two novels were rejected and I’d become estranged from my mother.
But life never times things well. *wry grin*
The second mammogram explained away the first problem but gave the doctors a new reason to be concerned.
Time for a biopsy.
And, of course, being me it couldn’t be in someplace easy to get to, but required weird contortions so they could do the needle biopsy. They were quick to examine the sample right there and assure me it WASN’T cancer. Hurray. However…I’d need a followup mammogram in a year. They’d inserted a tiny metal clip in my breast so they’d know where to look.
So a bizarre anniversary. It’s been a year. Tomorrow I go back to have that followup. I’m okay with it. A little nervous but that’s to be expected. In all likelihood there will be nothing there. Of course, that’s what I thought before…but *grins* we won’t talk about that. I’m an optimist, always have been. In a week I’ll see my doctor, and she’ll tell me my cholesterol is through the roof (an inherited condition), my liver enzymes are a mess (same condition) and, hopefully, that the mammogram was clean.
I can deal with the rest. Moving on….


  1. Yikes…I would say the seven Hail Mary's anyway…but that's cuz I'm Catholic 😀

  2. Thoughts are with you, Valerie. You ought to try having your first mammogram in a foreign country where they don't speak English….Iceland it was for me. But def need to have them every year.

  3. There are not many things more frightening than the word 'Cancer.' The subject comes up nearly every week but until you're actually faced with the reality, you tend to brush it off. Of course, cancer is survived by many people and just because you have it doesn't mean the end. I wish you all the best, Valerie, and I will keep everything crossed for you. I am going to hospital with my own mum on Thursday to see a specialist because she needs a dodgy mole checking out. Everyone prays cancer will never affect them but unfortunately some of these prayers go unanswered.

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *