Tuesday, October 17, 2006

check her boobs.

teamwork.

it's October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and it isn't just about sporting pretty pink ribbons on your lapel. make your mammogram/breast ultrasound appointments, ladies, and make sure your loved ones make theirs.

hold on. have to step up on my soapbox.

ahem.

the average woman with no family history, should start getting annual mammograms at the age of 40. if you have a family history, it'll probably be earlier, but your doctor will help you figure that out (for me, it was 10 years before the age my mother was when she was diagnosed i.e. my mom was 38 at diagnosis, therefore, they started making a sandwich of my breasts between two cold metal plates at the age of 28. fun!)

every year, i get a mammogram, followed by a breast ultrasound six months later. why? if you're young, your breast tissue is usually too dense for a mammogram to reveal anything; an ultrasound is supposed to be better at detecting blips in young, pert ta-tas like yours and yours truly.

anyway, i made all of my phone calls on Monday. in the next month or so, i have appointments:

1. to see a breast surgeon specialist.

and no, not the guy you met at the bar last week. that card was printed at Kinko's, silly girl.

2. to see a genetic counselor.

do i, or do i not want to find out if i have the breast cancer gene? at 31, i know i'm not prepared at this point in my life to have a radical mastectomy, but determining my genetic risk level will help my doctors come up with the most proactive screening program which, hopefully, will lead to early detection if i do get this motherfucking disease. anyway, the counselor is gonna help me figure that out. should be a a total blast. wanna meet for drinks after?

3. to get a mammogram.

did i say breast sandwich?

4. to get a breast ultrasound.

it's the same ultrasound they do on pregnant women, but this one's for your breasts. they use some cold slimey substance and more cold metal plates. *snaps* for cold metal plates!

oh, but for all the bellyachin', i've got to do it, i know. it just so very much puts me in touch with my mortality, and it really is so much easier to prattle about in our daily lives as if we'll live forever, isn't it? i will not, of course, whether it's breast cancer that takes me, or whether i slip away in my "sleep" at the ripe old age of 95 (my aforementioned breasts being felt up by my very handsome and much younger trophy husband).

oh, goddammit, another reminder. life. fullest. blah di blah di blahhhhhh.

best to wear the sparkly shoes, eat dessert and go skinny dipping now.

ya know, while my boobs still float.

---------------------------------------

and then, providence! this email from my friend, c, received this afternoon:
so this waiter, after bringing us our drinks on saturday afternoon, proceeds to tell us that he spent a few years in a mental institution after his wife died of breast cancer in his arms. very sad, of course -- she lost both breasts and almost beat it, but didn't. so we're all somber. and then he tells me to check myself every month, which is borderline uncool, and then he turns to my boyfriend and says, to the astonishment of the other diners, that he needs to make sure to "check her boobs" (mine) all the time, because that's how they found the lumps in his wife's breasts -- HE found them. i didn't know whether to laugh or crawl under the table. this poor guy. BOOBS?
hey, early detection, no matter how it's done, is key.

1 comment:

Hannah said...

Hmmmm, yes, I used MRI and mammograms and ultrasound to monitor after going though breast cancer treatment.......and none of them found my recurrence. I did, by feeling my own breasts and armpits.

Sorry for the cold hard news. Science is limited. Our ability to heal is not, however.

I create retreats for healing using art and body=centering processes. It's all about loving your body and yourself.

You go girl, size ate.