As I walked into Sofija’s room this morning to wake her, she sat up in bed, threw her arms in the air and announced, “Mama, I am SO beautiful!” Good morning to you too, Baby Girl.
Less than ten minutes later, as I’m stirring the oatmeal, Seth walks in the kitchen holding a pair of scissors in his right hand. With his left hand he points to the very top of his head and says, “Can you fix this? I couldn’t make it stop sticking up so I cut it. But I think you need to cut it some more.” Um, no sir. I don’t think I can do anything with that 1/8 inch of hair you left attached to your scalp. Looks like we’ll be using lots of hairspray on the crown of his head til that hacked mess grows out.
Kids at school I clean up and get ready to head to the hospital for my very first mammogram. My first one should have been done about five years ago. But after fighting one type of cancer, it took me a few years to build up the courage to have a test done just to see if I have some other type. To be honest, if my clinic would stop sending me those annoying letters telling me to call and schedule it, I’d be happy to spend a few more years building up my courage. After the last annoying letter I called the number at the bottom. Since I had to wait a month for the first available appointment I figured it was probably a good idea to follow through and actually show up.
When I arrived at the “Breast Care Clinic” I was handed a clipboard with a questionnaire that included a pretty graphic drawing of boobs. Boobs that somewhat resemble my own. Lovely. Have you ever had cancer? ~ Yes. What type? Where? Treatment? Surgeries? Do you have implants? ~ Yes. The next question… “Which breast?” Seriously? Do people get just one? Who are these people? Now I’m really curious. I wanna meet these women. Not sure that I could do so without staring at their chest, but nevertheless, I wanna meet them.
Clothes off from the waist up. Gown open in front. Nice lady asked me to follow her. The machines are not nearly as intimidating as I anticipated. Everything is nice and beige and plastic looking. No ice cold metal in sight. As I walk to the machine that’s clearly designed to squeeze my boobs she says, “Wait a second. You have implants? I have another form for you to fill out.” It was a release form that said something like, “Occasionally implants rupture during mammogram, but the risk of cancer far outweighs that of leaking saline or silicone.” It also said something like, “Some ruptures are not immediately noticeable and may cause a slow leak that can lead to other really bad stuff.” Lovely.
In some past blogpost (I can’t remember which one) I wrote about the fact that I’ve gained weight over the last year. I also mentioned that I’ve watched my boobs go to one size and then two sizes bigger than what I bought and paid for. The minute the nice lady got started doing her job, I realized that I REALLY should have had my first mammogram when I was much thinner. more boob=more squishing. The squishing hurts. It’s not unbearable and quite honestly it was more pleasant than any single test I have endured to look at my thyroid and neck. But I’m not gonna lie. It hurts.
At the point when I thought she had squished my boobs from every possible angle and that she must certainly have the appropriate number of pictures, the real fun began. Remember the implant release form? Nice lady stopped being nice. She says in the
nastiest sweetest voice, “Now I’m going to displace your implants and try to get all the same pictures without the implants in the way.” WHAAA??? How is that possible? Oh NO! That so does not feel right! How are they ever going to get back where they’re supposed to be?
And then she moved them all around again. And again. And again.
So what do you do after your girls have been abused? You go bra shopping. At least that’s what I did. The bra I was wearing just did not seem nearly gentle enough and I couldn’t think of a single one in my drawer at home that might make them feel better either. Where does one go to find high quality comfortable brassieres? Target. I have a confession to make. Every time I shop the clearance rack at Target, I want the maternity stuff. Another true confession: I’m wearing a Target maternity shirt as I type. Not that I’m pregnant or ever again plan to be. I just think the Target maternity designers are the very best of the Target designers. And besides… the maternity stuff does a good job of covering up my weight gain. Oh, and the nursing bras. Why is it that the softest, cushiest, stretchiest, most comfortable bras are designed just for nursing moms? Well, guess what? I’m nursing some sore mams today. And those nursing bras looked like just the perfect thing to make them feel better. Because I have actually been through the pain of being engorged and because I have no need for flaps on my bras, I tore myself away from the nursing section, found something comparable sans flaps, and filled my cart with $80 worth of toiletries and what-nots. The girls felt better already.
So now I wait. Isn’t that just the absolute worst part of any medical test? The waiting. Grrrr. While I’m waiting I think that I will lay down in my bed tonight, pretend all the weight has not been gained, and tell myself that I am SO beautiful.