Mammo Monday

I have some things to get off my chest, so I’m going to make a boob of myself and keep you abreast of some things going down in the world of The Wife.

I recently had a mammogram, which for those of you who have them know it’s an unpleasant experience at best. You walk around in a pup tent in the hallways of the doctor’s office, you lean up against a machine, which is cold, and a tech fondles your breast until it’s in a position to be flattened in a vice to the point where you can’t breathe or you might actually tear your breast from your body. It’s like 50 Shades of Gray, except that it’s 50 Shades of Hospital Green and there is no orgasm at the end.

mammo

Yes. This is my chest after a mammogram. Yes, those are actual bruises coming in. Yes, I’m getting a Venti Triple Shot Latte immediately after this. At least my mammogram makes my double chin look smaller.

However.

For all of its unpleasantness, it’s just something you gotta do. A number of women I know and am close to have been diagnosed with some form of breast cancer in the past couple of years. One of them was a girl I babysat (who reads the blog, and is cancer-free and kicks ass, hi Little Julie!). Last week, a very good high school friend of mine e-mailed with the subject line “When Life Gives You Lemons”. I couldn’t blog about it last week because it hit me a little hard. It was a very upbeat e-mail that essentially said she had been diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma in her breast after finding a lump in May. She’ll be having a unilateral or bilateral mastectomy in July. The main gist of the e-mail was that everyone needs to self-examine, and to trust your instincts and listen to your body. Her prior annual mammograms had not detected this lump. Nor did the mammogram she had AFTER she found the lump. This shit is serious, y’all. Mammograms aren’t the end-all-be-all, and everyone needs to watch their bodies.

Carolyn is a beautiful and amazing person, and she honestly doesn’t even probably realize the place she has in my heart. When we would have sleepovers in Jr. High, I used to make her sing songs from the West Side Story soundtrack to me before we went to sleep, because I was super cool like that. She has an amazing voice, and the biggest heart of just about anyone I’ve ever known. She is a velvet hammer, and cancer knows not what it has done. I have every confidence that she will beat it. If you feel so moved, say a little prayer for my friend Carolyn and her family to give them strength on this journey.

She sang at my wedding. At the reception, she had me sit on Current Husband’s knee and she and a friend sang a song a capella to us. It was one that Carolyn and I had joked about before, because she knows my deep and abiding love for the movie “The Jerk”. ┬áThis one is for Carolyn, who is starting her journey on her battle with cancer, which she will win.

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14 Comments

  1. I am 44 years old. Last week I had a screening mammogram (8 months late-which I am so upset with myself about). It shows a 2.6cm dense area on my left breast. Now I know that it’s there I can feel a lump. I go back for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound on 10/26. I also have my regular yearly OB/GYN check up on Wed. There isn’t any breast cancer on my mom’s side of the family but on my Dad’s side his sister had it when she was in her 40′s or early 50′s.

  2. Gina Nieto

    Just another manic Monday

  3. Gina Nieto

    My dear, sweet sister, Michele died in January from breast cancer. She was diagnose when she was 34. Stage four. Her babies were 3, 4, 7, and 9. She fought the good fight. Traveled to her brain, lymp nodes, chest wall, stomach wall. She was totally alert when her doctor told her there was nothing else they could do. She wrote down, that’s it. She died. Left all of us heart broken.

    I travelled to pittsburgh from Cleveland every week for her chemo. Broke my heart. Miss her every day. Hope and pray for a good outcome for yor friend.

    My sister was the funniest person I have ever known

  4. I wish it was Sunday, ’cause that’s my fun day. Thanks, Julie. CSD enjoyed this. Now, if only I could find my coronet…

    • Was it the coronet? Dang. I’ve been calling it a trumpet, which is the brass world equivalent of wearing red on Crips turf. I enjoy CSD. Best to you adorable people.

  5. This is an amazing post! Prayers and positive energy to your friend Carolyn!

  6. This is an important health issue that many don’t think about til it is to late. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Joanie V

    Praying for Caroline. Did she play a trumpet at the wedding?

    • She is a violinist, but can probably play the trumpet and I don’t know it yet. It should be noted that the friend who came with Carolyn to the wedding and sang the song with her had a straw hat that she filled with the Jelly Belly’s from the tables at the reception. But she had a lovely voice, so in the end she earned all of those Jelly Bellys.

  8. Tonya Dreher

    Right on!! I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at 38 yrs old. My kids were 3, 5, and 7 yrs old. I had had a mammogram 6 months earlier that showed NOTHING, then found the lump myself! Ladies need to feel their boobies!!! I went thru 15 months of chemo, 8 wks of radiation, many surgeries..but I am 5 yrs cancer free! Thank you for blogging about this – it’s REAL!!