Friday, March 16, 2012

The Mammogram

As I was dressing up, I fished out of the drawers my lucky pink with black polka dots underwear. Today I have my annual mammogram screening appointment and, since too many relatives of mine had some type of cancer diagnosis, I do not want to take any chances. So, after getting some work done, I zoomed to my doctor’s office parking lot. As I am a big sucker for fancy everything, I go to a fancy breast cancer specialist. She approaches every patient in a very personal manner and I like that. Even though she sees me only once a year, somehow still remembers me and every member of my family by our first names, remembers little things I told her about my kids. I wonder if she makes these notes in her file…

After watching the delicious Food Channel on 55” screen TV in the office lobby, I was invited inside and taken to the individual dressing room with the white robe I was supposed to put on, laying on the brown leather cushion.  As I was putting it on, I thought about how many lucky or maybe not so lucky women wore this robe. If only it could tell stories of those women! And I wondered will I be one of the lucky or not so lucky ones today? If this robe could only predict!

By the time I was taken to the screening room, my heart was nervously beating. If we are a product of chemical reaction which quite often gets screwed up, how can we outsmart our DNA? Can we? Should we? Is it worth being stuck to a big shiny machine and squeezed until ready to scream? Do we even look in the right place?

As I was walking into the empty examine room, I saw my doctor talking to someone on the phone. Her eyebrows were drawn down as she was scanning through the papers in her hands. Somehow I knew those were not my papers, but they were someone’s. This made me wonder how many times she had broken bad news to her patients. Is it daily? Weekly? And then, how could she live with this burden? Does it get balanced by giving good news to others?
After the daunting waiting time, my doctor finally opened the door holding my file. She looked pleased, asked me questions about work, family and kids, made some notes, and sent me home for a year.  My lucky underwear did not fail me this time! 

On my way home I took a detour and stopped at my favorite spot overlooking the ocean. The sky was so blue and the sun was so bright! I took a deep breath, and it felt so good.

Simple pleasure – it is. Will try to hold on to that feeling the rest of the day.

Feeling lucky.

With love, always,
xo, Zuma A.

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