There’s just something about a mammogram that stirs up a sand storm in my mind. The wind starts howling the day before my appointment as I review the list of friends, relatives and celebrities diagnosed with breast cancer.

You would think that after over a decade of doing this – every year – I would be less stressed about the whole procedure, but as we all know the odds of drawing the ‘cancer card’ increase with age. It’s like playing musical chairs, and each year there is one less seat to park your little rear-end on. Forget the fact that heart disease is the #1 cause of death in women- Breast cancer strikes fear into my soul.

When I get to the diagnostic center I immediately turn into Miss Congeniality. I act like I’m so hap-happy to be there; cracking jokes and hanging out in my gown as if I’m waiting for my friends to join me for happy hour. It’s this weird, reverse psychology game I play..outside I’m cool and collected, inside I’m twisted into a pretzel.

I also become strangely’s the only time I ever get that way. (Which locker did I put my clothes in last year?  Which wrist did I wear that little rubber bracelet with the key on..left or right?)

OH NO! A brand new technician! (What does that mean?!)

The new girl offered me a cup of coffee as I went back to change into my street clothes after the test was done. “Oh how sweet of you!” I chirped in my kindest, most relaxed voice “I already had three cups this morning, so I’ll have to pass..but thank-you so much!”

Portrait of a terrified woman

Total lie… I was heading straight to Duncan Donuts for a large with cream and sugar, but like heck was I going to hang around the diagnostic center for java and a chat! I had to get outta there- FAST..

so I could move into that period of preoccupied waiting…

…waiting for the phone to ring or the letter to arrive in the mail. No, not literally sitting there waiting..but waiting in the back of my mind in that spot where worry lives.

If the news comes early that might be bad, but if it’s late that might be bad too.

I start praying .. more .. there’s a little deal making that always seems to weave itself into the mix..”Oh Lord, if this mammogram comes back negative for cancer, I promise I will……”

and then it arrives.

There it is, quietly sandwiched between the Pottery Barn catalog and the Pest Control bill.

At that point, I take a deep, cleansing  breath, say one final prayer and remind myself of the following:

“Listen you silly girl…it already is what it is, you are just choosing to look.

My results were negative ..thank-you Lord.. 

and I feel like I was (once again) handed the keys to a bright pink convertible..

with free gas for the next 12 months.


6 Comments Add yours

  1. lovetotrav says:

    OH my you put it so well, what probably many of us think each and every time we go! That prayer, the one that I say each time, makes me think if I ever do the follow through of whatever it is that I offer up in return. Enjoy the pink convertible for the next 12 months… love that analogy. Just perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cindy says:

      Considering all of the other tests I have-or have had- it’s just so strange that this is the ONLY one that grips me with such fear. I’ll never understand it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lovetotrav says:

        I know and I agree. I have had my share as well but the C word is a scary one, and we feel vulnerable in that area in particular.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I try to look at it as – it’s either validation that THIS part of me is OK…or we’re catching something and can take action. I think this is one of the FEW areas of my life where I don’t borrow worry….Now if only I could spread that around. haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cindy says:

      ..and for some reason, this is the ONE thing I obsess about! 😟

      Liked by 1 person

  3. hmunro says:

    This is so well written … and so TRUE. Thank you, Cindy, for making me feel a little less crazy about my own mammophobia. (And for giving me a new word: mammophobia! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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