Saturday, December 26, 2015


subtitled: "Get a Mammogram, Man!"

In the past year I have gotten to know several breast cancer fighters and survivors quite well. I sent Bible verses and jokes to a friend during every chemo appt. she had. When she had radiation treatments, a group of us on Twitter dubbed ourselves the #pocketfulloffriends and sent her encouraging tweets every day of her treatments. Melissa is cancer free now. Thank God, or Shakespeare, or whoever floats your boat. She fought, and she won.

But the experience of knowing breast cancer fighters made me determined to encourage my wife to not postpone her regular mammogram. Hey, I get it. They aren't comfortable and most women do not care for them. My colonoscopy wasn't a piece of cake either, but it's a different experience. In any event, I requested that my wife get one. It's just routine. You go in, get squished, and then get a letter a week later saying "Yippee! All you have in your breast is breast." Nothing to it.

Have you ever been to the breast center, guys? This is a similar experience to taking your wife to the gynecologist. You know why people are there, they know why they are there, and you go out of your way to not look at anyone lest they assume you are thinking about why they are there. And at the breast center the women aren't even looking at each other. It's routine, they tell you. They don't tell you how to respond if the mammogram shows something going rogue. It's routine, they tell you. Nothing to worry about. Unless there really is something to worry about. That's all you can think about.

I took my wife to lunch after her mammogram. She earned it. Now all we had to do was wait for the "all clear", and I could quit thinking about breasts. Except for certain times of the night.

Five days later we got an envelope in the mail from University Hospital Elyria. I ripped it open.

"Your recent mammography examination showed a finding that requires additional imaging studies for a complete evaluation. Most such findings are benign."

Umm... what the hell?

This was supposed to be routine. Get squished, get the "all clear", move on.

Umm... what the hell?

The two friends I told about this told me not to worry. My own wife told me not to worry. They probably just missed something. It could be that the findings were unclear. That ever-present word "routine" made its presence known.

Sorry, but I'm going to be concerned just a little bit. If I wasn't concerned at all then I should just turn my husband card in. The letter said "Most such findings are benign", which means they saw something there. Benign would be great. I had a benign tumor removed earlier this year, and I would love for my wife to join the club.

"Most such findings are benign." Which means that some such findings could change your life.

[MAMMOGRAM DIAGNOSTIC- LEFT] Need cone down film and ultrasound to complete evaluation of left breast

January 7, 2016, 9:30AM.

To be continued....


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