July 14, 2021 marks our 47th wedding anniversary.  I started off the day with a mammogram and ultrasound.  When I made the appointment I didn’t think much about it being our anniversary – just looking for a suitable day and time to fit it into my calendar.  But as I lay on the table with cold, gooey gel being administered to my breast by a wand pushing and rolling across them, I thought – “What were you thinking, Loretta?  You could be having a nice breakfast with Thad and then explore new places yet to be discovered since we have moved to Oviedo”. 

Harumph!  Pity party for one, please.

But in that moment I realized I was being a spoiled rotten, retired, vintage broad with nothing more than 1st world problems.

“God, forgive me.”

What better day to have the privilege of getting a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound than my anniversary? Ben Franklin said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  I want to insure that I have many more anniversaries to share with Thad and this is one of the best ways to do it.  I am also blessed with living in a country where not only are these tests are for anyone and everyone,  plentifully available, state of the art, and read by radiologists that are up to date on what to look for in disease states.  I am also blessed with being able to have insurance to pay for it.  All of this with a minimum of effort and discomfort.

By the time my breasts were kneaded like homemade bread as well as mashed between two cold, plastic plates, I was almost euphoric.

OK, maybe not euphoric.  I sit in a room with a TV showing the newest renovations on HGTV with almost a dozen women clad in pink smocks that were definitely not designed by Ralph Lauren or Vera Wang.  Some of us stare at the TV as if enraptured; others make a running commentary, while others take the time to catch up on their reading.  But we are all thinking – “Is this the time they will find something questionable?” 

NO!  I refuse to let my mind wonder into that dark abyss.  When and if it’s an abnormal result, I will deal with it then and not before I know the facts placed before me.  The bible tells us “Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”  Matthew 6:27.

I re-center my thoughts on the plethora of mammograms, ultrasounds and MRI’s I have had with only one that resulted in a lumpectomy, a scar that caused my nipple to make a perfect left hand turn, and lymphedema that actually makes that breast look a little perkier than my 66 years.  However, the other looks like a balloon that has lost its helium – no longer a matched set.

But I digress.

While waiting for the preliminary results I figured I have had at least 40 mammograms, 40 ultrasounds, and 40 MRI’s.  A 40:1 ratio “ain’t” bad odds, wouldn’t you say?

As the technician tells me that the preliminary results show that my mammogram and ultrasound are normal and I am free to don my “going out the door” outfit (jeans and a Polo shirt).  I decide right there and then, that I will stop at Bernie’s Gourmet To Go for some of Bernie’s famous chicken salad and a piece of his Limoncello cake to share with my hubby.  It’s time to celebrate!

When was your last mammogram?  Are you due?  Are you overdue?   How do you emotionally handle your yearly mammograms?  Please share so others might benefit and join in the conversation.

Thank you for reading my post.  If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it.  Feel free to even re-blog – may these words take flight!

I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts.  To order a copy or learn more go to my website at www.lorettaschoen.com

Blessings for Health & Wellness.