On Tuesday morning I received a call from Sanford about my mammogram images that were taken on Monday. There was a concern about something they saw on the images and they wanted me to come in for another mammogram and possibly an ultrasound as well. I was told that I could not go back to the 32nd Avenue location again, instead I was scheduled to go to the clinic on Broadway where there are radiologists who could review the additional images right away while I was there. I scheduled the appointment at the Broadway clinic for the first thing this morning, and then I waited.
An interesting experience that is – waiting. You wait and you wonder whether what they are concerned about is something worth worrying about or merely something that can be explained away by additional images. Of course you hope for the latter, but you know that it is the possibility of detecting problems that led you to get the mammogram to begin with.
You think about what you will do if you learn that you have breast cancer. You think about what that diagnosis has meant for all the women you have known who have fought that fight. You wonder if you could ever be as rugged a warrior as they were. You think about how your family might be affected. You wonder if cancer will become part of your life history as it has for so many others. You wonder if cancer will become your death sentence. You think about all the time you have taken your health for granted. You think about so many things – things that could happen.
And you hope for the best. You hope that this will not be a part of your story. You hope that you dodge this bullet.
I am fortunate. My second set of images cleared up any concerns the radiologist had. I will not fight this battle – at least not today.
Bras on Broadway, 2013
On my way back down Broadway from the clinic I came upon the annual Bras on Broadway display. Bras on Broadway supports women fighting breast cancer in our area. The display this year not only blankets the HoDo, it also is strung across Broadway. It sends an impressive message of solidarity.
Seeing the bra display today was a moment for me. I have not walked in the shoes of those who have fought breast cancer, but for a couple of days I thought about what such a fight might be like in my life. I know that every single day women are learning that this fight will become their fight. And even though it is not my fight, at least not today – I realize that in so many ways the fight of others has to be fueled and re-fueled by the support of all of us.
Support those fighting the fight. Support research for a cure. Support the ever-growing community of survivors. In the end, this is a fight that we all must invest in to ensure that when our grandmothers, mothers, aunts, cousins, sisters, daughters, partners, spouses, friends, and maybe even ourselves as individuals, are affected – everything necessary to kick cancer’s ass will be readily available.
Day one thousand one hundred and nine of the new forty – obla di obla da