Turned 40 in July. Of course, as a female in the US, that means the advent of the dreaded annual mammogram. Had mine Wednesday, the first day of my kids' school, because there are some things I am just not willing to do with kids in tow and enough with the finding of babysitters, already. Can I just say "OW!"?? Not much of a birthday gift for me...going to think of it as one for my family.
Anyway, got a call in the middle of yesterday's taekwondo class. They were concerned about one set of images and needed me to come in for more tests. Cue panic mode. Unfortunately, courtesy of my Ph.D. research, which related directly to breast cancer, I know more than enough about the subject to be dangerous but not nearly enough to be fully educated. Fortunately for my mental well-being, I was able to get back in again this morning. And after the additional tests were done, everything was fine. But a hell of an introduction to the world of mammograms, thank you very much. Cripes.
But at least I do have access to them, along with other routine screenings. And everything did turn out ok. Thinking back to a woman I saw when I was a graduate student and spending a few days following an oncologist. This woman, who had immigrated from somewhere in Central America, had never had access to basic healthcare, and presented with a massive tumor, clearly visible externally. It had grown into the skin. I don't think she ever had a chance. So I will be thankful for my blessings today, even if some of them do hurt more than others.