AN OPEN APOLOGY TO MY BREASTS...
This morning, as I lay in bed waiting for the alarm to ring, I could have sworn I heard my breasts talking to each other. I know it sounds crazy, but they were having this conversation They talked back and forth, like I wasn’t even there. It went something like this:
Right breast: So how’re you doin’ over there?
Left Breast: OK, I guess, just hanging out.
Right Breast: Oh come on, it’s me, remember? You can talk to me.
Left Breast: Alright, I just have not been myself. I feel like SHE doesn’t care about us any more. I mean, what was that last procedure? We’ve talked before about the squeezy thing – that mammogram SHE is making us go through every six months now. What is SHE thinking? Does she know we’re not as young as we used to be and flattening us like a pancake in all directions between two panes of glass is not exactly a beauty treatment, you know! But this last thing…the biopsy – you didn’t have to go through it – it was horrible!
Right Breast: I am soooooo sorry. Why don’t you try and get it off your chest.
Left Breast: (Choking back tears) You know. You were there. They put us on this table where I had to hang through a hole and they mashed me, then drilled me with a long needle that made a terrible noise. I couldn’t move. I was terrified.
SHE must have been awfully scared but SHE never said a thing. Until it was all over. Then SHE cried. SHE held an ice pack over me and just sobbed. It was so sad.
Right Breast: You know I am here for you. Even if SHE isn’t.
Left Breast: Thank you. I just hope you never have to go through what I did.
Right Breast: Remember at our last girls’ night out when Shelly’s breasts were telling us about HER last doctor’s visit. Apparently they’ve had four biopsies between them and are going for a fifth. And, they have titanium chips in them now to mark where the biopsies have been done. What’s up with that?
Left Breast: Yeah, something about calcifications. Don’t THEY know we all have them. It’s just a normal part of the aging process?
Right Breast: What is SHE thinking? Sometimes I think SHE really doesn't appreciate us. Remember when we were first growing and our nipples were budding? We were so proud, but SHE seemed kind of ashamed and covered us up with that training bra. What was that all about?
Left Breast: Yeah, and when the babies came, we produced girl, didn’t we?
Right Breast: You can say that again sister! I think we made more milk than most of HER friends. Those were some healthy, well-fed babies.
Left Breast: And I haven’t heard any complaints from HIM!
Right Breast: I know, right! He loooovvvves us. Probably pays more attention to us than SHE does.
Right Breast: SHE does seem a little detached. Do you think we can do something, you know,to get HER attention. Wake HER up….
Left Breast: I am closest to HER heart. Maybe there is something we can do to get her to sit up and listen… before it’s too late.
So, what’s a girl to when her breasts are talking about her behind her back?
Something’s gotta give. How can we continue much longer putting “the Girls” through such torture when they have been so good to us all these years? I am not a doctor. I am just a woman who has fallen prey to a medical system that seems to value avoiding law suits more than caring for the very things that have the power to make knees go weak, nourish and sustain life and lovingly protect the female heart. When I leave the radiologists’s office all I get is a foreboding warning to be back in six months for more of the same pathetic, demoralizing treatment that is supposed to spare me death from the dreaded “C” word. Not once do they tell me what to do to actually take care of my breasts in the meantime. All I am left with is the sickening fear that so many other women have felt before me as they wait for the next mammogram/ultrasound/biopsy round that will let them breathe a temporary sigh of relief until the next one rolls around. I know I am supposed to be grateful, but, forgive me, if I expect just a little better from the medical system in the greatest country in the world.
Technology is wonderful and, no doubt, saves lives, but our current paradigm of treating all women's breasts as though they are either pre-malignant or malignant is no way to run a health care system. The fear alone that it instills is enough to make even the most healthy immune system a little shaky on its feet.
We need a better way. We need to really take a hard look at our system, our testing procedures and diagnostic tools. We need to train our medical professionals to see the benefits of preventive care for their patients over lawsuit prevention for themselves. And we need to treat our “Girls” with the respect they so deserve, at every age.
I offer an open apology to my breasts and ask their forgiveness for my temporary insanity as I bought into the consciousness of fear that is so pervasive in our culture. I promise to do my best to find the medical and complimentary health care professionals that can best nurture and ensure the health of my “Girls”, just as they have done for me all of these years! After all, I really do want to keep YOU around. I’m kind of attached to YOU!
Here's a link to some info about the mammogram controversy and how we really need something better and SOON!!!!!