Hairy Legs and Brain Farts

This morning I was futzing along. Getting some laundry done. Straightening up the kitchen from the breakfast mess. Making some beds. You know, like I said, futzing along. Not a care in the world.

At 8:23am I was thinking about the other things I needed or wanted to get done. There is a difference you know. The need vs. want thing. But let’s talk about that another time.

I decided to take a quick look on my trusty iPhone calendar because even though I didn’t think I had anything on the agenda (besides some things I needed and wanted to do), I probably should make sure.

My eyes went wide and I shot up to a standing position. I did one of those back and forth circular motion panic things that you do when you aren’t quite sure what to do. I probably resembled Yosamite Sam on speed. Or Popeye. Or well, just me.

I had seven…count ’em…SEVEN minutes to get to my annual gyno and mammogram appointment. An appointment I’ve had since January. Holy shit. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am punctual to a fault. And if I am late, I can blame my family for that. Seriously. It’s usually their fault.

Anyway, a quick call to the office and a fast explanation about how I suffer from the periodic Brain Fart and how it’s a problem I should probably have checked out (too bad I couldn’t get a 3-in-1 deal but this is a doctor for down below although it seems my brains were where the sun don’t shine this morning so maybe?), the nice receptionist lady said “hurry up.”

This is the look I was definitely trying to avoid. It was a close call.
This is the look I was definitely trying to avoid. I have to tell you it was a close call.

But I wasn’t showered. There is no way in hell I am going to lay back on a gurney with my legs hiked up spread eagle without a shower. There are things you know? Like possible dingle berries and well, things. Amiright?

I grabbed a wash cloth and a towel from the linen closet and busted my ass, really only paying any attention to all that is between my belly button and upper thighs. Anything else that may have been left behind was just going to have to be a surprise.

Seven (because seven is my lucky number today) minutes later I was backing out of my driveway. My hair was unbrushed, my legs were hairy and I was without a stitch of makeup. I had the same clothes on from yesterday because who had time to decide that? But I changed my underwear because my mother raised me right.

Twenty minutes later and a half hour late, I walked into my appointment. They took me right away and I had all of the above mentioned done (except the Brain Fart check-up). My heart slowed down, I was safe. Phew. That was hairy. Well, so were my legs so who cares?

I rushed to this appointment only to find out that I have lost an entire inch, I have gained 23 pounds and was told I should probably go have a colonoscopy. Because what? I wasn’t accosted enough? Just what I need. I have truly hit mid-life. I’m going back to bed. And no. That is not on my calendar.


It’s All About the Boob and Being a Boob – Part I

I met Wendy @WendiPopRock a few months ago who interviewed me for a local on-line newspaper. Actually, I hadn’t met her in person. We “talked” over Facebook and private messaged each other a million times and we became friends. Friendship courtesy of the Interwebs. Not really an uncommon occurrence these days.

It turns out we have a few things in common: we are both irish, our daughters happen to dance for the same Irish dance school, we love to write and we love wine. I have since met her for real. Once.  But that doesn’t matter because I feel like I’ve known her for forever.

Wendy hadn’t been feeling well for a few weeks. She talked about how she just wasn’t herself. She even cancelled out on a wine get together I had. I knew she must not have been feeling well if she cancelled out. You just don’t cancel a date with wine if you don’t have to. Well, I don’t. And even though Wendy is a new friend, I get the feeling she doesn’t either.

She mentioned that she was going to go get some testing done. My wine get together was on a Friday night. On Monday she went on her appointment. Wednesday morning I received a Facebook private message from her. “Bad news…I have breast cancer…”

My heart sank. I gasped. My boss-friend asked me what was wrong. “My friend Wendy has breast cancer,” I heard myself say. Good Lord.

Guess how she found out? She was dying her hair and dropped a blob of dye on her left boob. When she was wiping it up, there it was. The lump.

20 years ago, someone I worked with had a boyfriend who had accidentally elbowed her in the breast. It hurt and when she rubbed the area, there was a lump.

Another friend of mine was having a routine mammogram a few years ago. The test results showed she had breast cancer. She was lucky. They caught it in the very early stages. Her lumps were too small to even detect with just an exam.

See where am I going with this? These three ladies were lucky. Either something happened to make them see a doctor or they had their routine mammogram.

They talk about early detection by giving yourself a self-examination. It doesn’t take long. Do it in the shower, in bed, while making dinner. I don’t like doing it. I have extremely cystic breasts and the feel of all that lumpy tissue under my fingers really gives me the heebie-jeebies.

Last year as I was lying in bed, I happened to feel my boob. I felt a fairly large lump. I kept saying to myself, “oh, it’s probably nothing. I’m PMS’ing so my ducts are swollen. It’ll go away.” After a month, it didn’t go away. So, I made an appointment with my gyno.

He did an exam and agreed that I had a lump. He said it was probably just a cyst, so he attempted to aspirate it. But he couldn’t get any fluid. After some nervous waiting, a mammo and an ultrasound, I was cleared. Luckily. But waiting a month isn’t smart. I should have gone immediately. Even though this story had a happy ending, the next time may not be so happy.

I’m still not good with the self-exams, but I will do them on occasion, which I am fully aware is not enough. I have my annual mammogram and because of my cystic condition, it is always followed up with a thorough ultrasound.

But if Wendy had waited for her annual mammogram, it may have been too late. If she didn’t drop that God sent glob of hair dye on that exact spot, who knows.

If my friend Pat’s boyfriend from 20 years earlier didn’t elbow her, the outcome may have been completely different.

If my other friend Tee didn’t go for her annual mammo, I shudder to think of the outcome.

I know I’m either too late or too early, depending on how you look at it, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but I’m here to say, feel yourself up, ladies. Just do it. It’s important. It will save your life.

There is another way we can bring awareness to breast cancer. Go on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or all three and post a pic of you and your left breast (fully clothed please) and let’s see if we can get it trending.

Type in #MyLeftBoob. I’m doing it. Won’t you? For my friend Wendy. And all the other breast cancer victims, past and present.

Now reacting to the news of Wendy’s cancer? You’ll have to wait until tomorrow. Yes, it includes Jack and Ass.

It’s there, my left boob. Just hanging out under my PJs. #MyLeftBoob