Sunday, January 28, 2007

Just a Big Ol' Chicken

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Ahem, that would be me. Velvet's comment on my post from last night had me thinking about my own close call with breast cancer.

It all started, as most things in my life do, with walking the dog. It was winter and, working in the film industry, I always got home after dark. I grabbed Mags and took off. She always got a mile and a half walk morning and night no matter how many hours I worked. We had made it to the block behind the house when Maggie wanted to cross the street. This area was particularly quiet and there was no danger...just darkness. We crossed where there were two driveways together and I was expecting a flat, street-level surface only, there was curb. My right foot hung on the curb and I went flying -- landing full weight on my left boob.

I had always said if I ever dropped the leash, Maggie would be gone. But she proved herself a true rottweiler that night. In typical rottie fashion, she went into "guard mode." She turned her back to me, straddled my body in her best "if you get to her you gotta go through ME" stance. As I lay on sidewalk screaming in pain (winter, windows closed), she would turn her head toward me and literally blow me kisses and then remember she was on guard duty, turn forward and growl at...nothing. "Kiss, kiss mommy. OH! I'm on guard."

It took me quite a while to feel like I could get up, and when I did, it took quite a while to convince Maggie to get off of me!

Not only was that breast black, blue and many shades of lavender for weeks, I now had a lovely knot in there.

At that time, I was getting mammograms regularly even though I was in my history being what it is and all. And sure enough that knot earned me my first "you need to get back in here for another test" phone call.

I was terrified. I cried incessantly for days. I went in for the sonogram... a much more humane test for sure. Only, I was cried so hard, I was shaking and the tech yelled at me cause the handle thingy kept gliding every time I shook. That's what a big chicken I am. I cry my way through the stupid test! Cluck.

It was determined to be "soft tissue damage" from my fall and I had to go every six months for several years. And now, I guess I'm giving myself some time off for good behavior. Cluck.

Really though, with the cost of all those meds... I think my sister's proton treatments were over $10,000 per (and she got 5 a week for months!)... sometimes, I honestly think if something like that happened, worrying about the money would be the thing that kills me. Cluck. 'Cause there's always something to worry a chicken like me. Cluck, cluck.


Anonymous said...

Well I'm one of those women too, had a baseline at 40 and haven't been back since even though my mother died from breast cancer. I guess it's one of those things I'll have to get caught up on now that we have insurance again. What I loved was when the squeeze you in there and then tell you to 'move back'! Carmon

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

OOH! Good one Carmon! That and "Hold still."

You're pinching my girls to pancake thickness and you want me to be still?

Anonymous said...

You and your sister are both very strong women! You aren't a chicken, something I called myself for years. There is a reason you are as you are, and you have a right to be concerned. My mother died after having breast cancer, and for YEARS, I had to take anti-anxiety medicine just to go do my mammograms! And have hysterically gone through two biopsies. The important thing is - DO THEM!

CreekHiker / HollysFolly said...

Jackie, It's so nice to know that I'm not the only one who gets hysterical with these things! Thanks for your kind encouragement.