It’s the moment every woman dreads.
You’re lying flat on your back, your feet in stirrups and a doctor lady with cold fingers kneads your boobs like they’re dough for Challah bread.
She pretends she hasn’t just looked at your cervix and isn’t man-handling your mammaries by asking you awkward questions she doesn’t really want the answer to.
“So did you enjoy your holiday break? Where did you go? How’s your dog, Petula? Oh, you have cats. Sorry. Oh. Shannon. I feel something here …”
She starts to pull my boobs like taffy.
“You have a lump.”
The next hour, while waiting for an ultra-sound to determine if I have cancer or not, my mind does this:
“Lump in breast, lump in breast. It’s probably not cancer, because there’s no history of cancer in my family, but I do live close to a freeway and I did use tanning beds twice in college and I stood in front of the microwave when I was pregnant. I definitely have cancer.
“Look, Lainy and Shelley both had mastectomies and had their breasts reconstructed. Maybe they’ll let me look at their nipples?
“If they have nipples. I don’t really need my nipples. I just have to live long enough to get my kids out of school.
“And to find a good wife for Henry, he’ll need one because who will yell at him when he eats bread so he won’t die of diabetes?”
Long story short, the lump was a rogue, non-cancerous entity which I won’t name here as it’s kind of blech.
I was relieved and, better yet, so grateful to this body that’s carrying me through life.
There was a maxim I heard several times when I went to church as a young child, “Your body is your temple.”
Coming up on the half century mark, I truly get it. I’m going to make hay while the sun shines. (I actually have no f-ing clue what that means, but it seems appropriate)