"Your breasts are perfect. Lovely. Completely fabulous. Just the kind I love."
For maybe two seconds, my snarky side (Geminii rising, what can I say?) thinks: "Now if only you were a man with curly black hair, blue eyes, your shirt sleeves rolled up above the cuff, your hands placed just so, the warm sea breeze playing gently . . . ." But on my next breath, my emotional side kicks in (sun in Pisces, so, again, no surprise) and I grab the hand of the stocky, middle-aged, midwestern doctor with her no-nonsense haircut and her good Polish last name and I break into tears of relief. She pats my shoulder, I blow my nose and start to apologize, she says, "It's more common than you'd think, especially with your history." I get my act together, dress myself and tie my Hermes scarf (moon in Taurus, what do you expect?), cab to my office, and give the driver a humongous tip. He probably thinks it's because of the holidays.
Every year when I have my mammogram, I sit there not-reading the magazine (I not-read Science and Time today, with special not-reading emphasis on the year-end articles on advances in the treatment of breast cancer), centering, grounding, telling myself, "They're taking too long. In a minute, the sweet little technician with the long hair and my sister's name will come back out and say, "Ms. Demetersdatter, doctor wants just a few more pictures, . . ." "and I'll know that "It" has returned. Because when it's all ok, they don't take "a few more pictures" in the rooms on the right side of the hall. When it's all ok, they send you to the sitting rooms on the left side of the hall so the doctor can come give you your results. I can tell by the tilt of the technician's head which way we're going before she opens her mouth. I've gone right and I've gone left, and, me, I prefer going left (and not only politically).
And, this year, I can tell as she walks down the hall: no more pictures. I get the coveted trip to a room on the left, a visit from the middle-aged doctor with the no-nonsense haircut, and a cab ride back to the office. I get to give my secretary, who keeps my calendar and who gives me the "eyebrows up" question, a thumbs up. When a guy with whom I work stops by and says, "You look happy today," I impulsively say, "I am. I had a perfect mammogram today," and I get lunch at the Palm: lobster and champagne. I'll be ready to kill him within days of the new year, but, this afternoon, we're old comrades at arms. I pretend to forget that he told our client that I had breast cancer, after I asked him not to, and he pretends to forget, as well.
Next year, who knows? But this year, twelve years out, I get the nice stuff. I'm going to try and remember it some year when I get the bad news.
A few weeks ago, my wonderful circle of amazing women gathered around me, listened to my wish: "If there is something there, let them find it," and then raised energy all around me to protect my health. I feel that circle of energetic protection every minute that I am standing with a sharp corner jabbed into my underarm and a plastic plate pressing down on my breast. I feel it and I draw upon it and I remind myself that, no matter what, I am not alone.
May it be so for you.
I came home and pulled a tarot card for myself and, let me just assure you, there is zero chance that I am pregnant. But if you feel inspired to read for me, leave a note in comments.
And go get your mammogram. If you've got some flexcare dollars to spend, it's not too late to get one this year. Early detection saves lives and I am living proof.
Photo by the author from the Robin Wood tarot deck.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."