The Waiting or What Happens When You Grow Gremlins in Your Boobs

On March 17 I thought there would be no better way to celebrate St. Patricks Day than with a mammogram and ultrasound.  I mean nothing says “Kiss Me I’m Irish” better than strange people pancaking and sliming up your boob to get a better look at the insides of the mammory glands.  I wasn’t nervous…this was the last of 2-3 years of every six months or so checking up on the two fibroids Bonnie and Clyde that they found in 2011.

And then…

Well then the radiologist said, “Woah, zoom in on that.  Nurse schedule a biopsy for Thursday please.”  And then my whole world went super blurry because no one had said that in visit after visit…a biopsy…for what?  I am getting a Phd.  I am raising three children.  I have finally met the love of my life.  I don’t have time for this…I can’t even say it…the “C” word.

So I have the biopsy and it is weird and there is a needle vacuum involved and the banding of my boobs that makes me look like a 12 year old adolescent boy…and then there is the phone call the next day that says the surgeon would like to meet with you next Friday at 9:45 but I can’t tell you anything about your tests.  And I won’t lie.  My stomach got caught in my throat like when you are on a roller coaster and the first big hill is coming and I completely freaked the fuck out.  And then it began…the waiting.

The waiting without wanting to think about it.  Why would the surgeon want to meet with me?  The calling of my friends who have had breast cancer.  The not wanting to say the two words together in a sentence so I just make up other ways to say to my tribe…I might have breast cancer.  The constant battle in my head about not putting anything bad out there but making secret plans to make sure there are meals for the kids and JTK and that everyone is taken care of when I am puking in the bathroom and losing my hair and my mom is living in the guest room.  And how am I going to get through school?  Oh my god…Breast Cancer.

For 5 days I thought I had cancer.  For 5 days I cried and was extra tender with those that I love.  For 5 days I tried not to worry when all I wanted to do was worry.  For 5 days I didn’t sleep.  I prayed.  I called on my tribe to pray.  I told everyone I know to get a mammogram.  My darling friend sent me this prayer, “creator, father, mother, friend…i connect my health energy to melissa’s health energy. may she be restored to health…may her spirit grow from the fleshy challenges. light and love from the god of the universe who is the ultimate physician and holds us all in the palm of divine hands. amen”

And then the nurse called…it is BENIGN but the surgeon would like to meet with you.  More worry.  More wondering.  But no cancer.  I want to scream, I want to cry, I want to…BREATHE.

So here I am…post surgeon meeting…with a plan for follow up boob mapping once a year because I am a rare woman who grows gremlins in her mammory glands and I wonder, why don’t we talk about this publicly?  Why don’t women get their baseline mammograms when they are supposed to?  Why don’t we encourage our tribe and our sisters to get their mammograms too?

So here it is friends…get a mammogram.  Tell the women in your lives to get a mammogram, support them in it.  Do monthly breast self exams and get to know your lovely lady lumps because more often than not by the time you can feel the gremlin it might be too late.  And remember to love your boobs, save the ta-ta’s, take care of the girls…support your sisters.  Because the waiting…it is hell. 

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Love Your Girls! Save the Ta-Ta’s!

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About Melissa Bird

Melissa Bird is a passionate feminist who has turned her education in social work into a career advocating for children, women and their families. She is a fierce believer in preparing women for leadership roles in politics and has a wealth of experience working with policy makers, community leaders, and other stakeholders to improve access to reproductive health care for women, men and teens. In 2006, Melissa became the Vice President of Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of Utah where she quickly took a struggling political organization from mediocre to powerhouse in just a few years. Melissa has written and passed into law six pieces of legislation that aim to help disadvantaged homeless youth find shelter and women and their families obtain unfettered access to reproductive health care. A spirited public speaker, Melissa derives great joy from speaking to groups of all sizes about social justice advocacy, reproductive health, women’s empowerment, and fundraising. Melissa has presented workshops at many conferences throughout the country such as: Planned Parenthood Federation of America-State Public Affairs Network: New Public Affairs Staff Orientation—Washington D.C. Planned Parenthood Federation of America-Innovations & Generations Conference—Seattle, Washington Troubled Youth Conference—Snowbird, Utah Child Welfare League of America National Conference—Washington D.C. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center of Mental Health Services Conference-Collaborative Approaches to Successful Transition for Children, Youth, and Families within System of Care—Dallas, Texas Melissa has played many roles throughout her life including preschool teacher, professional lobbyist, university professor, non-profit executive, wife and mother. Throughout her life and her career, Melissa has always held a deep conviction that she is here to empower others in order to improve the lives of women and children throughout the world.
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2 Responses to The Waiting or What Happens When You Grow Gremlins in Your Boobs

  1. Reblogged this on SkinCatering and commented:
    Our friend Melissa over at Bird Girl Industries has an important message for our lady friends!

  2. Barbara Anderson Cave says:

    Ok what is boob mapping??

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