My husband grew a moustache for Movember, Prostrate Cancer Awareness Month. He shaves it off in two days, and I can’t wait. The only time he’s had a moustache is for a couple of years around the time I was pregnant with our second child. I got…used to it. But I far prefer him without one. It’s just too prickly, and this ain’t the Seventies, folks. Moustaches remind me of the Seventies, weasley used car salesmen (as opposed to non-weasley used car salesmen, who have nice goatees), porn stars (of the Seventies), and guys who sell fake Rolexes out of their coats. I’m just not a moustache-loving girl. That said, I know men who are quite handsome with their moustaches. I just prefer my guy clean-shaven, the better to see his charming smile. Awwwwww.
But we have friends who’ve struggled with prostrate cancer, and so the moustache will return next November, I’m told. Bring it on!
Speaking of moustaches and Movember, they both start with M. And mammogram also starts with M. I’m bringing this up because I recently learned an old friend just underwent a pretty intensive surgery for breast cancer detected during an annual mammogram. She’s on her way to recovery, and I wish her well.
You did read what happened, right? She had her annual mammogram, and that’s how the cancer was detected. Smart woman, to have gone in for the mammogram. I’ve been getting mammograms for several years. Much earlier this year, I was called back for diagnostics for the very first time. That freaked me out. I can’t imagine going through the fear and uncertainty my friend must have experienced these last several weeks. The time between my mammogram and the diagnostics were enough to stress me out to no end. On one hand I rationalized I couldn’t possibly have breast cancer because I plan to live to at least 90 and will haunt everyone I know and all the friends of everyone I know, including the friends of friends of friends of people on Facebook I know, if I don’t make my goal. It’s not my goal, really, more of an expectation based on family history. I take very good care of myself. I eat chocolate whenever possible and exercise only enough to ensure I can eat chocolate whenever possible. Cancer has no place in my body.
Neither did it have any reason to reside in the body of my friend.
But it did.
Cancer is a bitch. It doesn’t care if you plan to live to at least age 90 or if you haven’t gotten around to taking that trip around the world yet. It doesn’t care if you have proper medical coverage, and it doesn’t care if you do have the coverage but the wait times for surgery in your area are long. It doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor—as long as you give it what it wants. And that’s your life. However it can take it. If that means leaving four children without a mother while one of those children is recovering from his own life-threatening illness, cancer will be happy to oblige. So we owe it to ourselves to fight back as fiercely. To grow that ugly moustache in support of a friend. To get annual mammograms—no excuses. No, your boobs AREN’T too small. Yes, it’s uncomfortable. Yes, the first time is embarrassing. Well, the first time you opened your legs for a doctor while you were in labor might have been embarrassing, too. The 3rd or 4th time? Not so much. So it is with mammograms.
Oh, my diagnostics turned out okay. Then I returned in August for my follow-up and the mammograms were okay. I’m still getting tested in another year. And every year thereafter.
While I’m at it, I had to cancel my Pap Smear last week because I was sick for several days. But I’m getting it this week. If you haven’t had a Pap Smear in two years, what are you waiting for? Get ‘er done!