The Mammogram Blues News

Written By: JoJoisms - Jul• 03•17

I went to get my yearly mammogram today. It was an interesting experience.  I mean, it’s always an “interesting” experience, but this one was due to an observation that the lovely woman who did my mammogram made to me.  

The lovely, sweet woman who performed my mammogram was charming.  She was so cute as she asked me all the questions to update their records.  She asked if I was post menopausal.  I said yes, I had a hysterectomy.  She asked when and I told her.  She asked why and I shared that they had found a huge fibroid in my uterus and when they tested to see if it was still there, they found a ovarian cyst and how when the surgeon decided to take my my ovary AND Fallopian tube, they found the cancer.  She couldn’t find Fallopian tube cancer on her drop down menu so she had to add it and commented that she’d never heard of anyone with Fallopian tube cancer. I told her that it’s rare and aggressive so most women don’t know about it until it’s too late.  With all the records updated, she began the test.    

Mammograms are never fun.  Let’s face it. Stretching pieces of skin off your bones, putting it in a vice grip and turning the pressure up until you can’t breathe is no day at the park.  Most women say it is painful.  Some say VERY painful.  I’d be in that batch of somebodies–maybe because I also happen to have Fibro.  I don’t know, but my way of dealing with it is to grin and bear it.  I mean, wadaya gonna do?  

After it was all over, she looked at me and asked.  You’ve had a lot of difficult issues in your life, haven’t you?  I said, I guess so and shared that I’d had four surgeries in a 2.5 year span, three of which in a six month span of time.  She said, “I thought so.  I can always tell when someone’s had a lot of challenges in life.  They’re the ones who complain the least.”  

That got me thinking.  I had a mammogram when I was in my 30’s and I do remember complaining about it a lot, but I’m a lot more calm about procedures…a lot more comfortable with inconveniences…a lot more patient getting results…a lot more joyous about life.  Since I realized just how blessed I was to have had that cancer found early…before it spread…such that I didn’t need to go through Chemo or Radiation Therapy…and I’m still here to tell the tale. 

What changed was my outlook.  What changed was my attitude.  What changed was my expectation.  I expected that life would have difficulties so I had an attitude of patience to endure it for a time which changed my outlook on having to go through things from a burden to a slight bump in the road.  

If I’d never had to endure so many of life’s trials, I don’t think I’d have learned to brush things off as much as I do now.  Getting bogged down in “what should be” made me grumpy and more easily frustrated.  Having an outlook of gratitude for what could have happened but didn’t is so much more liberating and allows me to live a life of much greater joy.  

I can’t say I’d knowingly choose to go through all that again, but I can honestly say I’m grateful for having lived through it.  Life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns now, but I do see a unicorn on the hill over there and a rainbow off in the middle distance that I never noticed before.


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  1. Dana says:

    Beautiful thoughts, JoJo! We don’t always appreciate the pain and challenges of life, but they do help keep perspective.

  2. JoJoisms says:

    Indeed, Dana!