Tuesday, June 12, 2007

April 24, 07. In the Beginning…

Due to the fact that I began writing the 'story so far', in a Word file, there's an inconsistency in the chronology of the blog links for June. First of all, all the entries in June have two dates: June 12 - the day on which I transferred the contents of my Word file to the blog - and the date that the event actually occurred. Because I'd set up the blog to show the newest item first, I had to upload the last item first in order to present events in the order they occurred. That explains why the Older Posts link actually leads to a newer post.

The easiest way to go through the items in their order of occurrence is to use the links in the Blog Archive on the left side of the page. The last link for June (June 11 to end-June) contains a number of events occurring on different days.

From July onwards, the first item describes the latest development - and clicking Older Posts will actually display a previous post.

I never self-examine. Whenever I ventured to do so, I inevitably found an errant bump - and endured the consequent tension until it was pronounced meaningless. I gave myself over completely to the apparati and doctors to identify the lumps and bumps in my body and to reach decisions on their significance. In February, my annual mammogram failed to turn up any aberration - out of mind until July, I thought, when it's time for the surgeon's physical exam.

On the morning of Israel's Independence Day, I dried off from my morning shower and liberally applied moisturizing lotion over my upper body. Here was a rare opportunity to pamper myself on a weekday and I intended to take my time smoothing the silky cream over my arms and breasts, working down towards my belly button. Moving my hands to my sides, my fingers, rendered sensitive by the cream, felt something in my left breast that could not be ignored.

Family and close friends know that I am the only one of my siblings to reach the age of 60. My sister Jo died from breast cancer in 1985 at the too-young age of 47. My brother Tony died from kidney cancer in December, 1999. He was four months short of his 60th birthday. Although genetic testing showed that I do not carry any known breast cancer genes, the spectre of cancer hovers over me like the sword of Damocles and I have maintained a strict schedule of mammogram testing followed six months later by a manual check for the last 15 years or so. At the end of each round, I would take a moment to register relief - and then continue with my life. The morning I found the lump, I went cold and my stomach churned with fear.


Skye Frontier said...

You are a fighter. You are a survivor.

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