Posted by: penelopefly | December 8, 2008

Of Breast Cancer and Gingerbread Men

ulyssespost I thought baking gingerbread men would be an opportunity to create a special memory with my children.  I scrutinized the ingredients, checking them twice- even three times, to make sure even a spilled milk distraction did not result in a Tbsp rather than Tsp. My little girls placed those bits of raisins and cinnamon candy hearts with the care of a surgeon.

sany0059 Is this the result of a stressed-out mom or an oven that isn’t set properly?  Regardless, those burnt, little Chernobyl creatures seem to mirror my  inner frazzle. 

Last week, I ponied my breast up to the cold plate of mammogram machine.  I did this with the pride that comes with finally prioritizing my own health care.  Unlike last year, when I feared the results and was ecstatic  upon hearing: “you are cancer free.” on my voicemail, this time I went about preparing for school and the holidays without giving the screening another thought.

Then I came home to the message: “Please call us to discuss your results.”.When I called, I was told that they had me on the wait list to schedule a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound and, “Did I want to make that appointment now?”.  Excuse me, WHAT? 

It appears that I have a .8cm, oval mass on my left breast.  So, tomorrow I have two Dr. appointments and another squished breast.  I spent my weekend trying not to think about it.  

What is it about the prospect of breast cancer that scares the living bejesus out of me? Duh..right?  Yet, I didn’t feel this way while waiting a month to have an ovarian cyst checked out.  I have found myself thinking about the most bizarre things: would I be the kind of patient who is stoic and funny, or scared and depressed?  Would I be a fighter and try new surgeries? Would I write like Checkov who wrote at his most vivid when he knew he was dying?  How could I make a biopsy appointment and subsequent medical procedures when I have a schedule that is packed beyond believe?

I refuse  go down that road- the one that whips me into a hysterical frenzy of imagination gone wild- and think about my family.  For now, as my mother-in-law says, “We’ll worry on an as-needed basis”. That, surprisingly is working.  And deep down, I feel that everything will actually be okay.  I am determined that things turn out better than these damned gingerbread men.



  1. penelopefly, I’ll be thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way. You intuition is probably correct, everything will be okay!! I bet those gingerbread men were still pretty tasty…

  2. […] to Gain 5 Pounds in 5 Days A quick follow-up to my last post: of gingerbread men and breast cancer… all is well.  Six squishy photos later and my breasts received an all-clear!  phew and […]

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