I don’t feel my age (just north of fifty) except when it comes time to visit the stable of doctors now assigned to me. Check-ups have gotten more complicated over the last 10 years or so, especially since a slight bout with breast cancer in 2004. Few of us seem to be able to dodge that diagnosis for long anymore thanks to all the intense screening we submit to. And once in this lousy club, regular, thorough scanning means check-ups that were once uneventful are now fraught with anxiety about what might be found this time.
For instance, yesterday I had a mammogram, bone density and ultra-sound. Tomorrow I will get the news – hopefully a home-free card for one more year. Or maybe it will be a call-back — for another squishing in the machine or worse, a needle biopsy. I hate those. Hate it all – but try to breathe deeply in these waiting days, savoring the preciousness of thinking I am perfectly fine rather than drown in dread. But the thing about accumulating years is the increased vulnerability to illness, sadness, tragedy. Once in this part of the forest, we never really get to be ‘out of the woods’ again. I try to focus on patches of light through the trees.
PS: All clear!