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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Booby Traps

One night when I was about 3 years old I woke up to find my bed full of snakes. In the moonlight I could distinctly see slithering bodies crawling all over my bed. I screamed like Macaulay Culkin in the movie 'Home Alone' which of course woke the dead, and everyone in my house.

"Arggghhhhhhh!!!!! There's sneaks in my bed!!! There's sneaks in my bed!!" I cried.

My dad ran into the room and flipped the light on. He found me sitting up pointing to the covers at the bottom of my bed. It didn't take him long to figure out I thought the wrinkles in the bed were snakes except I couldn't say snakes so I called them sneaks. My dad smoothed out the wrinkles to show me they were just wrinkles--not snakes. Soon, I saw he was right. There were no sneaks in my bed--none at all. My imagination had grown some monsters in the dark and until the light fell on them, I couldn't see what was really there.

I thought of this story a few weeks ago when I was waiting to see the doctor about the lump I found in my breast. It was nearly as big as my thumb and on the right side of my breast. My imagination started to run wild with thoughts of "what if it's cancer???" Fear put me in a choke-hold. But even if I wanted to... I couldn't pull the covers over my eyes in an attempt to deny this sneaks existence. It was real and I had to face it--head on.

I had a woman radiologist the day I had my mammogram & ultra sound. She came in after both procedures to let me know what the lump was. My lump is a cyst. Tears fell down my cheeks as fast as heavy weights falling to the floor. I cried because of the huge relief I felt. I cried for joy because I didn't have to wait another week to get the results. It's in times like this we can become ill with worry waiting for news.

And much to my embarrassment, I also cried because I had not had a mammogram in over 10 years. I'd been foolish for waiting so long. I winced at all the times I'd scheduled mammograms then canceled them a few days before my appointment. Let's face it, it's not comfortable to have your boobies pressed into a pancake or wafer. I could always come up with an excuse why it was OK to wait. I told myself I'd make another appointment but I never did. The truth of the matter is that taking care of myself in every area should be a priority... not an option. Then I cried because I had put my health last as many women do. Yes, I was a slippery snot bucket by the time I left the hospital. I could have been rented out as a slime machine for a kid's party.

Fear can sneak up on you and plant some deadly seeds. I've done this with PTSD and my fear of driving or being in a car, too. I heard a saying once that said it best about fear.

'Fear is the darkroom
where negatives are developed.'

So if you haven't had your check up in awhile...please do. You are worth it and your boobs will get over the squish job. Don't give the sneaks in life a place to grow into monsters. Shed some light on your thoughts so they don't become negatives.

'Pink Lady'
Watercolor and Ink by Lille Diane


  1. Dear Lille, I am so so pleased that yours turned out to be a cyst. Thank goodness for that. You've been so brave and you were very wise to get it checked. I'm thrilled that it was nothing more sinister. I hope you're now looking forward to a great summer :) Big hugs xxx

  2. What a powerful post - thank you for sharing it. What a great description!
    Women really do need to take care of their health. they need to put fear, or embarassment aside. I go yearly for my checkup and I get my mammogram regularly.

  3. Good to hear your mammogram turned out well. I have had two such scares. Please have it done every year.


  4. Great post. I'm so happy with you!!

    I just had my first mammy in Nov. it wasn't as bad as my imagination had made it out to be. Now don't let your good luck fool you into skipping next year ;)

  5. Thank goodness for the "good" news! What a huge relief! Sometimes I think we need a little scare like that to jump start ourselves into taking better stock of things. Glad you're okay!!!


  6. glad to hear the lump is a benign cyst, what a scare! thanks for the powerful post. the drawing is really beautiful too - both in pink and blue.

  7. Why is it we tend to jump to the worst conclusions? As sure as I was that it was just a cyst, I know that, if it was on me, I'd have pounced on the 'C' word.

  8. glad it turned out ok...the pictures are a little spooky though!

  9. My sister went to the doctor a couple years ago after finding a lump.... They made her wait for two weeks to get the results, and after the two weeks were up she couldn't get a hold of the doctor for a couple more days.... And the nurses told her she could only get the information from the doc, which scared her even more!

    Finally the doc got back to her and told her it was just a cyst.... It was scary though!

  10. Fear of the unknown grows like a mushroom cloud and paralyses rational thought. Thank goodness the radiologist had the insight to put you out of your misery.

  11. personally, I had witches under my bed!! Loved your 'sneaks!' . . .
    So glad the lump just turned out to be a cyst - I've been enjoying the recent ?? over whether we've overdone mammeograms & such - squashing boobies has never been my idea of something good for them!!
    & being sure your vit D levels are UP sounds like it's one of the best ways to avoid CA - nutritional & lifestyle choices have my vote :)
    (& fascinating to read that low Vit D levels may be one of the first symptoms of gluten sensitivity; as fats aren't well metabolized, so fat soluable vits get depleted . . .)


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