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The Breast Clinic

The puce coloured chairs are, I think, totally appropriate to the Breast Clinic. A blend of purple and red, they cause one to pause and think about the designer who mulled over the colour charts, denying a sage green, considering a bright yellow but to dismiss all and to settle on puce. Puce says it all. It is neither purple nor red. It hangs in the room like the possibilities that can go either way.

I sit in the waiting room and flick through a New Yorker magazine that I pull from my bag, sip water, watch. Watching is great in a waiting room. But nobody seems to do it but me. Everyone else chooses to read Hello magazine and lose themselves in the other world.

Big tv screen holds muffled words and nurses skim the floors like skaters in white uniforms. This rink is spotless. Everything is white and grey and I feel as if I've landed in a great big space ship with sliding doors and voices, voices that fall muffled even when they are supposed to be clear.

Mary Wilkinson. That's me. Charts. History. Mother with breast cancer - deceased. Sister with Mastectomy - living. There was the woman in the waiting room puce chair  with her husband. She was crying. Wait. Her husband touched her on the knee and drew her close into his arms. I tried not to look but I did. Her hair was beautiful. Perfect, it fell to her shoulders. She wore something like you would wear to an interview.

Mary Wilkinson. White room. So white. No dust here, nothing at all, no strands of hair. Consultant is overweight and his taste in shirts is dubious to say the least. Stripes. I know that his hands will palpate and explore my breasts. I think of the garden, at seven am. Yes, that's what I do. I walk down into the garden out of the white room and I am in my dressing gown and my breasts are exposed and the dew is still on the growth and I have a big bowl of hot coffee in my hands. I fondle the leaves. 

Mary Wilkinson. DOB. History. Me. Breasts. I want to say I breast fed my three boys. My breasts are fine. I want to say I had a nightmare where I found six lumps in my breast. I do. I tell him as he searches for a volcano - for a potential eruption. He laughs at me underneath the white glare of light, the unyielding sound of doors closing. Permanence.

I see the ceiling and it reminds me of being in Connemara on a misty day when I look in desperation for a break in the clouds, a clearing, something to justify the long drive over the bumpy roads until a wave from a man in the bog consoles, a small gesture to reaffirm.

I see my breasts as nothing but warm figs on a platter in the early morning on a Greek island with the blue sea distracting my view and the figs lie untouched throughout the day until the evening causes them to shrivel a little, curl back into themselves.

11 Comment count
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I hope this is just a regular checkup. I'm about to do the same thing. Hoping for a good report for you. It's never easy, is it.

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Yes, Sharon, it's not easy

Yes, Sharon, it's not easy but we have to do it don't we. I will catch up with all my friends on Red Room soon. The weather is amazingly beautiful here, warm and sunny so that I am outdoors practically all day long. The soul and the body basks in fresh air and growth follows suit. Best, mx

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Feeling someone feeling your body, exploring for detritus and defect, is so disconcerting. Well said, Mary. Modern medicine leaves so much to be desired as it runs up so often against fear. Poor breasts. They need some consolation and reassurance.

Well written. I felt uncomfortable and squeamish, which is good - you nailed it.


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Yes Christine and the

Yes Christine and the clinical surroundings can disconcert so that I decided to project my vision into the garden and to nature. The experience made me realise how connected I am to the earth, how raw living can be, how precious the day. m

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Good blog. Hope report is also good.

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Thanks Sue. Missed reading

Thanks Sue. Missed reading you, ready to get back on track. best, m

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Has it only been three days? Oh my, i thought it had been a week. Did you get a report yet?

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So far so good but I need a

So far so good but I need a mammogram Sharon. I wait. I hate the idea. I will blog tonight. I must catch up on your posts. Thanks for checking in. m

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Slammin' Mammy

I'm sure you've heard this before. But it helps to prepare for your mammogram.

The easiest and least expensive is to place two bricks in the freezer over night. The following morning, while seated at a table, place one brick on the table, lay appropriate breast on brick. Cover with the second brick and press until you feel like you've overflowed your waffle iron. This kind of helps you get ready.

Holding you in good thoughts.

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Sharon, that sounds

Sharon, that sounds incredibly uncomfortable! I think my morning will consist of good coffee and a long shower and a drift down to the garden and then the mammogram - it is rotten being a woman sometimes, especially when your breasts become a questionable item. m

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Yes uncomfortable ...much like a mammogram. Who would have thought that the thng which has been celebrated in song, and verse, and biblical depictions, would someday become a "questionable item."