Wednesday morning began smugly for me as I strolled out of my house with a full schedule of appointments, work, yoga and some socializing ahead. I especially felt pleased with myself about my 8:20 appointment for my way overdue mammogram.
My procrastination in the face of so many friends and family members who battled breast cancer embarrassed me and I was very anxious to check this particular item off my to-do list.
So, I may have hummed a little as I stepped into my garage. I prefer, when I can, to arrive at appointments in a dignified manner, to approach counters serenely and to speak in full sentences when required.
Imagine, then, my horror upon seeing an empty garage where my loyal little car should have been. Too late, I remembered that Molly had taken it to work that morning. It was T-minus 20 minutes to go time for my mammogram.
I scanned my empty street, wasted 27 seconds texting a swear word to my sister, inexplicably walked into the house, came back out, hauled my old bike to the driveway, and took off.
I’m sure I looked exactly like Margaret Hamilton as I pedaled furiously along, both of us cackling as we raced approaching storm clouds. T-minus 15 minutes to my scan.
I made eye contact with a driver at the corner of Pershing and Meade and, either sensing or fearing my panic, she waved me through a red light. I peddled on. As I cut through a gas station parking lot and headed up a viaduct over highway 41, I thought about how proud I had been for remembering not to use deodorant that morning, because I had been told it could interfere with the mammogram reading.
“Good lord, I’m going to be late and I’m going to be stinky,” I thought as I peddled furiously along. T-minus 10 minutes to go.
I zig zagged through traffic, maneuvered around two traffic circles, darted back onto an access road and made my way to the Primary Care parking lot with just under two minutes to spare.
Sweat poured off my forehead and obscured my vision a little as I handed the receptionist a credit card I had mistaken for my insurance card.
“Sorry,” I gasped, mopping my brow with a Kleenex so I would stop dripping on the counter. “My daughter….car…biked…late…here.”
She directed me to the lab waiting room, where, fortunately, a friendly technician named Katie took me immediately, before I sweated all over that waiting room chair.
I’m telling this story and sharing this picture of my girls, because, from then on, the entire mammogram procedure took less than 10 minutes. It’s really easy, and just mildly uncomfortable. It doesn’t hurt. It really doesn’t.
It was so much harder for me to get to the doctor’s office than it was for me to have the actual scan. I laughed about it as I pedaled home.
For your daughters, for your mothers, for your friends, your husband, your sons, and, mostly, for yourself, check that mammogram off your to-do list today.
Take care of the girls.
And Go Pack Go!