What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
On an epic trip to Jamaica a couple years ago, I made friends with a gaggle of reporterly characters. The ladies of our skinny-dipping, pool-crashing crew are still super tight. So tight, in fact, that some of us started working together. Some of us even attended one’s wedding last summer. We all met up recently to catch up over some crazy kind of homemade mojitos that blew everyone away.
Here’s what we discovered: One’s book comes out this fall. One finished grad school and can finally talk to us about what she's been working on. One is going through a divorce. One is moving from NYC (OK, that’s me). And none of us could remember the word “mammogram,” after one told us her sister was diagnosed with Stage One breast cancer and was opting for a preemptive double mastectomy, just in case.
“Her mother had breast cancer and her boobs droop to hell,” our friend explained, “so we all knew it was coming.”
We started wondering aloud when you’re really, really supposed to start screening for breast cancer and get “that pancake thing.” What was it called? For a full minute we were totally blank, until we were rescued by a new friend who’d joined us for the evening.
Then I ventured to ask if any of us, all of whom are over 30, do the breast exam we’re supposed to do every day in the shower.
Nope. Not a one.
Those pink ribbon icons are everywhere -- on everything from food to cosmetics! What is our problem? Are we the only women on the planet who don’t heed the many, many, many reminders that we need to rub our boobs and check for changes every day? In fact, I once found a lump, which turned out to be an inflamed arthritic portion of my rib cage. That should've been scary enough to whip me into shape, right?
What about you? Do you check daily like a good breasts owner? If not, what would make you do it?