October is about baseball and breast cancer. The Texas Rangers are playing the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. The National Breast Cancer Foundation is celebrating 25 years of awareness and education. I have to be honest; I haven’t paid much attention to either.
Until last week.
The Avon Breast Evaluation Center at Massachusetts General Hospital called me. The cutting-edge 3D mammogram I had a few days earlier revealed "something". The radiologist wanted to do further imaging. Could I come in the next morning? My husband went with me. I had an ultrasound. It was a benign cyst. I cried with relief.
It may sound straight forward, but it wasn’t. I was a wreck for 24 hours. Really, my husband even called our doctor to prescribe Valium. My melt down was dramatic and unexpected, and nothing had even happened yet. It was just a phone call. But, it scared me to death.
And when you catch a glimpse of death, it sets you straight. As I jogged past the local cemetery this morning (I know, I know - it's on my route), the lesson crystallized. There is no way to avoid it; I will end up as compost, as dirt. And sure, at times my monkey-brain will take over and fill my day with anxiety. It’s in the wiring. But, I have to pay attention to this. And do what it takes to unwind my mind so that I can experience the beauty that is my life – and I mean really feel it, deep down where it counts.
That’s my responsibility.