Denial was too late for me. Cancer doesn't lie. Cancer, unlike murder, doesn't kill in seconds. It's always there, on standby. And as I sat waiting for the doctor, my bare breasts covered in a paper jacket, I envied my mother's lifelong delusion.
We want to ensure that as we move forward, all homeless women, both on Los Angeles' Skid Row and beyond, are accessing the health care they need so that they can rebuild their lives and end the cycle of homelessness.
Breast cancer was never a part of the language of my life. It didn't lurk in the corners of my childhood or adolescence. And when stories cropped up in my adult years, they belonged to someone else; friends of friends or the mother, aunt or sister of so-and-so.
Young love is passionate and big. Older love has more of a sweatshirt feel to it -- warm, soft and so very familiar. In the 32 years I have known my husband, our love has morphed into something so comfortable that I can't imagine my life without him. I had never imagined his life without me.
The news that 24-year-old Allyn Rose, Miss District of Columbia in this year's Miss America competition, is planning to have both of her breasts removed in the near future is the latest case of what we might call "extreme breast cancer prevention."
So here I am, waiting for the arthroscopy that will cut away the torn meniscus of my other knee and advance me toward premature arthritis. I should have seen that beyond the end of the long jump sand pit, but I didn't. I am using this week of waiting to reflect upon my changed condition.
After numerous interviews, I learned why thyroid shields were not necessary. In fact, they were considered a detriment to the mammogram process. I came out with a very different perspective than I had going in.
I realize now how many times I had driven past buildings where people were being treated and had no idea. I became one of those people. I stand back, looking at the year that has passed, and still struggle to find the words to describe it.
Mammography specifically, and cancer screening in general, is often something of a muddle. We should acknowledge the trade-offs, work toward better screening methods, and in the interim -- muddle through.
Ms. Cappello's story is compelling. She is one of a long history of breast cancer activists who have challenged the status quo. But in my opinion, using individual cases to dictate health policy is a dangerous precedent.
It's sad that Planned Parenthood opponents are playing politics with women's health, but it's also true that Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses will continue doing what they do best: providing basic and crucial health care for the women (and men) who need it.
Cancer is a very serious matter, and mammograms can save lives. But really, is there any medical procedure that conjures up such a mixed bag of emotions -- dread, fear, resignation and even embarrassment?
How many of you are confused by the seemingly endless rounds of recommendations about breast cancer screenings? I know that I am, and so this post is designed to help answer six essential questions that will help you decide what to do about breast cancer screening.