Sunday, January 27, 2013


Reflect, re-evaluate, re-examine, re-do, reject, renounce, reduce, renegotiate, rejoice. Today I'm feeling all of the above. How cliche, it's a new year and I join the millions that are trying to figure out the point of it all. I tried to not do too much of it this year but was forced to last week.

This time of year, in addition to all of the navel-gazing, I also get all of my health exams out of the way.  Teeth, eyes, boobs and the undercarriage. It's an exercise in self-flagellation.  All of these appointments fall either on or right around my birthday too, providing numerous opportunities for self-examination.

This year, I had my annual boob smoosh a couple of days before my 45th birthday. It was a routine, normal exam and off I went to work.  A week went by and when I returned from possibly the worst flying experience I've ever had, after a wonderful trip to Chicago, there was a letter in the mail from the boob smooshers.  I opened the letter, skimmed it and did a double take. I apparently needed to schedule another exam because there was something odd on the films.  I immediately knew that it was just my caffeine boob. I've had this fibrous cyst thing going on since my early-thirties and caffeine can make it worse.  With my relatively recent need for caffeine every morning, I was sure that the cysts were angry with my coffee intake.

I talked to Cheryl that night and she said she knew of so many women that had gotten the same letter and it was probably some sort of insurance thing and I shouldn't worry about it. Intellectually, I wasn't worried about it but there was a small voice deep inside that was worried.  I spent the next week and a half quieting that small voice with intellectual discussions about caffeine boob, knowing that if it was something, I would deal with it.

To make a short story shorter, I had my follow-up exam earlier this week and all is well. It was caffeine boob after all.  What I will tell you is that while sitting and waiting for the radiologist to read the new films of my left breast, I was hyper-conscience of the elevator music playing, the fresh laundry smell of the not-so-fancy robe I was wearing, my pleasure in reading the months-old copies of O Magazine and the above 50 degree temperature and beautiful blue sky outside the comfortable yet sterile environment. It was like I wouldn't be able to experience these things again if the radiologist came back with bad news and I wanted to soak in and remember the whole of the experience.  

In the grand scheme this episode was not that big of a deal but it was certainly another moment to be reminded that illuminating one of life's minor threats gives one pause, or should. Reflecting on the import of the seemingly small details that make up a life is always a good time to re-examine, renounce and re-do whatever one can to fully live, in and out of every moment.