( photography by Patricia J. Stark)

Well today i had to go for my annual mammogram. this is not my favorite day at all. i dread getting it done. i've stressed about these annual appointments every year since the doctor found a tumor in my right breast (benign). also, every mammogram i get is followed by an ultrasound, which is even worse in my opinion! you see i have a common condition known as FBD, fibrocystic breast disease. FBD is not really a disease it's just called that. it makes the breast quite dense, lumpy and painful. the denser your breast, the harder it is to read on a mammogram, thus the need for an ultrasound to follow. my appt. today was at 1:30 and i didn't leave there until 5:30! i was so cold, sitting there in my robe (it usually doesn't take that long, but the ultra sound machines were a little backed up today) and i was starving. i never realized how hard it is to sit still and lay with your arm raised back over your head. my lats and neck are really sore right now (i was in that position for 45 minutes on each side!). at one point, the technician was freaking me out because she kept getting out a little ruler and measuring me (i've never had that happen before). i finally asked her, "is every thing ok?" after that she was pretty good about telling me what she was doing. the reason i don't like going is because it is just so worrisome. i know so many friends who have or have had breast cancer. none of us are safe from it; so of course i worry - you know that, cold, dark fear of worry that can keep you up at night............ also, my left side has been bothering me for about a week and half, so i was afraid she would find something there. i've suspected the soreness on the left side might be muscular though as my neck, should, lats and left arm have all been sore. i have a huge knot in my neck and left shoulder and i know from being a massage therapist that if it doesn't get those knots worked out, it will make its way around! so i believe that is what is going on there. anyway, i'm rambling. i'm happy to report that i was given the all clear and don't need to go through that again for another year. and next year, i'm going to be prepared with a blanket and some snacks.

also, my husband was sweet enough to make an appointment for me to get a massage tomorrow. i can't wait, it's been FOREVER since i had a massage -and it is a hot stone massage at that!