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Hartselle Enquirer

When pink is more than a color

Shortly after I turned 40, my mother began bugging me about getting a mammogram.
I say bugging, as that’s what one would call someone asking you a hundred times to do something. My mother was a nurse who worked with cancer patients for 30 years. She’s lost friends to breast cancer. She wasn’t going to take no for an answer.
I didn’t tell her I had the doctor’s orders in my desk where they had been for months. A mammogram wasn’t one of those things on my list of fun things to do.
Still, no one wants to be nagged, I mean, disappoint their mother. So, one day out of the blue, I picked up the phone and made an appointment, thinking there would be a month or more wait.
“We can see you this Thursday,” the happy nurse said.
And so it was on. I was as nervous as I’ve ever been and was looking forward to the visit only slightly less than a trip to have my wisdom teeth removed.
I waited two days and then went to my appointment. The office was cold, even more so when they handed me those thin little gowns to wear. I donned my less-than-flattering outfit and joined the other ladies in the waiting room.
“I hate these things,” one of the women said. The other ones nodded solemnly.
Soon, it was my turn. I followed the nurse back into the exam room where she positioned me behind the machine. After moving me around a bit (wow – cold hands) she went behind her wall and told me to hold my breath. I heard a click and then she came back out. She repeated the process a couple more times and it was over. The entire thing took less than five minutes.
That was it? That was what all the fuss was about? In a matter of minutes, I was back in my clothes, giving comforting smiles to the other nervous ladies in the waiting room.
“It’s really easy,” I said.
In a few days, I received a letter in the mail telling me the results of the tests. All clear. I let out the breath I didn’t even realize I’d been holding.
And I called my mother.
“Had my mammogram,” I said lightly. “All clear.”
“Good,” she said. “Welcome to the adult world of womanhood.”
Like mother everywhere, she won the battle. And like daughters everywhere, I realized I was the true winner after all.

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