Another Mammogram (Sigh)

7 Apr

I still don’t like getting mammograms.  Not because they squish the most sensitive area of my body, although that’s not fun.  Not because they’re really uncomfortable, although they are.  But because I’m subjecting my body to more radiation, and radiation is one of several risk factors for developing cancer.

It’s just so crazy.

I’m so glad thermography has been developed as an alternate way of diagnosing breast cancer.  But sadly, it is still not covered by insurance.  I don’t know if it’s because it costs so much more or if it’s because the people who manufacture and profit from the mammogram machines are in cahoots with the insurance industry.  But whichever it is, it puts women in a more tenuous position with regard to their health.  And that just sucks.

I don’t have any clinician currently urging me to get another screening mammogram.  (Although I’ve only had two, post- lumpectomy, and I know standard practice is to recommend them every six months for the first couple years or so.)  In fact, I feel the healthiest I’ve been in almost twenty years.   My diet keeps improving, I’m getting regular exercise, I’m living the life I want to live, and I’m happy.   The only reason I’ve scheduled another set is I’ve had some more cancer dreams.

I am aware that most dreams have symbolic meanings and that cancer is no exception.  But I also don’t like to rule out the possibility of “warning dreams.”

I had two or three cancer dreams in recent months, but in the one which felt scariest I dreamed a principal was scratching his head and that somehow this particular action meant he had brain cancer.  And then a voice in my dream – a narrator kind of voice – said to me, “You have stage IV.”

So, because I pay attention to my dreams, and because I believe dreams always come for the purpose of health and healing (as dream expert and author Jeremy Taylor teaches), I will act as if these are warning dreams and double-check to make sure my breasts are still healthy.  And, I will also check with some dream partners to ascertain if there is another meaning I should be aware of.

Meanwhile, I head to the hospital tomorrow for more freakin’ mammograms.

I trust all will be well.  But unlike the person who keeps his keys in the ignition and then complains when his car has been stolen, I’m going to take precautions.


2 Responses to “Another Mammogram (Sigh)”

  1. April Barrett April 7, 2015 at 4:07 am #

    I’m very pleased to read that you feel well and are happy, Cindy.

    But why do what you know is harmful to your life? I, too, have breast cancer, and I’m sworn off mammograms for the reason that you state so very well.

    How much more does thermography cost where you live? Is there no one who can assist you with the fee? There are online ways of raising necessary funds; why not try that?

    Last, your dream said that you had stage IV; it didn’t say that you have cancer. What else might it be? Can you ask the voice? You list four fabulous things: diet, exercise, living the life you want, and you’re happy. In Jungian psychology, IV is the number of wholeness.

    I wish you well and good health, whatever your decision.



    • cindygreb April 7, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

      April, this is a really wonderful letter. Thank you for taking the time to write it.
      I had scheduled one mammo and then canceled it. And then a few weeks later decided to reschedule it. (Did I have another dream? I can’t remember now.) You make wise suggestions. I think I will wait a long time before I get another.
      As for your input about Stage IV, I like! I like it a lot. But why would it come right after the part about another person’s cancer?
      I wish you well as well. May you be vibrantly healthy and whole.
      Thank you again.

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