Today is mammogram day.
You'll excuse me if I'm not breaking out the party hats and streamers.
Despite the fact a mammogram is the leading tool in the early detection of breast cancer, it doesn't make the procedure a red letter day on any woman's calendar.
That's because it hurts like a mother.
For my male friends, imagine the worst "nut shot" you've even received. Now take that pain multiplied by a million because you have a vise tightly clamped down on your jiggly bits.
It absolutely sucks.
Hence the need for wine. Lots and lots of wine.
It hurts so badly that I'm already in a shitty mood hours before the procedure.
For you twenty and thirty something women, you just wait---your turn is coming.
Yet despite my pissing and moaning I know that I am fortunate for many reasons.
First, as one of the many uninsured and unemployed women in this country, I am lucky to receive a mammogram at no cost because of a Susan G. Komen grant to St. Francis Hospital in Evanston.
Yes, they pissed me off with the Planned Parenthood flap but that's been resolved. I think they've learned their lesson.
Secondly, I'm lucky that I have such an amazing doctor who knew of available no or low cost resources.
In case you weren't aware, many public and private funds in the city (or at least last time I checked) had dried up. St. Francis is one of the few that have funds left.
So I make the trip from the south side.
Lastly, I'm blessed that so far my screenings have been negative---I have my health.
Not everyone is so lucky.
September is national pediatric cancer month. My friend, fellow Chicago Now blogger and all around Mom extraordinaire Shelia Quirke is heightening awareness by telling her own personal story about her daughter Donna.
The "Donna's Story" series has running been running in the Huffington Post since the beginning of the month. It really is extraordinary & heart wrenching; stop by and take a read.
Additionally, a close friend's father lost his fight with lung cancer last week. I'll be going to his memorial service in a few days.
Cancer is an insidious and nimble foe.
The earlier the detection, the better your chances of beating it.
And yes gentlemen, that means you too. Some of you need to take a much needed trip to the proctologist.
So if all I have to do is make an investment of time and pain in order to be healthy---then so be it.
But it would be so much nicer if wine were involved.