Exactly one week ago, BoingBoing's Xeni Jardin live-tweeted her mammogram — and breast cancer diagnosis. Today, she has posted a more flesh-out and detailed version of events than her Twitter feed offered. Including the fact that, before the mammogram,
I'd became aware of a funny stiffness in a spot on my own body.
Many questions which were brought up by her original tweets are answered here, including the fact that she did, indeed get a biopsy right away, and the results came back the next day. (We covered some of this in our own post, "Can You Be Diagnosed With Breast Cancer In Just One Day?") But even more heart-breaking is the way she writes about how the experience has made her feel like she's outside of herself, having left her body and catapulted into another universe:
The gravity in this place is different. I've spoken to others who've traveled out here, too, and returned home safely. When you become one of them, you learn quickly that you share a language others can't understand.
The trick, these fellow travelers tell me, is to accept the not knowing and find your equilibrium in that new gravity. Calm the mind. Find your balance out on the cold planet, whether or not you know the next step, or the date of the next appointment, or what good or bad news the Technetium-99 isotopes floating around in your blood during the last scan reveal.
You must be at peace with not knowing, they tell me. That is how you get through outer space, and find your way back home.
Guidelines issued by the Department of Health and Human Services dictate that women begin getting mammograms at age 50; Jardin is ten years younger that the recommended age. (The American Cancer Society recommends getting a mammogram every year if you are a woman age 40 or older.) Meanwhile, another breast cancer story has people buzzing this week, after one woman's diagnosis spurred her to apologize to President Obama. So! When you're done freaking out/feeling nauseous/wringing your hands/crying over these confessions and revelations, make sure you step up your self-exams and/or make an appointment with a doctor.
The Diagnosis [BoingBoing]