Did you know that she had breast cancer about ten years ago? She did.
Even though her sister had a radical mastectomy at a very young age, my Grandma never performed self exams or got mammograms, so she had no idea what was brewing.
It all happened very suddenly. One day in May, my dad and my sister were at her house. The next day, she was getting dressed when a lump the size of a golf ball shifted and fell against her hand.
I can’t even imagine the things that went through her mind in that moment. She called the doctor, and the next few days were a whirlwind of tests and then surgery, a mastectomy. She lost some lymph nodes, and the doctor noted that the tumor had tentacles, but the cancer appeared to be contained to her breast tissue.
We all knew how fortunate she was. Around the same time, a cousin found herself in the same situation. Her cancer has metastasized and is now terminal. We pray for her, and that’s about all that’s left to do.
Back to Grandma. She’s always had a great attitude about the cancer, the treatment, and Lefty.
You don’t know who Lefty is, Dear Reader?
Lefty is my Grandma’s prosthesis.
Yes, she named her prosthesis. I think that’s indicative of her attitude, don’t you?
These days, the formality of the activity can be judged by one question: “Should I put Lefty on?” Backyard picnics, visits with the neighbors, leisurely days at home don’t warrant getting Lefty out of the box.
Once, not long after Lefty arrived, we were at a local state park when my Grandma got hit on by a local fellow. He was harmless, but definitely interested in my Grandma, who was clad in a caftan and not wearing Lefty.
When we got in the car, I said, “Grandma, he really liked you.”
She replied, “Good thing I wasn’t wearing Lefty. He might have tried to follow us home.”
This is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If you haven’t had a mammogram in a while, schedule one now. It could save your life.
© 2008 – 2014, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.