Friday, July 8, 2011

Middle-aged Woman Grows Balls!

I watched the door close behind the mammo-tech. She went to ask the radiologist if anything more would be needed. Left alone in the xray room with the boob masher machine, I glared at the thing. It had a little pink ribbon decal on the side.

"Fuck you," I whispered.

I had been called back for another look after a recent mammogram. And now they want to schedule an ultrasound. Yes, there's a little tiny thing. I hate to even use the word, it's so freighted. But yes, the word was mass. And they have to see if it's benign or not.

You know what my reaction was? Bring it.

When you get old, you get wrinkles and all kinds of stupid stuff that you don't want. But you know what you maybe also get? Tough.

I'm tired of being scared. I'm ready for fearlessness. I'm entering the Crone stage, I think. Put a cape over my shoulders and a giant C on my chest. Read it any way you want, I'm feeling awesome. Powerful.

I've had more than my share of health alerts and surgeries in my 57 years. Enough that when I got this latest, I think the radiologist was thrown by all the 'tude coming at her.

Whatever happens, happens. Do what you gotta. Life is good.

I dedicate this post to my friend who is in the middle of being treated for an aneurysm behind her eye, and to my other friend who just recovered her 17-handicap three years after her aneurysm - in her brain. To my three girlfriends who were recently widowed. To my 86-year-old mom who is hoping to drive as soon as her broken leg heals.

Life: Bring. It.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Are We Old or Just Out of Shape?

I agreed to babysit my infant granddaughter when her parents went back to work. At first I was sure I was doing permanent damage to my body, which is 57 years old and has arthritis. But after about three weeks, I felt better. My body adjusted to 9-hour days of lifting, carrying, holding, going up and down stairs, pushing her stroller on daily walks, and getting up and down off the floor (a mat where we play), usually with her in my arms.

It was amazing! I got stronger and more limber. Turns out I wasn't crickety so much as out of shape. The greatest part about this was discovering one thing in this increasingly weird world that I could control. You know this world: the one where your ears and nose are getting longer or you sneeze and pee your pants or you get growths in weird places on your skin? Unlike aging, this one thing - fitness - seemed to be within my ability to improve. I was pretty stoked.

Even though I'm not babysitting any more, I now try to work out every day, but I can't get to the gym that often. So I bought Kathy Smith's "Ageless" exercise DVD for not-young people.

Holy crap! I'm back at the "I'm gonna die!" stage. But Smith is around my age, she's perky but not annoying, and Ageless is for older peeps, so I'm sticking with it. Ageless consists of four 15-minute segments, which anybody should be able to fit into their schedule most of the time.

I'm telling you this because I want to share with you my feeling of hope. At our age, so much of our bodily changes are of the stunning, what the hell now? variety, so it feels good to think that we might still have the power to improve something. Anything.

Also, I figured you can razz me if I don't follow through. This part is probably a mistake. But thanks in advance for being my warden - er, I mean, coach. And if you or I need motivation, we can always watch 80-year old Sister Madonna Buder doing the Ironman Triathlons.
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