I went to the doctor to celebrate my 40th birthday. It was a very routine womanly-type visit where all my special parts were to be inspected and tested for old age and hard living. I knew I’d pass. I passed all the other times. I laughed outloud at the beginning of the breast exam when my lovely female doctor asked if I’d breastfed any of my babies. “Uh, yeah” I said sarcastically as I looked down at the two pendulums that were hanging down nearly to my navel. As the truth of my answer settled in, we both broke out into hysterical laughter. Regaining composure the doctor was nearly done with the exam when I felt her pause… “Have you felt this lump before?” she asked. “No,” I calmly replied. Because even though I probably should have, I hadn’t.

The routine baseline mammogram that I was going to have as a 40th birthday present was now also going to include a diagnostic ultrasound.