October is breast cancer awareness month. And to celebrate, I'm going off to have a mammogram today. I really don't want to. I know that there is absolutely nothing wrong with my breasts. Well other than the fact that they now point south and look very unappealing when let lose under a t-shirt without a bra. But there is nothing medically wrong with them. It's just that I had a cyst a few million years ago and thought I'd better just get them rechecked due to their overly lumpy nature (now that's more info than you really needed isn't it?)
But this means driving all the way to the hospital in Reading and wasting an entire morning's work while having my breasts fondled by more strangers. It doesn't fill me with a deep amount of joy. And it's one of those things that you really do want there to be nothing wrong, but at the same time, feel like a complete fraud for using up good NHS resources for nothing. It's like using the office photocopier to scan your boobs just for shits and giggles. It's not the done thing to do. Not in your thirties anyway.
And I hate hospitals. For a start, you're almost guaranteed to catch something, probably MRSA. I find myself getting very out of breath and headachey as I try hard not to breathe in case I catch something. Everyone walks around with sad faces. Understandably. But still, it doesn't encourage an optimistic ambience. They always smell of a mix between boiled cabbage and disinfectant. They're labyrinths and I invariably get lost, finding myself in the bit where 'human waste' bins go to be disposed of. Eew. When I was a student, the student residence was located right next door to Johannesburg General Hospital. It has a very large chimney sticking out of the top of it and was continually puffing out dark smoke. When the wind blew a certain direction, the smoke would blow directly over us. The smoke was from the incinerator where they got rid of the 'human waste'. In other words the bits that they cut out of people in the OR. It made outdoor picnics fairly rare.
Anyway, I must go make lunch boxes, sort out breakfast, fold laundry and find something for show and tell (today's theme: something smaller than your hand - given I owe the school 50p for some second hand sports shorts I might just press a coin into my child's hand and send him off). Wish me luck for my breast scan.