Welcome back our talented guest geezer Sehr Wenig, the only female geezer to have graced these pages. Sehr writes today on a sobering subject that sooner or later touches the lives of most Geezers and their loved ones. Please wish Sehr well as she begins her medical journey. I, for one, am placing my bet on her.
A deranged bird saved my life.
So did the dashing on a stucco wall on the building next door.
And my friendship with a Geezer I’ve considered my brother for more than a decade.
Some credit must be given to the fine and compassionate doctors and nurses and technicians caring for me now, but without that bird and that stucco and that brother, it may have been too late for their miracles.
Mine is not the kind of lump women are typically warned about, but a gradual thickening, a change in the density of the right margins of my right breast. The weirdness made itself apparent in early August, but I convinced myself it was merely my imagination run amok.
Daily inspections whispered a truth I wasn’t ready to hear – loud enough to make me check every day but quiet enough I could pretend not to hear.
I took to wearing a bra 24 hours a day, leaving one on the edge of the tub while showering so I could cover the developing dimple beneath my nipple before I faced the mirror to brush my teeth each morning.
And then a bird began beating itself to death against my bedroom windows.
Day after day, before the sun rose, that bird flew into the windows above my bed – over and over and over. I asked friends and colleagues how to stop its slow suicide, but no one knew how to help. One morning I moved to the second bedroom to escape the relentless thwacking, but the bird moved with me -- the one and only time it flew into any window other than the one above my bed.
About 10 days into the bird’s mysterious assault upon itself, I glanced out the window above my shower, contemplating the bird and its neurotic mission. There, shaped into the dashing of the stucco on the next building, stood the letters, WTF.
How could a contractor ignore such an obvious sign, I wondered as I slipped on my bra and turned to the mirror to brush my teeth.
Some weeks later, the bra was no longer enough to silence the thwacking of my own head against the ever-more transparent truth.
I called my brother to confess my fears. Exactly as expected, he urged me to go to the doctor. Exactly as expected, I edged closer to taking action. Leaving myself in fearful limbo was one thing; stranding him there with me was something quite different.
As the bird beat itself against the window the very next morning, I called my doctor. While the receptionist set up an appointment within the hour, the bird departed.
That first appointment set off a firestorm of tests and visits during which very kind professionals poked and prodded and scanned my breast from every angle. Ten days later, a biopsy confirmed my deepest fears, and we began making a treatment plan. I have every reason to believe that plan will be successful.
The bird has not returned.