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Friday, May 6, 2011

Holidays Start With Some X Rated Photos

Booking a holiday on points at the last minute has its problems. But they seemed small in the face of my life, lately, so it was with this frame of mind I booked the nine times we would take off and land seated in the very back of a weaving overgrown metal bread box. Welcome aboard Air Canada, Continental Air and United Airlines. Go straight to the last row of seats, get as uncomfortable as you can, try to ignore the spontaneous regrowth of the line-up to the bathroom in the aisle beside you making the claustrophobic noose even tighter. Jump at the sonic sound of the toilet flushing fifty times an hour. You got this flight for free and we are going to make you very, very sorry about that.
But at the time, that sweet moment after you've booked everything and all you can imagine is the white sand between your toes and the smell of palm trees and salted green water, deciding what to wear seemed the hardest thing I faced. What can a 3000 watt woman wear for 28 hours of travel? From snow covered tarmac through an eight hour stop-over in Vancouver before three more airless seating procedures, the blazing sun through the secure airport windows in Oregon, Texas and Costa Rica, through the shuttle and suitcase-dragging ordeals? A bathing suit would be my first choice, a space suit with regulated air conditioning a high second. Yet it was my hiking zip-off pants with socks inside sandals (yes, I know, how gauche but at least I wore some the same color as the pants), that finally won, with a base tank top beneath a sweat-wicking long sleeved t-shirt. About as sexy as a grave-digging uniform. To combat this, I put on the "good" new underwear. I bought a softer, more forgiving sports bra with yes, an underwire, but it's well padded and does not rub anything the wrong way as the rest of my old bras still do. Add some matching bikini wear and at least I feel a little less manly (as I absent-mindedly pull at the visible growth of white peach fuzz on the sides of my jaw!).

Vancouver was only beginning to see a few daffodils and tulips popping their heads from their dirt beds when we got scooped up by a best friend who whirled us downtown for my appointment with Finlandia pharmacy. I was booked for a 3PM thermal imaging of my breasts- the first test I have had since surgery in August. In luck with a half price special on ($142.), I was seated in a small room facing the thermal imaging camera, told to strip to my waist and instructed on how to pose, arms over head in five different positions. My own porn shots for Barry. Good enough for a Fathers day gift, although the final photos are very psychedelic in greens, oranges and reds? The camera picks up any hot spots which may indicate a cancer growth as cancer accelerates and grows so fast that it causes friction and heat. This will show as a certain colour on the final imaging which will be sent to a specialist who can properly read the the photos and send the findings to us.

I am very emotional during the entire procedure. Possibly because I am terrified they will find something. This comes from the past year when every test I took seemed to end with more bad news. I have no faith in anything and so wait with bated breath for that carpet to once again be pulled out from beneath me. I'm like a beaten dog that cowers at the sight of a raised broom, at another professional administering a "test."

The woman helping me explains she was a doctor in her country (which I think is Latin America) and indeed wears a white lab coat and doesn't flinch at the sight of my battle-scarred breasts. Her English is passable but loses credibility after she spends twenty-five minutes asking me questions about the surgeries and treatments- some that do not make sense. After she hits the wrong button on her lap top and loses everything, I offer to help and together we re-fill in the on-line form. Reading the information myself helped me realize what the form was needing so it was a much more detailed and accurate second attempt that was eventually sent away with my photos. The results would be mailed to me but I explained I would not be home for the next three weeks and would be holding my breath with fear for as long. I managed to extract a promise from her that when she received the results, before mailing them out, that she would read them and send me a personal e-mail on the bottom line. Clear or not.
It turned out to be a very silly thing to do. It almost ruined our holiday.
But that is another story for the next blog!

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