Thursday, February 28, 2013

star gazer

up in hanover county, where we live, the sky has always seemed so generous.  it's driven my girls nuts when we've returned from vacations, and i've called out,  hello sky!  we've missed you!

they've asked me, how can you miss a sky?

i've said how can you not?

even if we cruise over to another county in an afternoon, and then back to ours, i've asked them -

wow. isn't the sky so much more generous over here?

it's so easy to see the patterns the stars create at night.

there is a small hobbyist airport not too far away.  we like to observe the curving descents of the aircraft sometimes, and pretend they are aliens about to land.

my oldest daughter and i called out one night, as loud as we could, as though they could hear us, come here!  we believe! we believe!

she says now she was kidding.

but i wasn't.

and i don't believe she was either.

there's always interesting patterns forming, some we can name, some we can't.

big dipper.  little dipper. 

cassiopeia.  polaris. orion.

the godfather is pretty good at it.

it's fun to try to identify, and trace your finger along the constellations.

and point out falling stars.


this is what a mammogram can look like.  

all kinds of activity and movement against a night sky.

some things clear, some not.

there are random calcifications, expected, not unlike stars.

microcalcifications are generally more suspicious than macro, (larger) calcifications.

 when the microcalcifications create a certain pattern they are considered suspicious enough to warrant biopsy.

by the time i was called back for third diagnostic mammo, i knew enough about microcalcifications, and which patterns rated a score of highly suspicious for cancer, over just plain old suspicious.

microcalcifications in a linear formation were considered highly suspicious.

like ants marching in a line on a picnic blanket.

like the handle on the big dipper.

it is simply that clear.

the technicians are instructed to say nothing regarding diagnostics.

but i saw my image on screen, with a circle marked around it.

in that circle were clearly those grains of salt, all lined up.

i said that's cancer.

she said oh.  you don't know yet.

i said it's cancer when it looks like that.

it's microcalcifications in a linear formation.

i can see it right there.

she didn't tell me.

and she couldn't, i knew.

i said look.  you didn't tell me.

i didn't ask.  i knew when i saw them.

you did nothing wrong.

i happened to see the image is all, it was right there on the screen.

i knew what the patterns were.

and she said still, you don't know for sure.

i said ok fine.  but i knew.

it was that obvious.  that clear.

she was doing her job, and that was fine.

but i had a job to do too, as far as i was concerned.

seeing that, i knew there was no way it could be anything but cancer.

just like the stars.  

you know what they are when you see them.  the big dipper never looks like something other than what it is.


haven't seen them yet.

but that doesn't mean they're not there....

i keep looking.

xx katy

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virginia, United States