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Flash Fiction

Plovember 21: I Look Fear in the Face and Say …


It was during worship at church this week that it happened: the fear hit.

My mind flew through time to my mammogram appointment, scheduled for Monday (today). I envisioned myself walking in, sitting in the waiting area, going back and putting on the gown, being put in the mangler machine and mashed, and then …

the fear hit:

I imagined an immediate and drawn-out horror at the same time.

First, the immediate — that the technician says (since we are in this high-tech world), ‘Just wait right here; I’m going to give this to the doctor and he’ll read it’. I see myself getting dressed and waiting. The doctor comes in and tells me they found something, that I needed to have it aspirated to determine if it was cancerous.

Second, the drawn-out — I see myself getting dressed, hearing the tech say, ‘The doctor will call you if anything shows up but otherwise, you’ll get a letter in the mail’. I feel the trepidation of waiting to get the letter or the call.

I cried.


But then, I opened my eyes and looked fear in the face. The worst-case scenarios of cancer and treatment ran through my mind. I considered the fact that I was sitting in church at that moment, having driven there under my own power. I thought about the chores I’d completed the day before, including some heavy lifting.

My family room is an add-on; prior to that, there were sliding glass doors. I want to be able to close off the room from time to time and while I considered having a new, indoor sort of thing built, a wise person I know suggested I just put the original doors back up. ‘Bah!’ I scoffed at the time. ‘I want something more indoorsy.’ I explained that the doors had been outside, next to my shed, and exposed to the elements.

The response? ‘A bit of elbow grease and they will be fine.’

‘Bah!’ I again scoffed. But then, curiosity got the better of me and I went to the shed to take a little peek. As it turned out, there was only one door, a screen door. I rescued it from its dirty resting place and decided I liked it. I opened the shed, which I had never been in (don’t judge — it was my Christopher’s and my son’s domain … every man should have his space and I respected that) and was excited to find a few treasures:

  • the third-row seat to the Behemoth,
  • a set of chairs I’d forgotten about,
  • a zillion empty cardboard boxes that my son had put in there after we moved into the house a hundred years ago,
  • and the other sliding doors — two glass and one full screen.

I pulled the boxes out and prepped them for the recycle bin after fighting the Munsters-like cobwebs. I moved out all the chairs, setting two aside to go next to my front walk, and began wrangling the first door.

No one told me how heavy sliding glass doors are.

One hand truck later and it was on my back patio, along with the screen door that I liked. I went back for the second glass door and laughed at it. I remembered these were going inside and as such, two glass doors were not necessary. The one screen door has a nice metal mesh at the bottom, which is what I liked about it.

After some CLR and water, I dragged them both inside on Sunday after church. So begins #OperationFamilyRoom.

But I digress.

I remembered all that and looked fear in the face.

And smiled.

Me, looking fear in the face. Take that, fear!

I have a mammogram scheduled for this afternoon. Fear and I have to go to war. I am a fighter so whatever the outcome, it matters not. I don’t give up that easy.

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