Center for Breast Health

Center for Breast Health is the name of the place I go to. It’s more like Center for Breast Death, where boobs come to die. Happy healthy breasts don’t go to the Center for Breast Health. They are bouncing in bikinis somewhere or hopping on a treadmill, certainly not in the waiting room of the Center for Breast Health. Anxious healthy breasts may be, but not happy ones.

When you go to a dentist office, the waiting room usually has pictures of nice teeth and smiles. So one would expect the same at the Center of Breast Health, right? Nice looking healthy breasts but all they have are pictures of fall trees – certainly not exciting for someone who is worried about a prospective mastectomy. Somehow they think that the etched glass outside creates an air of femininity for the area, and of course throw in some pink and viola, breast clinic! The waiting room is usually occupied by older women and an occasional younger person like me. I smile at them but no one smiles back. I wonder if breast cancer lowers the rate of smiling in older women. I am sure someone is applying for an NIH grant to study just this and maintain tenure track.

They also have reading materials about cancer, sort of on the side, so its not the first thing that greets you but as you sit down your eyes wander to that corner and you think will this become relevant to me today? The magazines are the glossy ones, that talk about hair, weight and sexy bodies, an occasional IKEA catalog and Sports Illustrated. Overall its very quiet. There is an undertone of sadness in this place. Patients generally look like they are grieving something. When I went for second opinion, the other doctor’s office had only one thing in there, and that was the wig and head cover catalog of American Cancer Society. I think hope is denial at some level and I still like the glossy magazines better till I really go bald and then may be I will look at the wigs.

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