Recently I went for my annual Mammogram. A few days later I received a call that I needed 'additional screenings.' The news hit me with quite a shock. A letter came saying there was an 'architectural distortion'; a term which describes a distorted shape or pattern visible on a mammogram, but a distinct mass is not seen. It may represent a benign condition or possible breast cancer. Sigh. Of course, I wanted to have my re-screens done the very same day, but instead, I had to wait ten days for an appointment.
I began this collage during the first waiting period. I typically create an 'avatar' of myself when collages are about or represent me; adding my distinctive curly hair, perhaps my crow feather & spiral tattoo, etc. The figure began rather dark, but then I stumbled upon the first pink flower, which I added to the dark dress. As time went on, the pink flowers grew and the tenor change.
It turned out that I did indeed have a tumor; just 7 millimeters and low-level as they grade these things, but it would require surgery. So 7 mm was added to my avatar. I had a similar situation 20 years ago, so the star on the left arrow marks the previous success. The questioning symbols on the right, were added while I waited for the pathology report.
All this waiting time gave me a great opportunity to get myself 'aligned' to the next steps that would be required of me and it was a great support to have art as my expression and distraction to move away from fear.
|7 Millimeters - Mammogram collage series|
I did have surgery, a lumpectomy, in which a 5 centimeter area was removed and a lymph node. Everything was contained, no cells in the lymph node and I am recovering well. As of now, it seems I will also have radiation therapy, so the red poppies came into play, representing the fire/heat of radiation.
|5 Centimeters - Mammogram collage series|
|The Mammogram Series with embellished mat|