Entries in Womankind (99)


Let's Talk About Middle Age

Starting the week after Thanksgiving, Mrs. G. is beginning a weekly post called Middle Aged Woman Wednesday where she and her readers can discuss any and all subjects germane and relevant to women in their prime. First up is mood swings. Mrs. G. wants to explore why one minute she is cursing the driver of the car in front of her who is going too slow and then thirty seconds later when she passes the car and sees that it is being driven by a little old man wearing a little old man hat, she begins to cry, overwhelmed by his sheer little old man sweetness.

Reader, what other subjects would you like to explore. Nothing is off limits.


Tell Your Sister, Tell Your Friend

Mrs. G. went to the doctor this summer complaining of pelvic pain and pressure and bloating. Her family doctor wasn't terribly concerned, but Mrs. G. requested a urine test to rule out a bladder infection. When the lab work came back normal, Mrs. G. still felt crummy so she called her doctor and told her she would like to get an ultrasound. Mrs. G's doctor agreed, but Mrs. G. sensed that her doctor felt she was being a pain in the ass little dramatic. The ultrasound revealed that Mrs. G. had what the radiologist referred to as a complex growth on her ovary. He recommended she come back in 6 to 8 weeks for another ultrasound to see if the mass had changed in size or shape. Upon hearing the term complex growth, Mrs. G. peed her pants immediately decided that she wasn't waiting that long and made an appointment with a specialist who felt Mrs. G. should have the growth removed sooner rather than later. It's likely nothing said the specialist but if you were my friend or sister, I would say let's get it out and see what we're dealing with. Four days later Mrs. G. had laparoscopic surgery to remove her left ovary and fallopian tube. The pathology report came back normal. Mrs. G. had a benign cyst rather than a malignant tumor.

23,000 American women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year and it is the deadliest female malignancy. Until recently, ovarian cancer has been called the silent killer because by the time it is diagnosed, 8 out of 10 women have widespread stage 3 or stage 4 cancer. Survival rates at these stages of ovarian cancer are staggeringly low.

Mrs. G. heard a story on the radio this morning about some researchers here in Washington who strongly believe, after interviewing many of their patients with ovarian cancer, that there are indeed early symptoms that may help lead to early detection. The researchers stressed that many of these symptoms, which can be common and nonspecific, often mimic other underlying causes. Nevertheless, The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation and other concerned groups have issued a statement urging doctors and patients to pay attention to these symptoms (listed below) as potential early signs of ovarian cancer.

Mrs. G. was sighing with joy over this news until she heard this comment by a Prominent Female Gynecologist:

Unfortunately, as we had feared, there have been woman who have seen the medical coverage...and have run to their doctors because they feel bloated or feel some pain.

Mrs. G. had to pull her car over and beat her head on the steering wheel because she can't bear this level of condescension. This Prominent Female Gynecologist was suggesting that life saving medical information should not be broadcast to the female population at large, because they might run their overwrought little selves to their doctors and cause some sort of frenzied kerfuffle. Imagine. The. Nerve. Imagine if women who were feeling, hmmm, ill, went in for a check up, requested an ultrasound and succeeded in detecting ovarian cancer before it had spread to surrounding organs and their prognosis was to start digging their grave. Mrs G. thinks this Prominent Female Gynecologist should trust women to have the intelligence to listen to their own bodies and seek out medical attention, should they so choose, every damn day of the week...including Sunday. Mrs. G. also thinks this Prominent Female Gynecologist should SUCK IT gamble with her own life.

You should see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms, alone or together, that persist almost daily for 2 to 3 weeks. Mrs. G. only waited 8 days because she is a hypochondriac proactive.

Potential Early Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

  • heavy feeling in pelvis
  • pain in pelvis/lower abdomen

  • vaginal discharge or bleeding

  • weight gain or loss

  • abnormal periods

  • unexplained back pain that gets worse

  • gas, nausea, vomiting

  • urinary frequency or urgency

  • bloating

  • fill full quickly

  • pain during intercourse

  • decreased energy

  • constipation or diarrhea

Mrs. G. wants all her readers and their mothers, sisters, friends to trust their intuitions, question their doctors, demand respect and, most of all, be well.


Warning: This Is Shallow

Mrs. G. is tired after a long day of cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, doing laundry, and preparing for this retirement party she is throwing for her friend tomorrow. She initially planned to post on the current controversy concerning children's fiction author Philip Pullman and his fabulously popular His Dark Materials trilogy, but this subject requires more intellectual energy than Mrs. G. has to spare. It's not even close to bedtime and she already has on her pajamas. Oh, and can she show you her new robe. Many people think that chenille is not sexy but...

Mrs. G. works this robe and the flannel beneath it. Isn't it fetching? So back to the topic of this post. Remember...it was going to be thoughtful, provocative and scholarly? Well, reader, Mrs. G. just isn't feeling it. She wants to talk about shallow things... like why, on the eve of her first party ever, the entire southern hemisphere of her middle aged face is covered in acne that is not responding in any way to her teen's maximum strength Clearasil. Shallow things like who, if she was granted one superficial wish by the fairy godmother of all things trifling and hollow, she would want to look like, even if it was just for one day.* Hmm...who would Mrs. G. like to look like? Hands down, Mrs. G. would like to spend 24 hours looking like ...

this French confection...the ravishing Juliet Binoche. Isn't she lovely? Doesn't her bone structure make you want to weep? She has an Ingrid Bergman-like beauty, don't you think. Ethereal yet solid...as if she's glowing from the inside out. Radiant. And anymore, Mrs. G. likes her because she's not anorexic curvy and has not succumbed to botox lovely laugh lines. You might know her from The English Patient or a little movie she made with Mrs. G's Secret Boyfriend #4, 5, 6 & 7

Johnny Depp. If you haven't seen Chocolat, rent it. It's sort of fun to fall in love with both of the main characters. Mrs. G. hears Juliet is deliciously charming as Steve Carell's love interest in the current Dan in Real Life.

Reader, live a little, if you could look like anyone else for a day, who would you choose?
*Please note: if any reader is tempted to send Mrs. G. an email suggesting that she should be happy with herself and not spend her blogging time objectifying the female form, please know that she will find your address, show up at your house and force you to listen to her read Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique out loud...without stopping. This post is all about fantasy...shallow fantasies. Mrs. G. highly recommends them.


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