After two close friends were diagnosed with breast cancer, Xeni Jardin, co-editor of Boing Boing, decided its was time for her first mammogram. In a blog post today on Boing Boing, she candidly recounts the nerve-wracking experience, which ended in her being diagnosed with breast cancer.
I live online as much as I live offline. Often, I move around in the world staring into a device as I walk, sharing bits of one realm with the other. The morning I went in for my first mammogram, I felt nervous. I would tweet this new thing, like I do with lots of new things, and make the unknown and new feel less so. Maybe by doing so, I thought while I was driving, other women like me who'd never done this would also feel like it was less weird, less scary, more normal and worth doing without hesitation. I'd crack some 140-character jokes. I'd make fun of myself and others. I would Instagram my mammogram.
... [the mammogram technologist] folded my body into the machine, pressed some buttons, folded me another way, and the machine clicked and whirred and clicked and whirred. Then it was over. She told me to wait.
I tweeted the waiting. Inviting the internet in is something I do every day anyway, but this time it was like a shield. Nothing bad can happen in a new place if you're cracking jokes and 50,000 people are watching. You're safe out here, in here, out here.