Now That I’ve Got Your Attention . . .

Wow, a record number of you stopped by here yesterday and that makes me very happy!  I won’t give you the actual number because the other way sounds so much more impressive.  Nonetheless, it means a lot to me that folks are actually paying attention.  It is also motivating, because I’ll be publicly humiliated if I don’t follow through.  Sometimes I do have a tendency to bite off a bit more than I can chew, but I thought I could just about pull this one off by the skin of my choppers.  Even more gratifying, some of the posts that for various reasons were the hardest to write, have also been the ones I had the most response to.

I went for my annual bilateral mammogram at Loyola Medical Center today, and was reminded that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  This seems like as good a time as any to confess that when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2004, I had basically skipped an annual mammogram and was about a year late.  I was 44, not that young but also not that old.  Of course there is no way of confirming this, but I think I can safely guess that if my cancer had been diagnosed a year earlier, I would not have needed to have gone through eight debilitating cycles of chemotherapy.

My excuse for waiting was that I had gone through so much medical interference when I had my daughter in 2000 that I just wanted to stay as far away as possible from doctors and hospitals.  HA!  The joke was on me, because the result of my bad decision was a year of nothing but.  I think I also held back from scheduling a mammogram because I was afraid of what I would have to confront, although that was later in the game.  There is a difference between using fear as a motivator and using it as an excuse for avoidance, but I learned the latter may have unintended consequences far worse than what you were avoiding in the first place, i.e., a mammogram.  Feel the fear and do it anyway, says the voice of experience.

I have found out if you google either Rufus Wainwright breast cancer or Rufus Wainwright Month, this blog comes up in the first page of results.  Not exactly something I set out to do, but a not-inconsiderable secondary gain.  The primary accomplishment has been to see what the project has drawn out of me as a writing challenge, because it’s actually quite hard to write about a different facet of the same subject every day for a month.  Thank goodness I decided to write about Rufus Wainwright and not dirt or pineapples or chairs.

I suppose the all-too-obvious title for this post would have been :”Rufus is a Tit Man,” except, we’ll, he’s not.  From The Guardian, Friday June 15, 2001:

The wittiest request from the crowd at Rufus Wainwright’s New York show last week was for “Rufus is a Tit Man,”  a song written aeons ago by his father, Loudon Wainwright III. Witty because, as the young man who might have been Loudon Wainwright IV himself responded: “Er, actually, he isn’t – think lower down!”

Funny thing is, I can remember reading about “Rufus is a Tit Man” in Creem and Rolling Stone back in 1975, and of course I hadn’t the remotest clue where that particular astral trajectory was destined to land.  It is arguably one of Loudon Wainwright’s funnier songs, and you can listen to it here.

Rufus is a tit man
Suckin’ on his mamma’s gland
Suckin’ on the nipple
It’s a sweeter than the ripple wine.
Yes its sweeter than the wine.
You can tell by the way the boy burps
that it’s gotta taste fine.

Marco Polo craved the spice and silk
And Rufus craves the mamma’s milk
No moo-cow no billy-goat
Is gonna get the baby’s vote.
Come on mamma,
Come on and open up your shirt
Yeah you’ve got the goods mamma
Give the little boy a squirt.

For my lungs and my liver
I do definitely fear.
I like to suck on cigarettes
And drink the wine and beer.
The doctor says I’m oral
And I believe it’s true.
Ah son you look so satisfied
I envy you.

So put Rufus on the left one
And put me right on the right
And like Romulus and Remus
We’ll suck all night.
Come on mamma
Come on and lactate awhile.
Yeah look down on us mamma
And flash us a Madonna smile.

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