Thursday, November 1, 2012

Deleting the naughty...with a mammogram


I am a woman who is a third generation risk for breast cancer. My grandmother passed away from it and my mother survived it. As readers know, I turned 40 in October. Although I already had a baseline mammogram at 37, it was time for the one you get at 40. It was only appropriate I get it in October, which is well-known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I was nervous the full week before the mammogram, and even more nervous the day of. I babbled incessantly during the whole procedure, topless and cold, and asked for extra pictures just in case.

The tech who did the mammogram was very nice, but she told me a story about a 30-something young gal whose husband found something in her breast and asked her to go to the doctor. Her husband nagged her about it, but she finally went in. Her doctor didn't seem concerned about it, so gave her the all clear.

The husband, however, wasn't in agreement and made a big scene at the Dr.'s office to look into it more. The gal was extremely embarrassed by her husbands behavior and rather than risk another scene, ignored him and went about life. He continued to give her a hard time, she continued to brush him off.

The lump continued to grow, and she finally decided to get a mammogram, in the office where I was standing. The lump was indeed real, and it was indeed cancer. And three years after her husband first noticed something wasn't right, she now lies in the palliative care unit at the hospital in town.

I just stood there and thought, what a lucky woman she was. She had a husband that was so in love with her and worried about her that he made a scene.  That's what went through my head. I know mine would do the same.  So I bucked up and finished the procedure without a complaint, this could save my life.

Please, please, my dear friends and family.  Do your exams. Get your physicals. Pap's are not that bad. Really. Mammograms are not that bad. I know I may eventually get this awful cancer thing. But I am hoping if I am diligent I can at least have a fighting chance.  That's my honest thought.

The week that followed was tense for me, I just can't stand waiting for information. About anything.  So Wednesday afternoon, I went to the mailbox and the letter was there.  That was good right? It took a whole week to get the letter and nobody called me.  That's good. It means there is nothing urgent at least.

I opened the letter and got a paper cut opening it too fast. Shake it off.

We are pleased to inform you the results of your mammogram appear to be normal...

Whew.  All clear, another year.

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