October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so let’s talk about those humps.
The word mammogram for me has always come with mental images of flat pancakes, sans the butter or syrup that makes them yummy. I remember I used to think my first mammogram was decades away when I would be “old.” So, here I am at 32 with my first steam roller, pavement flattener, unappetizing pancake mammogram under my belt, and I’m ready to share all the details of my first mammogram experience.
I waited in the imaging center’s lobby grasping the registration pen in my hand check-marking away at each box on the never ending form that included all kinds of wonderfully personal questions. I was dreading changing into the over-exposing as they call it “robe” (this is in quotations as robe makes me think of a spa, but I don’t see any massage tables or steam rooms here). After a few more questions from a very cheery technician, I was ready to place my lady lumps into the squishing machine. “Let’s get you adjusted,” she said as I was, well to put it bluntly, being professionally fondled. I waited for the wincing pain to happen, but to my surprise, it didn’t. Was it uncomfortable? Absolutely, but really it was fine. Stepping on a lego or small princess tiara seems to give me more pain than this process. So I stood there, switched to the other side, and tada. It was over.
So it turns out for me, the reason why I would need a mammogram and what the results could show are way more burdensome than the squishing itself. In 2009-2010 I battled cancer enduring months of chemotherapy and radiation. Although my initial cancer seems to have been banished, I now am facing the side-effects of treatment including the very real possibility of a secondary cancer, mainly breast cancer. I have frequent follow ups to proactively and preventatively take care of myself. None of it is glamorous or convenient, but being on top of my health game has become a requirement in my daily life.
We so often make our kids’ health a priority, but moms’ health and preventative care is just as important. Make time to visit your doctor and take care of yourself even if it is uncomfortable or scary. Your family needs you too. Be well.