Public Service Announcement


Or where I get to tell you what an idiot I’ve been and encourage you not to be. 

The last 24 hours have been nervewracking for me.  I had a long, long overdue Mammogram yesterday, before noon.  By 3pm, my doctor was calling with the results – there was an irregular density and they need to have me go get a spot compression.  Now, I know a lot of women have gone through this, and it usually is just a dense area or a not so clear view of a particular spot on the Breast.  But, when I say this mammogram was overdue – I mean by many years.  Many.  Too many.  And what ensued was 24 hours of sheer panic, regret, kicking myself in the ass for my stupidity.  I was fortunate to get another appointment today for 1:30.  I had a wonderful technician, Lorette, and I have to say, she is a gifted person.  Not only for calming me way the hell down, but for taking the time and extra film to get it so right, that the doctor at the Breast Center was able to read my films right away.  She was also the one to give me the good news that everything is ok.  I’m alright and there is nothing for me to worry about. 

But honestly – what sheer assery to wait this long to have an essential test done that saves lives every day.  This self-induced panic that I went through was mostly avoidable.  Sure, even if I had a mammogram last year, I would have been nervous – but I wouldn’t have been wondering if I had, through my own neglect, possibly created a really, really bad situation for myself and my family. Early detection is crucial with Breast Cancer – I know this.  Yet I took a real risk with my health.  Why?  Oh, I’ve got tons of excuses – none of them matter.  Which is why I’m writing this.  If you are at an age where you should be getting your baseline mammogram and your yearly mammo’s – do it.  Doing your monthly Breast Exams is essential, but it isn’t enough.   I look back at my excuses, and I honestly can’t find one that would comfort me or my family if there had been something wrong.  Can you?


14 responses »

  1. I’m glad you got good news! My mom missed one year’s mammogram after they moved across country. After years of being fine, this year 3rd stage breast cancer was detected and she will have her mastectomy next week. Even missing a year can mean a huge amount! They don’t do mammograms here in Ireland until you are 50, it is nuts! Definitely get them when you can!!

  2. So glad everything is OK. And great PSA. So true. The standard to get a baseline, at least is the States, is around 40. But if your risk is higher and you have the opportunity, it can be wise to get one earlier. Based on my family history, my (female) doctor fervently agreed to getting a baseline when I was 32! Even though the likelihood that it would show anything then (and it didn’t) was nominal, she said it can help in comparing to later mammograms and therefore help in catching it even earlier.

  3. I held my breath till I got to the end of the paragraph!
    It is never good to put things off – mamo, pap smear- even though they are a pain in the neck…and boob, etc. One wait like this could turn your whole life upside down. I didn’t wait and told the doctor something was wrong, he said I was too young to have BC. Well, quess what, I did and had it on both breasts. Girls, ladies….the fear and discomfort of mamograms and pap smears if far less than a mastectomy that scars for life! I would prefer to spend time knitting and quilting than time in a hospital bed! I have so many sock ideas floating around in my head….

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