Today I had my first official mammogram now that I am 40 (I had my baseline @ 36). I was excited to find out that my radiology lab is now using the best digital equipment available (I wasn’t however excited to check the NO I’M NOT PREGNANT box on the questionaire in the waiting room… god, that sucked… another post for another day).
Those of you who know me in real life or have been a long time reader know how passionate I am about breast cancer awareness.
I’ve had far too many people in my life battle this disease, and some have been taken by it. My Aunt has been a survivor for nearly 10 years, but her cancer recently returned and is now in her spine as well. I cannot fathom the strength she has had to muster over the years and how disappointing it is to hear the cancer is beating you.
I host a fundraising benefit each year with four other friends. It’s a luncheon, and we have about 200-300 people attend. Of those roughly 300 ladies, many are breast cancer survivors themselves. Each year we ask the crowd to stand up if they are a survivor, and then we ask anyone to stand if they know someone who is a survivor or has lost their battle. The entire room stands on its feet. The ENTIRE ROOM.
It saddens me to no end when a seat goes empty because someone has lost their battle. It’s crushing.
I know I usually reserve my PSA for October (which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month), and August (when I host my benefit), but from now on, or as long as I am writing this blog, I will also make it a point to remind you all to REMEMBER each year I attend my own mammogram.
*If you are in your 20s-30s, be sure to have a breast exam EACH YEAR at your yearly GYN appointment and discuss any family history of breast cancer.
*If you are 35, GET YOUR BASELINE MAMMOGRAM.
*And if you are 40 or over, SCHEDULE and ATTEND your yearly mammogram appointments.
My pregnant friends are exempt from the above of course, but if you are not breastfeeding and you have recently given birth, you only need to wait a prescribed number of months and then you can schedule a mammogram (ask your doctor).
Prevention and detection are so important, so do me a favor and if I’ve guilted you into making an appointment, please pick up the phone and JUST DO IT.