Really, it’s important.


ced-03-01-2008.jpg

Yesterday I was given a reprieve and I’m eternally grateful because I understand how stupid I have been in the last seven years. On many levels. Although today I’ll address just the one.

I got the results of my mammogram yesterday. It was a clear bill of health but I was expecting something more dramatic. A punishment for waiting so long to have the darn thing perhaps? Actually, that’s exactly what I was expecting. I expected to be punished for being so….chicken s#i@?! Yes I did. Call me superstitious. Or extremely MethoCatholic.

Having watched a good friend go through that nightmare a few years ago did not prompt me to head to the doctor, knowing that my grandmother was a cancer victim and that my mother and aunt both died from an insidious cancer didn’t do the trick either. I did, however, feel a twinge of angst when I learned that my cousin on my mother’s side was diagnosed with breast cancer this past summer. Still, my head remained firmly planted in the sand until a scolding from my general practitioner. God’s wrath in the form of a quiet, gentle MD telling me I was WAY overdue for a simple mammogram. “It’s been how long?! Oh. You’ve never had one. Where do you live?! Oh…well, that’s not too far away is it? No. Hmmm. You can manage the trip to get this done can’t you?!” The shame. Open the damn floor and swallow me already, I felt ridiculously stupid not to mention cowardly.

The next week following my experience with the mammo tech I sat there in the waiting room reading a magazine while I waited for her to read my photos. I was thinking, “She’s going to tell me she needs another shot at the picture taking. She’s going to say she saw a potential problem. She’s going to tell me I have to talk to the doctor.” My palms were sweating and I realized I wasn’t really reading the magazine, I was scanning and I was holding my breath on my way to an anxiety attack.

Lately I cringe when I think of the way I dutifully told my friend that her results were probably a mistake, that she should take a deep breath and think positively. Such platitudes from me really didn’t do anything to calm her panic. I know this now. How could it?! I was truly ignorant about the entire breast cancer issue. Simply running the Susan G Komen race for the cure wasn’t cutting it. I was taking my breasts and my health for granted, me being the big weenie that I am. This needs to change.

My admiration goes out to all those women who have the courage to get to the doctor early on, to those women for whom the results are not so good and yet they face it head-on, to those women who sit with an IV drip every two weeks for an eternity. They’re all braver women than I. I hope to change that in the coming year and it isn’t the guilt talking. I’ve been slapped upside the head. I needed that.

For more information on the ABC’s of breast cancer, click ::HERE::

Love to all. Be good, be brave.

—————-
Now playing: Mychael Danna – House of Widows
via FoxyTunes

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7 Responses

  1. I’ll join the weenie club. But for me it’s cholesterol.

  2. Oooh, that reminds me, I never went back for my blood test. We’ll make this a great weenie club. ;)

  3. i think everyone can relate to those feelings of being afraid to face things like this. so no more beating yourself up. you did it! well done!

    i really like the art you created too!

  4. Thanks Leah. I did. :) And now it’s over for a year. On to bigger and better activities.

    And thank you for the kind words!

  5. Josielle-
    I saw your thought-provoking piece on CED2008 and wanted to read the story behind it. I finally got a mammogram at age 45, so I can totally relate to putting it off. What I didn’t realize is it was going to hurt! Great color in your piece BTW!

  6. on the brink of turning 34 and i just had my first mammogram last spring. father = adopted, mother = gone. found a lump and panicked. cystic tissue, they said. had to go back 6 mos later to be sure. so now i’ve had two.

    i’m glad you got it done, and glad everything is okay.

    :)

  7. That’s one more than I’ve had,good for you! You were always the smart one. ;) I’m glad everything is okay with you too missy.

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