Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Fear-driven Mammogram

(this is a break from my regular posts-but I think it is more important than anything else right now)

When I turned a certain age, I was told by my doctor that I needed to get a baseline mammogram. I didn't do it. I put it off for four years. Well, when my son's best friend's mother was again diagnosed with breast cancer a few months ago, I developed a fear. Not a fear of cancer. My fear was that she'd ask me if I'd had a mammogram. I considered what I'd say if she asked; should I lie, should I tell the truth. And if I told the truth, would it be a slap in the face to her. Of course it would. She beat breast cancer a few years ago, but this time it has mastesized and come back with a vengeance.

After specialists recommended that she go ahead and do anything she's been wanting to do, she took her family to Hawaii. She's fighting for her life. And I don't want to get naked and get my boob squished. Sheesh. How pathetic is that? So this morning I have an appointment to do just that. I don't have any symptoms-this is just a baseline mammogram. Still, if I allow myself to go down that road, I start thinking things like, "It's cold out. Maybe I'll call and cancel the appointment. It'd be nicer in the spring when it's warm." But that's not the road I will travel.



Serena Casey said...

Good for you. I'm in the same boat: need the baseline, don't want to do it, even though I've had friends and family 1) get breast cancer 2) have a cancer scare, or even 3) die from breast cancer.

I have no more excuses because I just got insurance starting the 1st. You've helped motivate me, too, so thanks!

Karen L. Alaniz said...

Check back here to tell me when your appointment is. Actually, I just got a call back that there is a suspicious spot. But I am told this is a common thing, especially with a first mammogram. Still, it's a bit worrisome. ~Karen

Serena Casey said...

I will definitely check back.

My friend with the cancer scare - that was her first mammo, too, so maybe that's why; I hadn't heard that was a common thing. It turned out to be nothing for her, so I hope that helps ease your worry, even just a little.

Karen L. Alaniz said...

It does. Thank you.

serena casey said...

Okay, it took me a while, but I said I'd check back, and here I am. I did get my first mammogram, and it was fine. It's definitely a load off my mind to have it done.

Karen L. Alaniz said...

Yahoo Serena! I'm so glad you got it done. I'm now due for my third. They're doing them every 6-months. ~Karen