TGIF everyone. Today’s post is for the ladies! If you follow me on Instagram and Snapchat (which you totally should) then you would have seen a quick snapshot that I posted a couple of weeks ago regarding my first mammogram appointment. As most of you know, I turned 40 last year so I thought it was time to get one so I took the initiative to make an appointment on my own as my primary doctor did not feel the need to recommend it. There was so much going on when I initially scheduled the appointment that I didn’t even realize until the day of that it was the perfect time to have it done since it is now Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Now before I share my experience, I just wanted to reiterate that we should not wait until October to raise awareness as this serious health issue is a topic that should be discussed all year long. A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about an awesome organization called Barbells for Boobs. I had the opportunity to meet the owner and founder Zionna “Z” at a fundraising event and she was the absolute sweetest. The organization raises money to help women and men get screened for breast cancer. You can read more about her and her organization by visiting their website. During the event, she introduced a couple of women under the age of 30 who were all diagnosed with breast cancer and let me just say that it was a real eye opener.
Now if you know me personally, then you are aware that I was not at all gifted in the breast area therefore I was quite nervous and very curious to see how the entire procedure is done. I had the pleasure of having the absolute sweetest radiologist ever and she made the experience from start to finish super comfortable and quite funny at the same time. I will be 100% honest though it was slightly awkward and yes it did hurt! It wasn’t painful but more so uncomfortable but thankfully it was over before I knew it.
A couple of days later, I received a call from my doctor with what I presumed to be the results. I’m not going to lie when I say that I freaked out after she told me that I had to come back for an ultrasound. She explained that I had very dense breast tissue which is not uncommon and can be very tricky to get a clear reading of the actual mammogram therefore I had to go back a week later for the ultrasound. Once again, I had another amazing ultrasound technician who talked to me the entire time explaining what they look for and that from what she can see everything looked great.
A few moments later the doctor came to speak with me and confirmed that everything was normal and that I needed to go back every year for a while to have both the mammogram and ultrasound done at the same time. She commended me for taking the initiative to make my own appointment seeing that neither my primary physician and ob-gyn doctor recommended doing so last year. I explained to her that I knew it needed to be done and she agreed. The women in my immediate family have never been diagnosed however my great aunt on my Grandpa’s side who thankfully was diagnosed early and underwent a single mastectomy and she is doing great.
As you can see, it’s never too late to take the initiative to take care of yourself. As women, we get so preoccupied taking care of our kids and other responsibilities that we sometimes neglect to take care of ourselves. We have to take a moment and stop to realize that we need to take care of ourselves too. If we are not healthy, how can we expect to continue our day to day activities and take care of everyone else too.
At some point in our lives, we have all known someone who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. I can only imagine how a woman must feel after receiving a diagnosis. The one that I do know is that we can all help spread awareness by participating in a local Breast Cancer Walk, donating to an organization of your choice and by simply encouraging others to do the same. Take a few minutes to check your local news station, newspaper, or go online and visit Susan G. Komen or Barbells for Boobs websites to find an event that you can attend, participate in and/or donate to.
Well that sums up my experience getting my first mammogram and I hope that I have encouraged you to consider getting one if you haven’t done so already. Your health is something that you need to take control of therefore please don’t go along with the stigmas when they say that you’re too young to have breast cancer. You are never too young to take care of yourself so be proactive and get screened if you can. You most likely have to contact your primary physician as you may need a referral and also check with your medical insurance for coverage.
Trust me, early prevention is the best and it is always better to receive results early on so that you can make the necessary arrangements for treatment should you need it.