from Emily Bryan . . .
Do something for yourself. No, I'm not going to suggest a long hot bubble bath or a 'girls night out.' Though those things are quite lovely, I'm talking about something that might save your life. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Have you scheduled your mammogram yet?
Ten years ago, my mom went in for a routine mammogram just before she and my dad were planning to escape the snow of Wyoming and head for a leisurely winter in Arizona. Dad was newly retired and they'd been looking forward to this trip for years. She almost blew the mammogram off.
I'm thankful every day that she didn't.
The mammogram revealed cancer, too small and too close to her ribs to be detected through a self-exam. So began the long, dark tunnel of treatment. She went through a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation. She lost a good deal of her glorious hair, but my mom isn't the type to let a little thing like that depress her. She went out and bought 9 wigs! She went through that year with such grace and courage and good humor, my view of her was forever changed. She is much stronger and deeper than I ever dreamed.
And--thank you, God--she is still with us today. Cancer of any kind is beatable if it's caught soon enough.
Which brings me back to the mammogram. I know it's a pain--literally! I'm sure if a test for testicular cancer involved smashing scrotums like mammograms squish boobs, some man would devise a different test in short order. But this is what we have to work with. It's so easy to say we're too busy. Or that we feel fine and don't need a screening.
What you don't know, CAN hurt you.
It's all very well for people to march to "Save the Ta-ta's," or for the NFL to slap a bit of pink on their players. But if we don't step up and have the mammogram, all the "awareness" in the world does no good at all. If you're over 40, if there is cancer in your family history, if you have any palpable lumps, you NEED a mammogram.
As soon as I hit the "post" button, I'm going to the phone and scheduling mine. Please leave me a note and let me know you've scheduled or already had yours. It's ok to be selfish about some things. This is for YOU.
Friday, October 16, 2009
from Emily Bryan . . .