Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: I Got Squished!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. 

Most everyone has been touched by breast cancer in some way.  At the very least a family member or friend has either had it or had a scare. 

My best friend’s mom had it about 12 years ago.  She, thankfully, beat it.  My mom’s close friend also had it and is a survivor. 

When my sister was pregnant with my nephew four years ago, she was working as a teacher in a preschool.  One of the parents was diagnosed and lost her battle.  She was my sister’s age.  My sister wanted to go to the wake, but she was due soon and everyone told her that the sadness and grief might be too much for her.

My mother and my best friend (the one whose mother had it) have had scares in which either they or the doctor felt or saw something.  They had to have further tests. 

Fortunately, they were fine, just false alarms.

I am in my early 30’s.  When I went for my yearly exam, I had some abnormalities, so my doctor ordered me to go for a mammogram and ultrasound.

I’ve never had a mammogram, as they are not required at my age. 

I will tell you that I was fearful of the mammogram as much, if not more, than the results.

I have always heard that a mammogram is painful.  My mother told me that it would hurt me more because I am a smaller breasted woman.  My best friend told me her mother, who is smaller than I am, says it is very painful.

Great, thanks.  Scare me more.

For me, if I am afraid of something, I have to talk myself into doing in.  It took me a few weeks to actually schedule the appointment, so it was a month after my doctor told me to go when I actually had my mammogram and ultrasound.

I was nervous.  So nervous that I didn’t tell anyone other than my mother about it for weeks.  I told my best friend since her mom had had breast cancer and she had had the scare; I knew she knew what I was going through.

The day finally came last week.  I scheduled it early because I had 3 appointments: the mammogram, the ultrasound and the consult with a surgeon.

I will continue this story tomorrow.

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