I had my first mammogram today. One of the many perks of turning 40.
I’ll admit that until this week, I hadn’t really thought much about it. To me, having a mammogram was just one of those things that women should do. Breast cancer doesn’t run in my family, and although I’ve known people who had the disease and survived it, it’s one of those many things in life that you don’t internalize too much until it relates directly to your own life. It wasn’t until my doctor ordered the exam that I was like, “Oh shit. This is something I need to think about now.”
Isn’t that true for many of us? It sounds a little selfish, but the reality is that we cruise through our days, living our own journey, sharing in others, but we remain predominately caught up in our own family needs and issues. We can sympathize with people who have experienced cancer and other aggressive diseases, but it’s not until the potential threat is at our own doorstep, or the doorstep of our family and friends, that we sit up and take some serious notice. Nobody expects it to happen to them, right?
My doctor requested the mammogram for purely preventative reasons. I have no symptoms to speak of, and it makes good sense. However, I’ve known other healthy women who had routine mammo’s and received the shock of their lives when they discovered the disease was present in their bodies. It could happen to me. It could happen to you.
So I had the procedure, and it wasn’t horrible. It wasn’t great, and I had to grit my teeth and take some deep breaths to prevent myself from cursing loudly in front of the very sweet, older woman who was performing my exam. I had some anxiety before having the procedure, just thinking about all the “what ifs?” and her kind, soft demeanor did much to comfort and calm me, so I didn’t want to alarm or disrespect her by dropping a “Motherfucker!” loudly, while my boobs were being smashed into a vice.
The procedure took ten minutes from start to finish. It’s amazing to think that ten simple minutes can save your life.
Despite the discomfort, I’m glad I did it. I’m glad my friends are doing it. I’m glad my mother, and grandmothers, and aunts are doing it. And I’ll be glad if you do it, too. We’re worth it. You are worth it.
Now go have your boobies smashed and have a nice day! 🙂