Bet this gets some blog hits, LOL
Today was my annual Mammogram day. I almost missed it, and I'm pretty ticked about that. Each year, because we live in the middle of the boondocks, the mobile breast screening comes to our town. They are usually here 1 1/2 days. I have, in the past, seen the notice from the local hospital about a month in advance, advising women to call the 1-800 number to book their appointments. Now...the first time I called that number,I was unable to get a spot. The second time, one of the questions they asked was "who is your Doctor?" Hellloooo...I did not have a Doctor, Bingo, was not able to make an appointment! Now this tells me, the Cancer Society is not up on the impossibility to have a family Doctor. The few times I have had to go into the local Clinic, I get whatever Doctor happens to be in town, I do not have the privilege of having my very own regular person. Then it seems, because of this, I am denied access to a screening that is suppose to be available for everyone. Nope, wrong approach, dear Society. If you truly want folks to think you are actually looking out for the women of B.C. lose your Dr. question. I found a way around this, got a name of a Doctor that comes to town, and used that. Hey, what else was I suppose to do? Was that cheating? I don't know, but, it makes me choke a little when I see advertisements saying how all of this is available, no need for anyone to go undiagnosed, they can just walk in and get tested..Nothing is as easy as the TV states. This time, I did not see any notices, I did not receive a friendly reminder in the mail (perhaps those only come every two years , due to the new regulations which claim women only need to be tested every 2 years). I happened to drive to the grocery store and see the familiar Van parked outside the hospital. I wasn't sure, couldn't be the screening Van, no advertisement, no public service announcement. I sat down and checked my Facebook, and lo and behold, comments about folks who had been in for their mammogram! WTF!!!!
I immediately called the 1-800 number, gave the same Doctor's name, and was able to pick any time the next day for my appointment. That, in itself,is either frightening, or disgusting. It is frightening to think in a town with at least 350 women, so few are concerned about a disease that kills so many friends and family, each year, that they would take 10 minutes to have a screening. It is, on the other hand, disgusting to think, that no one felt the need to advertise the small window that women could access this life saving procedure. Something is wrong, either way.Why would our local clinic not spew this out to the public? They spew out days the lab is closed, or a nurse is unavailable (big deal), but, suddenly the arrival of the Cancer Society's Screening Van is not important?
I did not start having this procedure until my beloved childhood friend , who is a survivor, convinced me it was the dumbest thing in the world to ignore. I lost the first friend I made in this town, to Breast Cancer, and she was only in her 40's. I lost a woman who was, a friend, the mother to a friend, and a grandmother to my youngest's best friend , to Breast Cancer the same year. I lost an Aunt who I only knew for a short time, but, who touched me so greatly, I gave my oldest daughter her name.
I doubt anyone reading this, has not seen the horror of terminal Cancer. It is a word that makes me cringe. I remember my Aunt, she lived in Scotland, which is where I had the pleasure to meet her. She was full of life, and full of fun. Not long after my holiday, and visit, I was told she was dying of Breast Cancer. We were sent pictures of some family get together, and I was horrified when I saw her. She traveled to Canada when her daughter got married, and my mother asked me to go to the wedding. I refused. Not because I didn't want to be a part of my Cousin's wedding, but because I could not bear to see my amazing Aunt, deathly ill. I wanted to remember the woman I met, when life was without Cancer. However, that picture is still clear in my mind, because that was not the last time I watched someone I loved, become a living skeleton, and suffer beyond human endurance.
Mammograms are made out to be painful. Hey, perhaps to some they are. Maybe if I had big Jahougies, it might hurt, but because I am petite in that area, piece of cake! It is done by women, so no need to be shy. Likely you will never see them out on the street, so what's the big deal about baring your boobies in a room behind a screen? Cripes, I am one of those shy people, don't like to even go to the pool, unless I have my own cubicle to change in. It takes such a short time, they get you all set, it is obvious they are like trained seals, and are definitely not comparing who has perky or saggy ones. This is their job. It is clinical, and that is the best part. Just like getting your flu shot, quick, and simple, and out the door. Then you wait for 2 weeks, and hope the letter you receive does not request you to get another mammogram, or inform you to make a Doctor's appointment. But, if it does, the few moments you spent, may make the difference between life or death.
So, for all you women out there, take a moment, because, nowadays, there are very few folks who have not lost a friend or family member to this. Remember those who did not survive, and pick out a Doctor's name, book your appointment, and have a Mammogram in memory of them!