MAMMOGRAMS

I remember when my OB/GYN instructed me to get my first mammogram. I was 37. I was confused because I wasn’t aware that I needed to even think about that until my 40’s. She informed me that she liked to establish a baseline. I had heard the rumors about how much it was going to hurt… how awful it was going to feel… how much I was supposed to dread it. So, naturally, I did! However, my experience was nothing like that at all.

I sat anxiously in the waiting room and filled out my paperwork. Then, I was called back by a super sweet nurse. She eased my mind right away simply by her demeanor. She told me to remove everything from my waist up and to put on a ‘poncho’. A few minutes later, she escorted me to the examination room.

Was it awkward? Yes. Was it a little bit uncomfortable? Sure. But was it AWFUL? No. Not at all! I just had to keep reminding myself that this is what they do all day every day – just another day at the office. Before I knew it, it was over.

I went to an office where they review and deliver results during the visit. I can remember my hands sweating and my heart racing as I waited for the nurse to return with ‘the news’. I texted my mom and sister to pray.

I received good news that day.

A year later at my next mammogram appointment, the news wasn’t as perfect. They saw something suspicious and wanted to take a closer look via ultrasound. I was absolutely terrified. But, it turned out to be fine – just something they’d keep an eye on each year.

I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t feel anxious every year as my appointment approaches. But, I know and believe in the importance of early detection. I have two little ones who need their mama for a long, long time and I intend to do everything I can to stay healthy.

So, I just want to encourage you. If getting a mammogram is something you’ve been putting off because you’re scared… rise above that fear and go for it. I’ve had eight of them and each experience has been just fine. Truly.

Getting checked offers peace of mind and a feeling of power! We don’t have control over everything in life. We don’t have control over results. But, we can be proactive. That could end up being the biggest blessing of all.

Jennifer Waldman