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Welcome to the DebiLyn Smith blog site. If you like what you read here, check out her website at www.debilynsmith.com

Friday, July 6, 2012

"M" Is For Mammogram and Mushrooms

First, "M" is for Mammogram.

We all know how important mammos are, especially for women over forty (fifty in some provinces, which scares me). Funny that the media has been littered lately with the controversy of the amount of radiation a woman receives during the procedure, touting it's not necessary for all women to have an annual. Too many misreadings, which we have seen happen. Horrific stories of women having their breasts removed unnecessarily. But those are the exceptions. Everything in life has exceptions. Every thing.

 I realize we Baby Boomers are putting a drain on the medical bills, but to try and dissuade women a test that saves lives everyday, well, I'm just not down with that.

My doctor tells me the radiation level of a mammo is far below the amount of radiation a human can take in one day. She continues to get one every year.

 Breast cancer did NOT run in my family. I started having mammograms at age 40. At 48 we started monitoring a hard pea in the left breast. When I turned 50,  the mammo came up with a slight shadow in the right breast, enough to warrant an ultrasound, a biopsy, surgery, chemo and radiation. The hardest thing to grasp was what would have happened if they hadn't caught it so early? If it had a chance to grow and take off to other parts of my body? As minuscule as it was, it had already found its way to a lymph node, the gateway to the rest of my bloodstream.  Gives me nightmares.

Women still die from breast cancer. Every single day. The percentage of those who had never had a mammogram is very high.

This is your life, Ladies.

The test does not hurt. Certainly nothing like jamming a finger in a car door does or getting your bikini hair line lasered (like a rubber band snapping against your skin, my butt!). I find it doesn't hurt at all, but some women's thresh hold of pain is about  as high as a mouse hole.

Yes,your boob gets squished like road kill and you have to stand there with it caught in a wringer while the technician runs into a room and takes your picture. Say cheese! It's over in minutes. Once a year. You hopefully get the clearance and don't return for another 360+ days. Simple. Safe.

As the Nike Ad says, Just Do It! It could mean your life.

Still not sure? Talk to your friends who have had one. If you find them painful, try to book them on a day when your period has ended so they're not so full and tender.
But whatever you do, book one the next time the mobile unit comes to town or book through your physician for the nearest hospital.

 If this is what it takes, I dare you!