October is ‘Breast Cancer Awareness’ month and it’s a great reminder for you to schedule a mammogram. It’s been a year (end of September) since I finished my radiation for breast cancer. My diagnosis was a shock. Hearing you have cancer is always scary. Breast cancer doesn’t run in my family, so I had no reason to think I’d have it. But I did.
I missed an exam in 2020 due to Covid. I went for a mammogram in 2021 in June. The doctors saw something suspicious and decided I needed a biopsy. The doc that did the biopsy even said to me that the mass ‘didn’t look cancerous’ so I figured I was good. Then in May I was told I had cancer. It’s hard to describe the feeling when someone says that to you. It’s almost surreal. You hear the words the doctor is saying but they don’t really register. And once you hear that you have cancer, everything moves quickly. You don’t really have time to absorb it all.
My doctor scheduled surgery for June. I had the mass removed and four lymph nodes. I’m one of the lucky ones as my cancer was detected early, which is why I’m such a big proponent for mammograms. As a woman, it’s one of those appointments we put off making. Not because it’s painful, but because it’s a maintenance appointment. Usually, we don’t think of the appointment as a ‘must do now’ type of thing.
I’m asking you to please schedule it asap! We hear it often and I’m here to tell you it’s true: early detection saves lives. Even if you don’t have health insurance, you can still get a mammogram. And it’s free!
During the month of October, many medical centers and doctor’s offices will offer free mammograms. You can also schedule one by going to freemammograms.org. You put in your city, and you’ll be able to find a place close to you that offers the service.
Please make sure to schedule your appointment soon. I got to ring the bell after my cancer treatment. I’m one of the lucky ones!