Topic: Mammogram love

Forum: Who or What Inspires You? — Share your personal story, diagnosis, and treatment path, and stories of survival, hope, and success to encourage and inspire others!

Posted on: Jan 15, 2013 06:20PM - edited Jan 15, 2013 06:21PM by pattip1

Posted on: Jan 15, 2013 06:20PM - edited Jan 15, 2013 06:21PM by pattip1

pattip1 wrote:


 Dear Mammogram, I Love You! shares my story of breast cancer survival and the unrealized self love that evolved during the healing process.  In the midst of a career and  life overhaul, I was marinating on the notion of reinventing myself.  The last hurdle I expected to face was cancer.  Giving into illness did not factor into my plans of striving to reach my true potential.  I prided myself in staying fit, eating healthy and not looking my age.       After the initial shock subsided a little, I started telling other women how fortunate I was that my cancer had been detected so early.  This early detection was a result of getting regular mammograms.  The more I talked about it, the more I encountered women who said, “Oh, I don’t get mammograms or I haven’t had one in a few years.”  When asked why, the most common response was “They’re uncomfortable” or “I don’t really think about it.”  They were not a priority.    I was baffled at this nonchalant, uninformed mind-set.  I can empathize and agree that it’s not the most exciting activity to partake in but that does not stop me from pushing its’ praise.  I heard myself say that I don’t care if they are uncomfortable, I love mammograms!    While on this trek, I became so grateful that I felt a kinship to my mammogram as if it was a collaborator or best friend.  I know they don’t have human qualities, nor do they possess thoughts or feelings.  However, my passion and appreciation grew to the point that I was compelled to write about it.  Because I kept saying how much I loved my Mammogram, I decided that I would address my prose to this magnificent life saving piece of machinery.      Women, please wipe the sleep from your eyes and wake up to the benefits of getting yearly mammograms.  There appears to be a lack of understanding as to its positive attributes.  We must have the courage to speak up and inform each other as to the value of this opportunity.    I hope that my early detection and ability to overcome this disease will motivate more women to pick up the phone and make an appointment.  Perhaps, we can reduce the number of advanced diagnoses altogether.  I also look forward to the day when we can eradicate breast cancer entirely but until then, I will facilitate the fight.   In sharing, I wanted to be as forthcoming and honest as possible.  The inconsistencies of my voyage were a very real part of what I was staring down.  Cancer is an erratic opponent and my saga is bound to reflect this.      Facing breast cancer also aroused self reflection on other difficult challenges that unexpectedly made their way into my story.  This was not my original intention.  However, during this process, I realized that if I can use this juncture to encourage others, I will unlock the closet and let some of my skeletons breathe.   To read more of my story please go to Log in to post a reply

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Jan 16, 2013 10:52AM sbelizabeth wrote:

Pattip1--I, too, am a proponent of regular mammograms and encourage all the ladies in my life to schedule theirs on time.  However...

I'd had normal yearly mammos for sixteen years, the last one being June 2011.  I found my Stage III cancer myself in September 2011.  Mammograms are a screening tool, and there are conditions that can slip through the screen.  Unfortunately, regular mammograms will not entirely eliminate advanced diagnoses.

pinkribbonandwheels.wordpress.... Dx 10/20/2011, IDC/IBC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 6/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/15/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/18/2012 Mastectomy; Mastectomy (Left) Radiation Therapy 5/21/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2012 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 4/15/2013 Reconstruction (Left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (Right): DIEP flap

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