Sunday, October 28, 2012

Check Yourself

As the end of October is upon us, I had a stark reminder of the fact that this is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  Please check yourself, every month, and every year if you're off "that age" to get mammograms - this includes you men as well!

Last week I learned that my annual exam came back with unusual results.  I received a call from the testing center to call "ASAP" to discuss my results and then promptly refused to answer the phone when I called back. By the time I finally got them on the phone, I'd had calls from the two doctors I'd had the results sent to telling me to schedule a follow-up exam, but that I shouldn't panic just yet.

Then yesterday, I learned a dear friend has breast cancer on the same side as my abnormal results. In an odd way it's made my waiting for a final diagnosis a bit easier. I have game plans in place for the both of us, one direction if I do have it, another if I don't. Either way, I'll be there to hold her hand, along with my amazing dear hubby. After all, I have the best role models for this.

I haven't noticed anything off, but I'm a dense girl, so more difficult to test. But then, neither did my mom. However, my mom and I have an advantage: her mother. My grandmother had a double mastectomy and was a guinea pig for much of our protocols in use today. She handled it all with style, grace, and fight. My mom also handled hers well, and was fought for what was right for her. As a result, I've done a lot of research and had made all my decisions on treatments plans years ago. I did not want to have to make these decisions while in the throws of the diagnosis.

Either way, I'll have an answer this week.  It is not a death sentence. No matter what the results, I'll fight. In my own way, and on my terms. For myself, my dear, dear friend, and everyone else who may be affected by this.

My only request is this: Check yourself.  Now, and each month. If you don't know how, there are tons of resources online. Start with the Susan G. Komen site at a minimum.

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