Shmammogram Time

Last week I had my mammogram done.  Do I hate it?  YES.  Do I shut up and do it?  YES.

They had a poster in the changing room similar to this one….

Image result for mammogram campaign

It’s super hard for me to have a mammogram done and not stand on the rooftop of every building and preach, “GET A MAMMOGRAM DONE!”

So many put it off.  It’s uncomfortable they say…I don’t want to take time off work they say…I hate medical stuff they say…No on in my family has had breast cancer they say.

I say there is no excuse.  None.  Get it done.

My niece Jody died of breast cancer this year.  She was an amazing friend to me.  She loved me unconditionally…need I say more.  Some people say they love you unconditionally but deep down you know they don’t.  Nope, that’s how Jody loved and I’m so blessed to have been a recipient of that love.

Jody and her husband David had trouble having kids.  After years of trying this and that, in vitro became their option.  They tried it, and it worked.  They had triplets.  Later in vitro brought them a son…and miracle of miracles, their youngest Matt came along all on his own.  He was such a surprise blessing and I don’t know that Jody ever saw him as anything but that, a true blessing.

Jody died in September on the triplet’s birthday.  I don’t know that I’ve ever been to a sadder more joyous funeral.

Jody’s breast cancer was found in the summer of 2013.  She endured eight surgeries, three more lumps, three protocols of chemo and ten weeks of radiation.  Still on of the things she always said is, “I wish my family wouldn’t have had to endure all of this”.  That was Jody.  That was always Jody…thinking and caring about others.

So…if you don’t want to do this for yourself, please do it for your family.  The quicker diagnosis happens, the better chance people have of surviving.

Don’t let Jody’s sad story be the end though.  I have several good people in my life that are living far beyond the initial breast cancer diagnosis.  A huge shout out to my college roommate Lori and my highschool best friend’s little sister Rhonda and my blog friend Connie.  They are living proof people can get way beyond the initial diagnosis.

So ladies…please…

Image result for mammogram campaign
I just got mine done.  I don’t miss a single one, and I don’t put them off for 18 months vs the every year as is recommended.  I don’t complain about doing it.  I don’t whine…I just do it as having a boob smashed, although uncomfortable, is nothing compared to all the ladies I shouted out have gone through.

Pick up your phone…make your appointment.

26 thoughts on “Shmammogram Time”

  1. Thank you for posting this. I was a mammogram tech and I think I have seen it all! I am also a patient. I had surgery fir some calcifications that were seen on my mammogram. It wasn’t cancer- yet. I am on preventative chemo to hopefully I can decrease my risk factors. One in three is not good odds so I’m doing what I can. It’s generally a very treatable cancer but you need to find it early.

  2. Good advice! My breast cancer was found in a mammogram – even after I found out I had breast cancer I couldn’t feel the lump. Mammograms save lives. Period. I’ve had 3 surgeries in the last 13 months (bilateral mastectomy, reconstruction, and a revision). Because it was caught so early and because I opted to remove both breasts, I didn’t have to have chemo or radiation. Blessings to you and your family – been reading along with you for years!

  3. Yes! Also, do not put off colonoscopies! I am 44 years old and just had a large, precancerous polyp removed. Zero risk factor & yet here I am. The doctors said had I waited until I was 50 or older, I would be dead. Yes, I know 50 is the recommended age, but do not put it off beyond that. It is one of the most curable forms of cancer, if it is caught early enough.

  4. 30 year survivor of breast cancer. Went for my yearly mammogram. Radiologist came out and said well the lump has grown from last year and I think we need to do a biopsy. Say what?! I was not told the year before that I even had a lump! Had I put off having a mammogram for a year or longer the results could have been much different. The lump, though small, was cancerous. I had a mastectomy but no chemo or radiation. I kept having suspicious lumps resulting in numerous ultrasounds for a year. Finally, I said enough. We are doing a mastectomy on the other side. My decision with lots of push back. I don’t regret it for one minute.

  5. There’s a lot of cancer on both sides of my family so I do everything I can to be able to detect early. A mammo every two years for me, I’m 76. and a colonoscopy every three years. As long as I’m able I will do these very simple preventive steps. Thanks for shouting it out Jo!!

  6. i will be doing some research on the 3D mentioned above, Having the neuropathy from a horrendous case of shingles leads me to wonder how i could possibly endure a regular mammo. (my dr even says it must be delayed) mother and aunts had breast cancer so i have taken it serious.
    If you had not written about this and one of your readers mentioned the 3D i would never have known about this option. Thank you

  7. Yes, please get your mammogram. I am a survivor of breast cancer. It may be uncomfortable but it can save your life. Think of your love ones

  8. Definitely DO NOT put it off!! I got yearly mammograms, but in Dec. 2018, I was diagnosed with Stage 1, Grade 1 Breast Cancer. No one in my family had ever had ANY TYPE of cancer … so you just never know. Had a lumpectomy and radiation. Just had my 2nd mammogram since (on a 6-month schedule for a few years), and I am cancer free!! I do not ever want to go through with that again … and mine wasn’t “bad” compared to 2 sister-in-laws of mine.

  9. Judith Fairchild

    Dear Jo, Thank you Thank you Thank you for this post. I lost my favorite funniest best sister to breast cancer. She said she didn’t need mammograms as there was no history of breast cancer in the family.
    Three years ago she died because the cancer had metastasized to her brain and spine. Ladies what ever or reasoning get that mammogram done the new equipment is a snap no pain just hold still and breathe when they tell you.
    Your life is worth living well!

  10. Rosie Westerhold

    My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 63 years old. With her VERY first mammogram, EVER!!!! She had a mastectomy on her 64th birthday. And she will turn 96 in March. What better reason for getting a mammogram? She treated the whole ordeal as if she were having her tonsils out. I STILL remember her saying, “It’s just cancer. Just cut it off and let me get back to living.” Right after she came out of surgery. Luckily, it was entirely encapsulated, and she didn’t need chemo or radiation. Just the radical mastectomy. That was almost 33 years ago.

    So, ladies, get your boobs squeezed lovingly and get those mammograms!!! I haven’t missed a year since 1987. Mine is scheduled for next week.

  11. Mammograms are very important. Because I had one in September I was diagnosed with breast cancer in my left breast. Thank goodness is was an early diagnosis. I had Surgery in October and they removed it all. And in November and December I had radiation therapy. This year I started a hormone reduction treatment to help keep the Cancer from coming back. I wasn’t going to go get one but I am so glad I did. You can’t be too careful. Hugs

  12. 3D mammograms are especially useful for dense breast tissue. I get one every year since my cancer tumor was removed in 2012.
    My tumor was detected by a regular mammogram… I couldn’t feel it nor could my Dr or surgeon. I was 45 years old. Please get your mammograms ladies!
    Thank you Jo for honoring Jody and all of those who have “survived” cancer.

  13. The 3D mammograms ARE less painful! And clearer. And better for those with dense breast tissue. However! The technician told me that each 3D mammogram is best done with the Same Machine, in the Same Room, at the Same Facility as the previous one, so that as many variables as possible are the same. (She didn’t quite say “and with the same technician” but that could be a factor also.)
    Really, 3D is less painful. With the squishing of the breast one, I had to stand there and recover before I could move around to the next position. With 3D, it is half as much pressure, not as painful. No recovery time needed. A few minutes of endurance, no matter which method you do, and it is over.
    Best Wishes to all for a healthier year!

  14. Claire Lonergan

    My best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer in the very early stages….no family history. Here, a mammo is done every two years if there is no family history. Thank God, it was ‘her’ year. It was a routine mammo after a physical, the lump was so small the doctor did not even detect it. Surgery Christmas Eve….yep that is a date none of us will forget. If she had waited one more year, the outcome would have been very different. She is 6 years cancer free as of Christmas Eve. Do not put it off ladies (and gents), like Jo said ‘pick up the phone”!

  15. I was wondering if you or Kelli would be interested in selling me your pattern from the block of the month Civil War quilt? I would love to make one. They turned out so pretty! Thanks.

  16. Thank you for posting this Jo. Mammo’s save lives and I am proof. Don’t go every two years. Go EVERY year. I waited the recommended 2 years and ended up with stage 2b. If I had done it after 1 year I might’ve been able to avoid Chemo.

  17. I had a mastectomy 41 years ago in 1978, another in 1985, and had another small tumor in 2003 (in a bit of breast tissue missed in the 1978 surgery), and I’m still here. All of these were found by self-examination, so don’t forget to do that as well! Mammograms may be better now than they were in 1985, but a mammogram done after the tumor was found, but before surgery, showed nothing.

  18. My sister was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago at Christmas time. She went through chemo and had a mastectomy. There is no history of breast cancer in our family. It’s so important to get a mammogram!!!

  19. I just had one done. And yes, I had breast cancer last year and will gladly go for a mammo whenever they send me.

  20. Well said. A mammogram saved my life in my mid 40s. There was no family history of cancer of any kind in the family. Went through chemo and had a mastectomy. SO very thankful for mammograms.

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