(Don’t?) Look away, gentlemen

Seriously. I’m as much in favour of men as I am of women and this is a woman’s stuff post, but you’re welcome to continue reading (don’t say you weren’t warned….)

crukmig_1000img-12235Today I am off to hospital for my annual mammogram. My mother died of secondary cancers which started as breast cancer when she was 45 years old, so I take the advice seriously. Check monthly for lumps, if summoned to a mammogram, go. It’s all very practical. Mammograms are quite uncomfortable – the breast is put on one piece of metal, squashed by another piece so that the tissue is thin enough for the X-rays to pass through properly, and then the process is repeated at right angles. It’s not pleasant. And I get into a right state beforehand – the first time I went for one of these, I was so nervous that I scraped the side of my car on a pillar in the car park. I’m normally quite nifty with my driving manoeuvres but not on mammogram days.

I’m grateful to the NHS for offering me screening so early (it can’t be done if you are under 40 because the breast tissue is too dense). But I hate that I am eligible for it. I hate that my Mum died half a lifetime again of this bloody disease. And, just for today, just for this morning, just until this is over for another year, I’m small and scared. But it’s no reason to duck the issue. I’m writing this as a reminder to the other women out there who hate mammograms too. Hang in there, sisters, show up. The alternative is worse.

*I’ve changed the title and first bit to reflect the wise words from Steve below

**extra update, all done, results in a couple of weeks, now off to focus on other people and stop being self absorbed (after straightening face and bra of course!)


12 responses to “(Don’t?) Look away, gentlemen

  1. The sad thing is that screening ceases at age 55. My spouse queried whey she wasn’t called back and was told policy. But cervical screening goes on until later, thank goodness.

  2. Prayers for you Claire. I know it’s horrible. Been having annual ones since I found a lump that turned out to be cancer 6.5 years ago. But I’ll go on having them annually at my own expense if need be to make sure it doesn’t come back in the one breast I’ve got left. Nationally mammograms provided until 70 Ernie – and you can volunteer to keep having them over 70.

  3. First time I can think of in recent years anyway :p that I’ve felt a need to contradict you.
    “Look away” you say. “Be warned” say I.
    Cancer doesn’t care who you are, male, female, rich or poor. Men can and do, die from breast cancer too, rarer admittedly.
    The evil flipant side of me is wondering how that is diagnosed?
    The reality is probably too late………….

  4. Silly phone decided I’d finished………….
    Good luck today will be thinking of you and sending positive thoughts your way.
    Hugs and stuff xx

  5. Thinking of you and remembering a dear Auntie as well. Be gentle with yourself. God Bless Ian xx

  6. Well said. I have yet to have a mammogram being so youthful ofcourse! I wish. But do go regularly for the other not so nice screening once a year for past 11, not nice but like you say way better than alternative

  7. Mine’s next week and I, too, dread it. I was operated on for breast cancer 2 years ago, and so I will have annual screenings for a while. Last year I was absolutely sure I had no recurrence, and I didn’t. So that’s all right then. This year, I am more nervous about the result. The French say it is just ‘un mauvais quart d’heure’, but if you add the waiting before and after it is a bit longer than that! Good luck, Claire, I put all that in so that you know when I say I sympathise, I literally do feel for you. 🙂

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