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….)
Today 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!)