Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Life's Too Short -- Schedule a Mammogram!!!

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:33-34

Mammogram – Early Detection is Your Breast Defense
When I emerged from the booth with my cape on, I lacked my super powers as well as my dignity. Perhaps because it was the changing closet in the hospital radiology department instead of a phone booth and the cape (held on by one well-worn Velcro tab) read “PROPERTY OF MERCY” instead of “S.”

One of those necessary evils of womanhood: the annual mammogram. As if gravity wasn’t doing a good enough job, the mammogram takes what little you do have and smushes it beyond recognition. For those of you who haven’t experienced one yet, those stories you’ve read and laughed over about comparing a mammogram to laying on the cold garage floor and having someone drive over your left one with the car or standing in the kitchen trying to close your boob in the refrigerator door is not so funny once you’ve actually been there done that.

It boggles the mind that a man can land on the moon, but the discomfort and humiliation of the “routine” mammogram doesn’t improve over time. You know you live in a small town when someone you know personally and not just as the nurse on duty is the one manipulating your breast on the Plexiglas table. Now you don’t just have small talk about the weather, but you can catch up on each other’s kids, the community, and the latest school board vote, all while you’re holding onto the handle of the X-ray machine and the corner of the table is being jammed into your armpit.

I’m so glad they keep a stack of out-dated magazines in the changing booths for something to occupy our time while we wait to see if we “smiled enough” in the pictures before getting dressed. At least the recipes are already ripped out.

Meanwhile, back in the doctor’s exam room… One of the most helpful resources to be placed in the physician’s office is surprisingly not the rack of pamphlets with descriptions and diagrams, but the three boobs that hang on the wall. No it’s not a sculpture of Larry, Moe, and Curly, but actual three-dimensional breasts. They are labeled: “no lumps, normal lumps, and lumps.” I just wonder who’s monitoring the hidden camera that captures those of us feeling up the silicone models. Actually, knowing the difference between an actual lump versus fibrous tissue can be very beneficial when doing that recommended self-exam. I highly encourage you to feel up—I mean, check out this wall hanging if your doctor’s office has one.

The follow-up letter stating the radiologist sees no abnormality is better than receiving a refund check from the IRS. It’s that dreaded phone call in-between; however, that one never wants to get stating they “need another view.” Then when another view leads to an ultrasound appointment “just to be sure,” and you start fearing the worst. In all seriousness, when the next recommendation becomes a biopsy, the nerves can really run high. The news sends you into a tailspin and makes you realize it can happen to anyone. Yes, it’s scary, and yes, I was just recently scared out of my mind, but thankfully the diagnosis for me was good news. If the news hadn’t been good, at least it would’ve been caught early. It’s best to schedule that uncomfortable appointment and be certain. Do it yearly.

Life is too short NOT to do self-exams and schedule the dreaded but necessary annual mammogram.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Life's Too Short to Procrastinate

Found the following and wanted to pass it along to my blog readers. The author is anonymous.

He was going to be all he wanted to be -- Tomorrow
No one would be kinder or braver than he -- Tomorrow.

A friend who was troubled and weary, he knew
Who'd be glad of a life--who needed it, too,
On him he would call and see what he could do -- Tomorrow.

Each morning he stacked up the letters he'd write--Tomorrow,
And thought of the folks he would fill with delight -- Tomorrow.

It was too bad, indeed, he was so busy today,
And hadn't one minute to stop on his way.
"More time I will have to give others," he'd say, "Tomorrow."

The greatest of workers this man would have been -- Tomorrow.
The world would have known him had he ever seen -- Tomorrow.

But, in fact, he passed on and he faded from view,
And all that he left here when living was through,
Was a mountain of things he intended to do -- Tomorrow.