Guest blogger Pam: Sometimes a routine mammogram can give you a heart attack.
I've had three mammograms now (as I am 43) and the recommended age to get your first is 40. I am a rule follower, whether they are traffic or medical. I must admit when I finally went, I was feeling put out. But when I arrived I decided that The Breast Center was almost like a mini trip to the spa (except for the breast squishing which I imagine doesn't happen at a lot of spas, although I haven't been to many.). They gave me tea and a cozy robe to wear. There was quiet music in the background, first-rate magazines and everyone was so considerate. "I'm sorry it is cold in here," they said, "We'll call you if there is a problem."
I was breathing a happy sigh of relief as I went to my car. "That wasn't so bad." I thought. I even won a little door prize filled with lovely bath supplies.
About two days later I came home from a grueling day filled with -- well you know, the usual -- and my husband said, "The Breast Center called." If it had been a movie, the camera would have zeroed in on my face and psycho music would have played as the camera moved in and out.
"We-we-wellll what did they say? What did they want?"
"I don't know. They just said for you to call," shrugged my husband. "Is that bad?"
Sure enough, they wanted me to come back in. Something looked different from my last mammogram. The nurse said they would give me a diagnosis when they were done redoing the mammogram and doing an ultrasound. It was the right breast. I went alone, apprehensive and wishing someone could have gone with me. What if it were cancer? Would I be able to handle the news and continue on with my day? Suddenly the tea and quiet music were foreboding and the first-rate magazines not interesting at all.
It turned out fine for me, but for thousands of other moms, sisters, friends, wives it doesn't. I recently lost a dear friend to breast cancer. From now on when someone I know has to go back, I'm going with them if it is at all earthly possible. It could be any of us, and we need to remember that, and support our sisters.