My Personal Thoughts About Breast Cancer – 10/14/08


I made a mistake and posted this on my real estate blog not that it is a bad thing to put it there, it just means the blogs are out of sync.  Sorry – it is hard to keep up with all the blogging I do.

About 2-3 months ago I was at my physician’s office for a regular check up, and she is also a friend of mine.  Michelle is young enough to be my daughter, and I met her when she was volunteering at the Breast Cancer 3-Day walk here in Tampa Bay 2 years ago.  Her background is Family Practice and she has extra education in Sport’s Medicine.

When I took a bad fall in California right after the walk, I called her immediately and she got me through the next week until I could get into her office.

She was telling me on this particular day that less people are going to the doctor, her patient load had slowed down, and she told me that when talking about it with her peers, they all came to the same conclusion, the economy was having an impact on people seeking medical advice.  I have to admit I have a $20 co-pay and I asked Michelle to do my gynecological exam because if I go to a specialist I have a $50 co-pay.

In these tough economical times I have a feeling some women might be putting off getting their mammograms.  That is a frightening thought to me.  I have said this over and over in my talks on having had breast cancer, in my emails, in person to my friends and anyone else who is listening, get your mammogram.  The ONLY “cure” we have is early detection.  That’s it. 

On my key chain I have a dog tag and on my dog tag are the following words:  3 million women in the United States are living with breast cancer.  Only 2 million know about it.

1 million women have undetected breast cancer.  That is unbelievable in this time and age, but it is true.

What can we do about this especially in these tough economical times?  Donate a mammogram to someone.  Call around and get your best price and donate one to someone you know, or someone you do not know.  Be proactive, call your local imaging centers and ask if they have a program to accept donations.

If you know someone who is putting it off, give them a mammogram as a birthday gift or holiday gift (now).

Furthermore there are many places in bigger cities that do have free mammogram facilities for low income people.  There are a lot of things every one of us can do to make sure we leave no one we know without their annual mammogram.

The last thing I ever allow any woman to say to me is that mammograms hurt.  Breast cancer hurts more and I have 3 surgical clips in my right breast that will always be there.  I can tell you that sometimes if someone hugs me too hard it hurts but it doesn’t stop me from hugging.  When I think about how quickly the average 4 views take I don’t want to hear “It hurts”.  Those 4 views take about 1 minute total. 

Today I want you to think about saving a life and give someone a mammogram if you can afford it, or at least keep encouraging someone you know to get a mammogram-whatever just do it.  Save a life.


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