That’s the mantra that goes through my head every year when it’s “that time.”
Yes, it’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month and isn’t it outstanding how the effort to get more people in an offensive mode rather than a wait and see mode is part of where this has all gone in the past few decades.
So has the seemingly endless ways people are finding to raise money for the work being done in the research field to get rid of the disease or, at least for now, improve the treatments for it.
I bet any one of us could come up with a very long list of people who we know who have been impacted, their lives changed and turned upside down because of cancer in general.
And I bet the list of those who have heard those words no one wants to hear-or deliver- regarding breast cancer would be nearly as long.
That’s why I suppose my attitude on it all is what it is.
The part about “Why not me?”
That’s what I’m thinking the whole time I’m going for the tests, having them done, and waiting for the word on whether things or OK or not.
While I’m waiting, like many others I’ve met and talked with who go through it every year, I’m trying to think about the answers I may or may not have to give and the decisions I may or may not have to make depending upon the outcome.
That’s a bad place to put yourself, it’s being negative and all that, but I don’t think there are many of us who aren’t thinking those things as we wait our turn.
“Where will I have ‘it’ done?”
“Who do I trust?”
“Would I insist, or try to anyway, on a double procedure even with just one involved?”
“What about the follow up treatment? How bad will that be? And most importantly, how likely is it to even work in my case?”
I’ve been “called back” before, never a good feeling, but everything we read tells us not to “lose it” if we get that call.
Lots of people do get the call backs, and lots of people, upon further testing, are relieved in the end to find out everything is OK.
But lots of others aren’t so fortunate.
I know I was totally convinced it was “my turn” a couple of years ago.
There were some complications and it was set out pretty straight to me that my surgeon didn’t like the scenario he was looking at and wanted to take care of the question immediately.
All I could say was “Of course,” and “Thank you,” and get it done.
I think I held my breath until the next day when unlike many people, I got a call from him personally to give me a very unexpected good report.
You couldn’t ask for better than that. Someone who really does understand the panic factor makes a huge difference.
I had a conversation with yet another breast cancer survivor this week that set me thinking.
She had been like me, never took care of “getting it done” until someone practically forced her. Unfortunately, she got a bad report but has come through it all like a champ.
We’re thankful for those friends.
I know I haven’t missed a year since.
You can only be so pushy, but I guess my message here is, let’s keep trying to push, urge, convince our friends, even with people we don’t really know and the subject comes up, to “get it done.”
And that really goes for all kinds of preventive diagnostic procedures.
I was the biggest baby ever about doing “it.”
I’ll say right now, I’ll go with anyone, anytime.
And I’ll also attest to the kind and professional treatment you’ll find when you go.
Come on…do it for the people who love you, do it for yourself, just do it.