Thursday, January 26, 2012

Checking out my Breasts

Now THAT title is sure to get me some spam.
I turned 40 last Saturday. I'm not happy about it but I always knew it was coming, obviously. I always felt like 40 was so far away...

Turning 40 means I have to start getting mammograms. I'm not happy about that either but I do know it's for my own benefit. I was mentioning that to my mom, who's 78. She mentioned to me how funny it was, considering her doctor told her she didn't have to get mammograms anymore.

I was like... "what are you talking about?"

Apparently, when a woman reaches a certain age, they no longer need to get mammograms. I asked her why and she didn't know, that she was just told she didn't need one anymore. I don't know if it's because the risk of initial onset of breast cancer after age 75 is so low, but I sure hope that's the reason. Because of course my mind went to that place where they're telling me that a patient of advanced age has less of a chance of survival if they are diagnosed late in life... blah blah blah... and I told my mom, "THAT IS CRAZY - YOU KEEP GETTING THEM. FORGET WHAT THOSE DOCTORS SAID." My mom is a spunky 78 year old woman. It would not surprise me one bit if she lives another 25 years and when her last day comes, she won't go easily. She has never known an easy day in her whole life. She knows - heck, I think she created - the definition of hard work. My mom stays young by keeping active and, I'm embarrassed to admit, she can run circles around me keeping all my kids in line. She's an amazing role model for me.

So, I hope this year I won't be the only woman in my family getting a mammogram. That's all I'm sayin.

Texan Mama


Jennifer said...

You would think they would provide a better reason than "you just don't need to."

Gigi said...

Without a doubt, tell her to ignore what the doctor says. Despite what the CDC is saying (which most GP's parrot and is total b.s.) ALL the breast cancer research folks/doctors say after 40 once a year, period.

And yeah, yearly mammograms suck, but in this case the benefits clearly outweigh the negatives.

And happy belated birthday!! 40 is the new least that what "they" say and I'm sticking with it.

Jennifer said...

happy belated birthday. I had my first mammogram at 33- because I have a family history of breast cancer and my doctor said it would be good to get a baseline. And then when I turned 35, my doctor sent me for another one. I don't get another until 40 (which is next year). Yes, they are uncomfortable... but not too too bad. The funny thing for me was that the lady told me not to breathe while she was taking the image and I remember thinking, "Even if I wanted to breathe.... I CAN'T!!" I hope your mom gets one too!

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

Mammograms aren't that bad--no worries.

I'd rather have one than go to the DDS.

Heather said...

That kind of sounds like "because I said so" for doctors.

I am happy to hear everyone's positivity around mammogram. I have one more year, but I am totally not feeling that milestone!

Foursons said...

It won't be long before I'll be in line behind you. *sigh*

Melani said...

I have so missed you my friend! I too will be turning the big 40 this July and I really hate hate going to the doc esp the I should make the appt now and put it on my calendar so I won't back out, right? LOL anyways, I have major family stuff going on but I am going to really try try try to start posting again.

Amy said...

Yes, I heard 40 is the new 30 also. Sadly in a month it will be 8 years since I turned the new 30.

Ask other women for recommendations - some techs are fantastic at getting thorough films with very little discomfort. I've found a wonderful one. It's very important that your mamms are taken where at least 70% of the films read are of breast tissue. It is denser than other tissue and it IS important. I know someone who was recently diagnosed with B.C. The breast center requested her old films - (taken twice a year because of her risk factors) the tumor was on every film taken in the past 5 years. It has gone everywhere.

Lastly, My grandmother-in-law had breast cancer at 90 years old. She was refused treatment because of her age. She changed doctors and completed treatment. She made a full recovery and lived to 101. Your mother has a doctor with a God complex. He apparently decides when his patients have lived "long enough". (sorry to be indelicate) Women over 70 are more likely for small tumors to spread to their lymph nodes. I've lost a sister-in-law (51 y.o.) & 2 aunts (in their 70's) to breast cancer. My m-i-l is a survivor as was her mother.

I'm sorry this is a long and scary post... but we have to tell each other these stories so we can help protect one another. Welcome to the new 30's! Mwah!