Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Get That Mammogram!

I read recently on the Livestrong Blog that the number of women in the United States who receive periodic mammograms is declining. Apparently, this trend was reported recently in USA Today. Curious to read the article, I searched the Internet for “mammogram decline.” To my surprise, two articles written almost two years apart reported the same trend. This is not good, ladies! Mammograms save lives! Let me give you a few examples:

A Homeschool Mom. Several years ago, one of the local homeschool moms who volunteered with me on the CHOOSE CT Coordinating Council went in for her mammogram in late August/early September. She wanted to get her annual physical and other related appointments out of the way before the academic year got too busy. Well, it wasn't long before she got the phone call she never expected. She had a lump in her breast. It turned out to be cancer, but because her physician, through the use of mammography, discovered the mass early, this mom is still here to educate her children. She chose to undergo a mastectomy, but did not require chemotherapy or radiation because of early detection.

A Grandma Beats Breast Cancer Twice. The mother of one of my dearest friends is a two-time breast cancer survivor. Interestingly, her bouts with the illness came 25 years apart. I do not know many details about how the first tumor was discovered. I only know that Mrs. M had a mastectomy as a result. Sometime when my friend was a teenager, her mother developed the illness again, resulting in a second mastectomy. Even now, at age 84, as a double mastectomy patient, Mrs. M still undergoes periodic mammograms and why not, the procedure saved her life --- twice.

Go With a Friend. You May Benefit. My daughter takes piano lessons from a wonderful woman who used to direct the choir at my former church. In discussing the new colon cancer diagnosis of a mutual friend, this grandmother shared with me that, as a younger woman, she agreed to accompany one of her friends to a mammogram. This friend from her younger days was apparently nervous about having the procedure done, so Mrs. N volunteered to serve as moral support. Since she was in the office anyway, Mrs. N decided to have her own mammogram. Well, the friend was fine, but Mrs. N had a lump in her breast.

These are only three examples from my circle of friends and acquaintances. Lord only knows how many more examples are out there. What is your mammography status? Have you had this simple screening procedure done lately, or are you contributing to the statistical decline in mammography? Get the test, ladies. Make your appointment today!

To read the article from 2005, click here.
To read the article from 2007, click here.

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