Today is a school day for my daughter, which means I have to ditch the sweats and slippers and put on some real clothes to go out in public. I grabbed the new Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirt I bought at Walmart last week, stared at it in the mirror for a few seconds, and finally decided that it’s time.

It’s hard not to know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Heck, even the macho men of the National Football League are sporting pink this month.

I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t had a mammogram since 1998. That’s right; it’s been 13 years. And I’m no spring chicken, either, so I’m supposed to be having these done every year.

Let’s face it, girls: mammograms are no picnic.

It’s not because I’m worried. Ok, I’m a little worried, but then, who isn’t? Thankfully, there’s no history of breast cancer in my family (that I know of), and I’ve never had any problems myself.

However, I have been on a bunch of bizarre hormonal treatments for endometriosis over the past 20 years, and I didn’t have a child until well after age 35. So yeah, I guess always there’s a chance.

As with most moms, I tend to put myself last on the list. And when I get a free moment, the very last thing I want to do is go to the doctor.

I’ve been carrying around a mammogram referral from my GYN for, oh… about 5, 6, 8 months? There’s no date on it, so I have no idea. But it’s been a long time, judging from the fading of the paper.

So this morning, I decided that I needed to stop looking at a t-shirt and take care of myself. I dug out that faded paper, and called to schedule an appointment for next this Friday. I am in no way looking forward to it, but at least I can say I’ve done it.

So this Tuesday’s Tip is for you geneamoms out there: take care of yourself (for a change) today. Your family needs you to be in good health so you can take care of them. Let’s support each other as geneamommies to get our annual mammograms!

Oh, and the lab I called is offering a $99 dollar special in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so check around to see where you can get a good deal. Most insurance companies and Medicare cover mammograms; however, if you are without these resources, there are alternatives.

For more information, visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.

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Copyright © by Elizabeth O’Neal

Elizabeth is a professional genealogist and California native living in the Santa Barbara area. She has been researching her own family for almost three decades, and providing research services to others for about 8 years.

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