Tuesday’s Tip: Take Care of Your Ta-Tas

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, writer, and consultant. Likes: long walks in the cemetery, and the smell of old courthouse books. Dislikes: people who copy stuff off the internet without giving credit, and county clerks who can't tell the difference between Eastern and Pacific time zones. Secretly hopes her daughter will one day develop an interest in family history (but no luck so far).

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  1. Congrats! I’ll be thinking of you on Friday and virtually lending you support. My girlfriend and I have birthdays near each other, and our mutual doctor always tells her patients to go on their birthdays for mammograms (a good way to remember). So we go together, get appointments at about the same time, sit in the waiting room with our books together whilst wearing those ridiculous robes, and then do lunch. Another friend is joining us next year. It makes the whole thing a little more “bearable” to go with a friend.

  2. That’s a great idea, Heather! And I do appreciate your support for my dreaded Friday appointment.

    If anyone else out there schedules an appointment for Friday, October 21, let me know, and we can offer each other “virtual” support!

  3. Look at it this way Elizabeth, at least you don’t have to get one for all the years you missed, you only have to get it once, hopefully! It will be over before you know it! Glad you are catching up on taking care of yourself!

  4. HA! @Cheryl, if I had to get 13 mammograms, I’m sure I would run and hide instead! 😛

  5. Good for you for picking up the phone and scheduling your appointment. That’s the first step!

    My dearest friend was diagnosed 4 years ago next week. I supported her during the double mastectomy and while it was no picnic, she is alive to talk about it today. I had a scare a few months ago and she supported me through it – turn about is fair play :-)

    I love the idea of going with a friend!

  6. I was guilty of procrastination, too. Finally had one last spring after a 4-year hiatus, and had a scare – but it was only a cyst. I won’t be putting it off any more after this. Good luck on Friday!


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