Monday, January 10, 2011

Boob Sandwich

I know I said yesterday that this blog would return to regularly scheduled SEWING related posts any minute, but you'll have to wait another day. This is more important.

Recently, I learned that a third friend was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2010. She got the devastating news right before Christmas. Two of the three women had their cancer detected through routine mammograms.

I am 43. My general practitioner told me 'not to worry' about having my first mammogram until I was 45: I'm thinking that not all doctors know everything. My three friends were 41, 42 and 49 respectively when they were diagnosed.

So. Today I booked my first mammogram. On February 8th, I'm going in for a boob sandwich. There are at least 314 of you reading this, so I figure if I can get half of you to make a call and save your life, I will have done my good deed for the day.

If you live in the lower mainland of B.C., call 604-877-6187 to make an appointment at a Cancer Screening Centre near you. Elsewhere in B.C., call 1-800-663-9203. Have your CareCard ready. It's easypeasy (why have I not done this sooner?). If you live somewhere else entirely, Google "cancer screening in {your city name}" to find the number.

Then, leave a comment on this post telling me when your appointment is. If you go regularly, leave a comment telling me it's not as bad as everyone says it is (Christina says there are new machines that aren't as painful). You know, I'm not usually this bossy. I hope you don't mind. If you want to share this on your own blog, send your readers here to leave their appointment dates, too. Let's see how many boobs we can squish! I bet there are even a few of you that have Mammogram written on your New Year's goals list. Get busy and cross it off!

If you are so inspired, you may want to make a boob or two for Nina-Lise's incredible art therapy project while you're at it.

Krista
xx



43 comments:

floribunda... aka Julie said...

just had mine in December! It's the one thing I do religiously, every year... (and no, it's a little uncomfortable but it's never hurt)

Jenny said...

i had my first one in June 2010. at 37. i didnt think it 'hurt' just a bit uncomfortable. like you, i know of too many, or heard of too many young women being diagnosed...im clear for now...ill go again at 40. thanks for spreading the word!

Jan said...

I do it every year, but I hate it. It's necessary, but really painful. My theory is, that if men had to do this, the researchers would have worked harder to make it less painful.

paulette said...

I am on their screening program so I get my notice every year...or two...time flies when you are having fun. Anyways I had it done in October. It doesn't hurt THAT much...a little discomfort is not a biggie for peace of mind! They then send out a letter letting you know how you fared...apparently my boobs 'are normal'...my husband doesn't agree!! haha Take care and good luck!!
Paulette

Marian said...

Good for you Krista! I have gone every year since I was 40 - my doctor read that if you get cancer early it is usually more aggressive than later in life, so she didn't want to wait until I was 50 (and I have a family history). I have to admit that sometimes it hurts, but it's only for a moment. And it is sooo worth it!

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

I, too, go every year. Good for you for promoting this. And yes, it does hurt....but only for a few seconds. I read somewhere that elliminating caffine for a couple of days prior will help. I do that but ??? who knows. It makes me feel better anyway.

Wendz said...

My younger sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 45, 3yrs ago. Thanks to prompt medical intervention she (had chemo and radiation but minimal surgery, and) has been given the all clear. Ever since I consider a little discomfort during screening nothing compared to the stress of receiving life changing news. Coincidently, went for my annual mammogram this morning.
wendzneil [at] googlemail [dot] com

Michelle said...

I have been having annual mammograms for the past 18 years. My first one was a nightmare, and I came home with bruises from the xray tech clamping down too hard. I was horrified. The next time, I got a different tech, and it was uncomfortable, but was not like the first time. Now, for the past several years, I have had a newer, younger tech, and I hardly feel a thing. I think it all has to do with who is doing the 'clamping'. I also agree with the no caffeine suggestion, and taking a couple ibuprofen a few hours before you go also helps.

Good for you for scheduling your mammogram. You will have to let us all know what YOU thought of it when you have done it.

rossie said...

Krista, thanks for the PSA and the push to make the appointment. I have gone for years, and it really is not that bad, only uncomfortale for a second.

sandra said...

I had both of my breasts removed five years ago. The group that I was in at Wellspring were mostly under 45 and they found there lump themselves and then went for mammogram. I thing everyone should go for a mammogram after 35 it can come at any age and everyone should learn how to do breast examinations and get to know their own breasts, as most of us find our own lumps. They are not that bad and only hurt for seconds.

Delores said...

Yes, It's an annual visit for me as well - I get a notice from the screening clinic telling me when it's time. Over the years, at least 15, the mammogram itself has gotten less painful. I think the machines must be improving and some of the techs are better at giving them!!
I found that using your "Lamaze" breathing during the 'clamping' really helps too.

Kristen said...

I had mime done a couple of years ago after the nurse thought they felt something. It ended up being nothing, but I am so glad I did it and do get it done!

Di~ said...

April 5, 2011 thanks for the reminder, I needed to call to see when I had set it up for...have had these for several years, I'm 53!:)

Rachel said...

My dr. told me to get one last year when I turned 40. I didn't go because I was scared and felt it would be humiliating. I'm pretty sure I'm in for a lecture next month when I go for my physical... I really don't want to go for a mammogram. I've never even had a massage - how can I let a stranger play with my boobs?

Michele Pacey said...

Krista, thanks for the encouragement but i'm not sure either. I'll be 43 soon and have heard only painful stories of mammograms, and if you are small-breasted as I am, apparently it's even worse and the mammogram itself poses risks... So I don't know... I'm definitely unsure...

badlandsquilts said...

I am 42 and have had two so far and get them annually now...my first was at 35. I'll get the doctors orders at my upcoming checkup and go in from there. And it is not that bad AT ALL...

Heidi said...

Way to go! I am 42 and I just had my baseline a couple years ago. It was uncomfortable - but it only lasts for a few moments.

Kathy P said...

I get one every year and it never hurts - a little uncomfortable, maybe, but not painful. It also helps if you pick the right time in your monthly cycle when your boobs are the least tender.

Anonymous said...

Krista,
I go every year and schedule it an hour later on the same day as my annual physical, so there is no forgetting. I am now 67. It really doesn't hurt---just pressure. I've had 3 friends have their mammograms find a lump and they are in their 70's so there is no age that is safe. You did the right thing!!

Marie in Oregon

PiecefulChaos said...

I already had mine scheduled for a week from Saturday. Ive had them before and they weren't that bad - more uncomfortable than painful. I'm 45 - its the routine colonoscopy at age 50 that I'm not looking forward to!

Amy said...

I had my first two years ago at 38 and am scheduled for the 28th of this month - it'll be part of my annual from here on out. It wasn't bad at all. Seriously, nothing to worry about.

Rebecca Jane said...

As I am one of of the three friends with cancer I am thankful for annual mammograms, and haven't missed one in years. I'll be getting them regularly in the future too. Truthfully, there can be more discomfort for women with small breasts, but it's a heck of a lot better than cancer!
Go Krista!

Cindy N. said...

I am 43 and have been having yearly mamograms since I was 40. It pinches a little, but it is well worth it!!

traceyjay said...

I don't plan on going any time soon... but I did meet Jay at an imaging center we both worked at where they did lots of mammograms... does that count? :)

I also breastfed Steiger for over 14 months... when he started doing really not nice things to me (I think he was cutting molars)... so that's my little bit of prevention.

Julie said...

Had my first mammogram when I was 23- ouch. One of the upsides of getting older is they hurt less as you age:) Thanks for getting the word out.

nicolette said...

Good for you Krista to remind your (blog)friends!
I’ve had mammograms from an early age on and I’ve never experienced them as painful. I had to have surgery some years ago, but lucky me was diagnosed with benign cysts. I lived through some scary months. In Holland we are invited for a mammogram every 2 years after the age of 50. It’s also very important to check your boobs yourself at least once a month!

Ethne said...

Apparently here in the UK we aren't called up for screening until we get to our 50th birthday - so I've another year plus to go. It's only if you find a lump and your GP 'deems' it worth further examination that you get a mammogram if you are younger. Though I hate the thought of the 'sandwich' I will be going as soon as my appointment comes through.

Wendy said...

Well guess what? We can't have a mammogram in the UK until we're 50. Yes, 50. I suppose you could if you go private, but who can afford that? It's just as bad with smear tests, we only have them once every 3 years and no reminder is sent out so if you forget, you could end up, like me, having to have your cervical cancer treated... It's about time our government learnt that younger women get breast cancer too (or even more often)?

mamadevlin said...

I just had mine done last Thursday. The new machines are so much better with the use of digital imaging! My boobs weren't squished as much as they had been in the past and it was relatively painless!! (and let me tell you there is quite of bit of me that gets squished)

Anonymous said...

my breasts are almost non existent but they still find something to 'squish'.
i never feel it is too painful. just 'embracing' the squish and relaxing and it goes so quick.

Needled Mom said...

I have mine every April. They aren't THAT bad.

otterdaughter said...

I fought to start getting mine early (mid 30's) because of some family history and way too many friends getting cancer. The digital imaging makes it so nice because you don't have to come back in if a picture is a little off.
Yes, it is a bit uncomfortable, but I make sure to schedule it the week or two after my period so PMS tenderness doesn't make it worse. Plus, my mammogram ladies are so nice, they even keep a heating pad on the plates so they're nice and warm when you put 'er there!

Andrea C said...

Okay okay already...I just made an appointment for Feb 10. It is going to be a stinky deoderant free day at work. I might get an air freshener for my office.
Thanks for the reminder - you are right, it is something I have been meaning to do.

Dianne said...

I had mine in December. Had a baseline at 40 but my next one wasn't until 2009 - silly me!! I have a very low "risk factor" no family history and breast fed 2 babies so that makes certain types of BC "less" likely. If you are wondering whether to go or not or worried about the "pain" or someone touching your breasts you should know that there is very little discomfort, the techs are very professional and your family will thank you for doing it especially if it saves your life.

Denise said...

Last year's mammogram was clear. This year's mammogram was NOT clear. DON'T SKIP A YEAR! I am in treatment now and fully expect to be a cancer survivor.

trish said...

Done. Calling tomorrow for my boob sandwich. I suppose I ought to have a colonoscopy while I"m at and just get it all over with in one fell swoop, huh? LOL!

Tiffany said...

Great post Krista. I turned 40 last year and had my first mammogram just last month before Christmas. I was nervous, but in the end it really wasn't a horrendous experience and it didn't hurt. It was uncomfortable but not at all torturous. Go "Git-R-Done" Krista!

Michelle said...

I've had two now (I'm 42), and I was nervous the first time, but it was completely fine! Best of luck!

trudys_person said...

Thank you Krista! Don't put it off! I've been going annually, and it's uncomfortable, but better than the alternative!

Marie said...

every year -- annually ... the dentist is worse...I schedule everything on one day, physical, blood work, mammogram, dentist and eye dr.... it's an expensive day ... but it all gets done.

just gotta do it ... and regularly !!!!
go girl!!!!

Mrs Moen said...

Mammogram is not bad at all, Krista; I get them on a regular basis just like dentist check ups. I too was a bit nervous the first time simply because it does not look very comfortable, but the next time I did not worry at all.

Millie said...

I had mine a week ago Tuesday (Jan 4). I'm 56, so I've been getting the annual boob sandwich for quite a while now. Don't forget the bone density test either, although that's a piece of cake by comparison.

Once you get to 50 you get to look forward to the colonoscopy. Don't put that off either.

DangAndBlast! said...

Heh - down here (US) the doctors will tell you every year from 40 on, but the government now says no... apparently, there's a "risk" that you might get anxious and overcareful from a false positive. (Plus, it costs money.) Heh - that's a risk I'll be willing to take. (Still under 30 myself, but my mother goes in every year and I will too.) (Of course, in a friend's case, a different risk - the squishing can rupture a breast implant! But given the number of friends she's lost to breast cancer, you know...)