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Your Boobies and the Flight Attendant

Ladies, take a moment to read this, make an appt for your mammo, and then share it with all your friends! You men too! Share it with all the women you love and need so much!

I want to talk about BREAST CANCER.

I’m not going to blog a bunch of cancer statistics and information on research and treatment. Nope. You should know the important stuff and if you don’t, Google it.

What I will do is share my opinion.

And my opinion about breast cancer is this: LISTEN TO YOUR FLIGHT ATTENDANT!

Let me explain.

The key to surviving breast cancer is early detection and treatment. So we women have to do two things: Do breast self-examinations every month, and get a mammogram every year. Pretty simple, right?

Last year, I casually blew-off my mammogram; I just didn’t worry about it. I’m sure I was busy doing something important.

This year is different. I am motivated by the incredibly strong women in my life who have lost so much: her mom . . . her breasts . . . precious time.

Yesterday, I stopped being stupid and scheduled an appointment.

Today, I drive 15 minutes to the clinic and learn that I have not had a mammogram since 2006. Sheesh.

I lost two of my siblings that year, so I guess I’ve been in a time warp or something. Here I thought I missed one exam, when I have actually missed five. Things happened. I got busy. I got lost. I guess I got diverted.

My mammogram takes all of 15 minutes, involves a little discomfort, and 20 minutes later I am home again.

It is that easy.

So now, I want to know: Have you had your mammogram this year? Why
not?
It’s already October! What are you waiting for?

I know what you’re thinking, “I’ve been meaning to, I’m just so busy.”

And I get that. I know that you are crazy busy all the time. You have a job. You take care of the house. And the kids. And the spouse. Even the dog counts on you. You take care of everything. Every single day. You think you’ll get around to taking care of you, but then . . . you don’t.

Now, think about the last time you were on an airplane. Do you remember when the flight attendant reviewed the emergency and safety procedures? What did she say about your oxygen mask?

She said, “In an emergency, you are to place your oxygen mask on yourself first, and then place one on your child.”

In short, you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. It’s that simple.

So just do it. Right now. Make your appointment. Don’t let another day turn into another month. It is too important. You are too important.

This life of ours is a wonderful journey. And we love you and want you here for the entire beautiful flight. So ladies, please, stop with your excuses and put on your damn mask.

Thank you.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Clare Pfeiffer Ramsey October 17, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Thank you for the reminder, Julia!
Dick Jaeger October 17, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Thank you for an excellent reminder. May I just add that men can get breast cancer too, though rare (0.01% of the general population but 4% of descendants of Eastern European Jews). As one of those who had breast cancer and a mastectomy I urge men to listen to their bodies and if something doesn't seem right or feel right see your doctor. Now after fifteen years I get a mammorgram annually and am fine - all because something was bothering me and I asked my doctor about it.
Frustrated Old Man October 17, 2012 at 04:27 PM
Has anyone given thought to the damage from possible cancer causing radiation from all those mammograms? Don't believe me? Just Google all the new concerns over X-Rays, MRI, and CT scans.
Mark October 17, 2012 at 04:52 PM
This comes directly from the National Cancer Institute. "Radiation exposure. Mammograms require very small doses of radiation. The risk of harm from this radiation exposure is extremely low, but repeated x-rays have the potential to cause cancer. The benefits of mammography, however, nearly always outweigh the potential harm from the radiation exposure. Nevertheless, women should talk with their health care providers about the need for each x-ray. In addition, they should always let their health care provider and the x-ray technician know if there is any possibility that they are pregnant, because radiation can harm a growing fetus."
Julia Kovach October 17, 2012 at 05:01 PM
You are so welcome, Clare! Thanks for reading and I hope you've made your appointment! Take good care! xo Julia
Julia Kovach October 17, 2012 at 05:04 PM
You are absolutely correct, Dick! Please forgive my neglecting you men in all of this! I am happy that you listened to your body, sought help, and overcame this serious disease! Thank you so much for reading and for sharing your very personal experience with the rest of us. We women love you men and want you well! Take good care! xoJulia
Mark October 17, 2012 at 05:04 PM
I have to say Old Man you should really be commended for your attempt to discredit and scare people from having recommended tried and true life saving diagnostic testing done. You're a real hero.
Julia Kovach October 17, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Dear Frustrated, as I'm uneducated on the effects of such a small amount of radiation involved in a mammogram, I cannot address that issue. But I am painfully aware of the result of NOT getting a mammogram and that cannot be disputed. Thank you for your perspective and take good care, my friend. xoJulia
Julia Kovach October 17, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Thank you so much for your information, Mark. I agree that we need to discuss any concerns with our health care providers. And, hopefully, the technician will question the possibility of pregnancy, but ALWAYS we need to speak up about the possibility. Your input is greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading and sharing with the rest of us. Take good care. xoJulia
Julia Kovach October 17, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Mark, did I say that I agree with you about everything? lol Yes, sir, I sure do. Take good care, my educated and informed friend. xoxoJulia
Frustrated Old Man October 17, 2012 at 05:22 PM
I agree that the tests have saved lives. But I question if they are necessary as often as currently recommended. Maybe if you are a high risk for cancer, or are finding lumps, or blood test that indicate a possible problem. My concern comes from what I'm hearing down in Florida. The health care industry is milking (no pun intended) the cash cow! If someone sprains their finger playing tennis, they rush them to the hospital for a scan. My sister has been living in Florida for about twelve years. During that time she has had at least 15 scans or MRI's. If her shoulder hurts, they have to do a scan, it's ridiculous! She's not the only one. Her friends, and neighbors go though the same thing. Surprise, surprise, she ended up with adrenal cancer about two years ago. We've never had a history of cancer in our families.
Julia Kovach October 17, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Dear Frustrated, unnecessary medical tests are a real thing. I think we all need to be proactive patients; that's our responsibility as adults. If your sister visits the dr complaining about her shoulder, well, of course, they will run tests....and they will cover their medical behinds to make sure nothing is missed. BREAST CANCER is not something to be toyed with or compared to. History and medicine have proven the necessity of a yearly mammogram. You have a valid point as far as milking the cash cow goes....I honestly believe that if this was a man's disease, there would already be a cure. Enough said. Take good care of yourself and thanks for your opinion. xoJulia
Mark October 17, 2012 at 05:59 PM
I will echo Julia here that yes there is a real problem with overkill on diagnostic tests but I wouldn't say mammograms fall into that category. We are talking about preventive health here not presenting with an illness or trauma and receiving a rash of testing. These are very different things and again Julia is correct that you should take a responsibility in your healthcare. Often times physicians have to do all of these tests to cover themselves from being sued because we are so litigious in this country.
Julia Kovach October 17, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Absolutely, Mark. Thank you.
John David October 17, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Julia and Mark, I agree with oth of you. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was in her late seventies and had a mastectomy and the usual other treatments. She lived in the years when x-rays were more powerful and in her mid-eighties had multiple radiation treatments to slow the growth of a non-malignant meningioma in her brain. When she died at eightynine, it certainly wasn't because of mammograms or radiation. Without the mammograms her life would have been shortened for sure due to cancer and she and my family would have missed out on wonderful times. Thank you for posting this.
Julia Kovach October 17, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Oh, John, thank you so much for reading. And for sharing your story with us. I'm so sorry for the loss of your mother. But I am so happy that she overcame so very much and that you and your family were allowed that precious precious additional time with her. She sounds like she was an incredibly strong and amazing woman. And thank you also, for sharing your insight with us. Blessings to you and those you love. xoxoJulia
Linda Delcamp October 18, 2012 at 01:12 AM
I am a firm believer that the tests do save lives!! I am proof of this. I was meaning to have a mammogram after I breast fed my kids, but kept putting it off for some reason or other. I finally had a mammogram in January of 2006 and they found a very small but signifigant shadow on my right breast. After another test was done they discovered a lump in my breast. It was small (only 1cm) but enough that I had to have a lumpectomy, chemo and radiation. I have now been cancer free for 6 years!! I have a mammogram EVERY year around December to stay that way. By the way the lump that they found I wouldn't have been able to find it doing a self exam. It was deep near the chest wall. I still do the exams on top of the mammograms. Blessings to those for sharing their stories. xoxoLinda
Julia Kovach October 18, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Linda....Thank you so much for sharing your very important and personal story. You ARE proof, my friend. We cannot take any chances with something so vital. I just received my results yesterday and learned that my mammogram was fine. Now I can breathe again. I share this news with you first. Congratulations on being cancer free! Yay You! And thank you, once again, for your testimony....Take good care of your precious self. xoxoJulia

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