Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mammograms For Mommies

I'm heaving a sigh of relief today.

Had my yearly mammogram.


I've had several of these since becoming a Late Blooming Mom, and even a few before that. Now it's become a yearly ritual moms in my age bracket have to endure. It's nerve-wracking each time.

Today went great. So did last year. But about nine months after my kids were born, I had a "suspicious" mammogram, and soon after, underwent surgery to remove the "suspicious" "chunklet" -- that's what my surgeon called it -- of me.

Days went by before the results came in.

The results were just fine.

Waiting for them sucked.

Nobody wants the threat of cancer hanging over their head. Worse, though, is having to actually deal with it -- like family members of mine, and friends and colleagues and colleagues' wives, have done.

The good news about doing yearly mammogram screenings, according to the radiologist who reads my films (actually digital pictures these days), is that when they do catch stuff, they can catch it early. Early screening means early treatment, and that means a lot of women, will survive and thrive.

For late blooming moms, who've already lived long enough to realize the preciousness of our numbered days, early screening can mean being around to enjoy seeing those kids grow up and maybe even have families of their own.

It's the fear of not being around that grips us when we go in for those yearly screenings, the fear we try hard to push to the back of our minds, or to forget about, conveniently cultivating our amnesia about it.

So just at this moment I'm pausing to be grateful for passing my mammogram, and to wish that all my fellow late blooming moms get the same happy verdict this year, and for all their mammogram years to come.

I send good thoughts to all those who are dealing with the consequences of breast cancer, wishing successful treatment and strength while undergoing it. I'm picturing you in the warm embrace of those children who came into your life later than most, and whose love you so richly deserve.

To imagine life without breast cancer -- and how you can help make that happen, visit Susan G. Komen For the Cure.

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