Monday, February 8, 2010

Rites of Passage: My First Mammogram

Apparently I've reached a new milestone in my life - the age of the baseline mammogram.

I have to admit I hadn't put much thought into the need for a mammogram, that's for "older" women. Imagine my shock and surprise when my doctor recommended one for me during an appointment this summer.

After 6 months of putting off making the call for an appointment, I started thinking about why I was stalling. I had stacks of stories about why this was going to be a horrid and scary and bad thing.  Using my mommy skills, I asked myself what I needed to shift my stories.

Easy answer - a buddy.  So I wouldn't have to face my growing age, probably physical discomfort and eventual mortality alone. Enter my lovely friend Thea.  A few years ahead of me on the journey, she is always a kind and wise mentor.    She enthusiastically agreed to join me, and I quickly set up an appointment at the women's imaging center.

The day of my appointment, she came and picked me up at my house.  We chatted and caught up all the way to the hospital.  She gave me a sense of what to expect in the mammogram and shared some pointers on how to make things go quickly and easily.  She peppered me with questions in the waiting room while I filled out paperwork. The nice people at the office let her come to the inner waiting room with me, where we whispered away like school girls.

The mammogram itself was quick and not terribly uncomfortable (this coming from a woman who is used to having 60 pound children dig their elbows into my breast as leverage for standing up).  The doctor reviewed my images and proclaimed my breasts healthy.  After a short hour, we were free to go.

From the hospital, we drove straight to Queen Mary's Tea House and marked my coming of age with high tea.  My time with my friend was precious, I felt celebrated and the staff presented me with a tiara!  "The only time you can really get away with wearing a tiara is your first prom and your first mammogram."

Here's what I learned and my advice to us all.  Life is always moving forward and changing.  We can met that change with fear and resistance and make ourselves miserable.  Or we can ask a friend for help and joyfully celebrate the moments of life together. So, grab a friend, connect and find comfort in life!

1 comment:

Bright Heart Blog said...

Hi Sara.

I'm just popping in to say, congrats on getting through your first mammogram, and... I can't believe I didn't know about this tea room. I am so going there. I'm a tea aficionado, for sure.

--Melissa