As I sit here waiting for my mammogram, I am completely overwhelmed by all the forms I have to fill out. Don’t they see me shaking and trembling as I attempt to hold the pen? I can barely breathe, let alone sign my name.
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What if they find something?
I regret not making the appointment sooner. The date on my prescription is for three months ago.
Why did it take me so long to pick up that phone and make an appointment?
I imagine each and every scenario. Today, I hope to be one of the lucky ones.
But, what if I’m not?
As I sit here waiting for my mammogram, I think of my mom. She died at just fifty-seven years old after a long battle with lung cancer. My mom was meticulous about her doctor’s appointments: gynecologist, primary doc, dermatologist and more. All the doctors knew her on a first name basis. My mom always preached the importance of taking care of your health. She made the appointments and kept them.
Why didn’t I listen to her?
I am thankful for the health care that provides me to do this annually. I am fortunate and should take full advantage of what I have.
I think of my husband. He has been on my case,, to get this done for awhile now. Realizing how nervous I was, he even offered to take a day off and go with me. My husband can be quite annoying and pushy at times.
Oh, how I love that man.
I think of my kids. I need to continue to be there for them. Just the other day, I spoke with my eight-year-old daughter about the test I needed to get done. Like my own mom, I spoke about the importance of taking care of your health.
I hope my daughter takes the advice more seriously than her own mom, who is sitting here three months late.
I think of all the warriors that have fought the battle. One friend in particular comes to mind. She is my inspiration and is continuing to kick cancer’s butt. She continued to nag me. She constantly preaches the importance of early detection. I felt as if I was letting her down for a while. Not anymore.
She is my hero.
I think of the sonogram technician from two years ago. I told her about my anxiety as I was laying on the table.
“I am a breast cancer survivor,” she said.
I didn’t quite know what to say after that. She told me about her own battle and how hard she fought. I distinctly remember her powerful words:
“Breast cancer is not a death sentence.”
I look at all the women around me. All clad in white robes, we look like we are waiting on a mimosa and a massage. Obviously, it is a more serious than that. I don’t know these women, but I instantly feel a connection. I am proud to be part of this sisterhood.
I wonder if they are all as nervous as I am?
As I sit here waiting for my mammogram, I hope and pray that my words reach someone that needs to see them. It’s okay to be nervous. It’s okay to be scared. However, it is also okay to take care of yourself. Actually, it is more than okay-it is a necessity. As women we need to take better care of ourselves.
We are worth it.
I realize that time has gone by quicker that I thought. They just called my name. I follow.
There is no turning back now.
And, for that, I am grateful.
Kathleen Sullivan is a freelance writer and a full-time mom. Her work has appeared on: The Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Brain, Child Magazine, Mamalode, Grown and Flown, Your Tango and Parent Co. You can find her on her blog, www.