As they continued walking and chatting I thought to myself: What's worse than being afraid of what the results may be? Finding out you do actually have a problem! A problem which may have been easily treated if caught early, now, has more difficult decisions to be made on how to tackle because it's been postponed.
Because of family history and personal history I've had annual mammograms since I was around 25. The lesson that can be learned through my diagnosis of breast cancer? Time. A lesson of time. My mammogram at 37 was clear, clean of any issues. Just a little over one year later when I was 38 I had an almost four inch tumor in my right breast. The cancer was found with what was to be my last mammogram ever, in my life.
What if I'd told myself after the mammogram when I was 37, "I can wait a couple years for my next. I'm only 37. This one was ok. No need for one at 38. I'm young." What would my cancer been like if I'd have waited? Obviously it was fast growing as only a year separated my tests. Treatment for a tumor like mine was bad enough. Hmmmm....I'm afraid of what the results would have been if I'd went without a mammogram, putting it off for another year.
So the next time you hear someone say, or think yourself, I'm afraid of having an essential yearly checkup, "I'm not having it. I'm afraid of what the results may be." Say to the person, or tell yourself, that putting the test off may have terrible consequences. Much worse than the irrational fear of what something might be.
2011. My last treatment of Herceptin after a year
of chemo and radiation. It's over.....