Thursday, October 4, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: My First Mammogram!

I recently posted about the P&G GIVE Hope Do It For the Girls Day of Action in conjunction with the #GIVEHope Campaign, where I participated live in a celebrity hosted twitter party that was hosted by E! News Anchor, Fashion Police Co-Host, Breast Cancer Survivor and New Mom Giuliana Rancic! If you missed that post, check it out HERE! The photo above is myself and a roundtable of bloggers that were invited to participate in a special roundtable and twitter party about Breast Cancer Awareness. (Ascending Butterfly is second from the left, Center is Giuliana Rancic and far right is Allison Maxwell, a P&G employee and the youngest survivor on the panel).

Last month I had my doctor give me a referral for my first ever Mammogram. but I got super busy and never went. I had to see my primary today for a routine check up and flu shot, and he was none to happy I let my referral lapse. His office was super pro-active and got me a SAME DAY appointment to get my first ever Mammogram done at the only Hospital in Manhattan to acquire the new ImageChecker Computer Aided Detection (CAD) system for use in breast cancer screening to assist radiologists in minimizing false negative readings during mammograms.

Because of the Medical Nightmare of a year I have already been contending with, to say I was 'nervous' is probably a HUGE understatement!

But from reception to the technician everything went really smoothly. And while I'm being pitched right now by every brand under the sun who slapped 'pink' on something and want you buy it, I thought the best way to truly inspire anyone is to be open, honest and truly up front about my own experience.

Giuliana was my inspiration to follow through, she is young and she discovered a tumor during a mammogram while undergoing another round of in-vitro fertilization in an effort to get pregnant. And even though I didn't want to deal with anymore imaging this year after all the tests I have been subjected to, her story, and then meeting in her person where she shared her story and allowed us all to ask her questions, any questions, and was so open and honest, her courage pushed me to move forward and stop putting it off.

I won't have the results for a few days, but I wasn't asked to wait which I take as a good sign, and it wasn't as horrible an experience as others had led me to believe. Is it fun? No, it's a bit uncomfortable, especially if you are well-endowed like I am, think of the pressure a bit like the blood pressure cuff they place on your arm when taking your vitals, except the pressure is being applied to an area a lot more sensitve to the pressure!

My technician was very patient and really did care enough to make sure I knew what to expect and felt comfortable every step of the way.

After getting the chance to interview survivors like Giuliana Rancic, Janelle Hail, chief executive officer and founder National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., and Allison Maxwell, breast cancer survivor and P&G employee (who was actually the youngest survivor on the panel that day) they made it clear that Breast Cancer does NOT discriminate. Youth does not protect you, neither does no family history of the disease, so ladies please do your self exams monthly, make sure your primary is doing an exam even if you are, and be PRO-ACTIVE and ASK your Doctor about when you should have your first exam. While normally the first one is scheduled for women 40 and over, if there is history in your family, if you find a lump you will need to have one sooner. Your survival rate increases with early detection, so ladies, do it for 'The Girls' AND do it for YOU!

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post, no monetary compensation has been received to share information regarding my Mammogram experience.

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