Women are more aware than ever about getting regular check ups when it comes to their health. However many women still put themselves last by saying ‘I am too busy at the moment. I will book the appointment soon.’ Having four children, working and studying, I have used that excuse many times. At the end of the day, my family does not function properly if I am not there.
A couple of weeks ago, I had my first ever mammogram (well I turned 40 years old earlier in the year and it was my gift to myself). I must admit I was a little nervous. The procedure itself takes only 10 minutes and is simple and painless. I left my appointment and went off to work, forgetting all about it.
Two days ago, while out Christmas shopping with my husband, I received a call from Breast Screen Australia. The lovely nurse on the phone told me my mammogram had been looked at by a couple of doctors and it was essential I come in as soon as possible as they had found an area in my right breast which appeared abnormal.
I stayed calm on the outside but my heart began to race and so too did my mind. I can barely recall anything the nurse said, all the instructions as my body simply went into robot mode. I remember agreeing with her, repeating the location of where I had to go and that I was required the following day early in the morning.
The next 24 hours would be the hardest 24 hours I had spent in 2013. At first I was positive and continued my day as per normal. ‘It is nothing’ I continued to tell myself. Then doubt set in and my over active mind began telling me stories, negative stories which I wasn’t ready to hear. I watched my children after school and the emotions began to flow. I hid in my room and cried. I cried for selfish reasons, for sad reasons, for a couple of girlfriends who have breast cancer, for my children and for putting a downer on my day.
Having slept very little, looking exhausted and well over my age of 40 years old, I went to the appointment to determine my fate. After another mammogram and an ultrasound and lots of waiting around, my results were given to me. I am one of the lucky women. The abnormal section in my breast is nothing for me to worry about and I can come back in two years to have another mammogram. Relieved, I sat in my car and cried once again, for all the reasons I cried for in the past 24 hours.
This news slapped me in the face, giving me a quick dose of reality. I am grateful for my results and have promised myself that I am NOT too busy to look after myself. Trust in your instincts about your body as you would when it comes to your children or partner. Take a little time out of your day to treat yourself. I only hope when the emotion of my past 24 hours passes, I will still remember that I am important and I do need to put myself before everyone occasionally.