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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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October 21, 2010

If I Can Do It, You Can Too - Mammograms & Breast Cancer Awareness

Honestly, I am not 100% comfortable about this post.....or even 50% comfortable.  You've probably noticed in most of my blog posts that I'm not 'featured' in many of the photos I've posted.  That's because I don't particularly like viewing photos of myself.  So why am I posting a photo of myself without a shirt on you may wonder. {needless to say I'm feeling a little vulnerable here}

Here's the reason:

Thirty five years ago, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She is a survivor and is just fine today.  I'm not sure if mammograms were even happening back then as frequently as they are recommended today but she detected her own lump in her breast.  After determining the lump was cancerous, she was immediately scheduled for a mastectomy.  They removed one of her breasts and scooped out as much tissue as they could to rid the cancer from her body.  They also removed her lymph nodes from that side as well.  Her post surgery treatment included months of radiation.

So at the age of 35, because of my family history, I began scheduling my annual mammograms {minus the years of pregnancy and breast feeding}.  If I can do it {because I'm a big chicken}, you can too.  Monthly self exams should begin as early as in your 20's. 

Right before I left for my scheduled appointment, Paige {she's 4}asked where I was going and I told her:
"To a doctor's appointment for a check-up.  They're going to take an x-ray, which is like taking a picture of the inside of my body."  She was satisfied with this and ran off to play.

Thirty seconds later, Bryce {5} comes running in ALL upset because Paige told him:
"Mommy is going to the doctor and he's going to peel off her skin so he can take a picture of the inside of her body!"  Of course I reassured Bryce and Paige that my skin would not be peeled and that I would have the 'doctor' take pictures so they could see when I got home. 

I have had many friends that have been diagnosed with breast cancer, without it even being in their family history and at young ages.  So if you were on the fence about scheduling a mammogram or were thinking of putting it off for just one more year, I hope this post will help inspire you to just do it. 

And if you're a guy reading this blog post and have a lady in your life, maybe you can help remind her to do those monthly self exams - hey maybe you can even help her with them!

For more information and / or help about breast cancer, you can visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Happy Thursday!
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Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

good for you N for posting this!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful job, Nancy. I go yearly and always think of those who have suffered through this terrible disease. One small step in taking care of ourselves!

Anonymous said...

Great post! Very important. My mother's breast cancer was detected by a mammogram in it's early stages. She has been cancer free for a year! Just because we are dairywomen we have to take care of our "udders" too! :)

Nancy Grossi ~ Churned In Cali ~ The Wife of a Dairyman said...

Dairy Goddess, So glad to hear your mom is doing well and is cancer free......and yes, our 'udders' are important too! LOL ;)

Anonymous said...

Thank you so very much for doing a post on the need for self responsibility for our health. Breast cancer can be treated very well when we identify it early. I had a patient once who unbelieveably had hidden it from her husband in very advanced stages because of her fear. Needless to say, it was an immediate hospice referral with great saddness for us as caregivers.

And, something you might not know, men can get breast cancer too. When I worked in Hematology, there were about 300 men each year who died of breast cancer. I don't know the current statistics on either its rate or the number of deaths. I'll let you know if I find them.

Heart disease is even more deadly to American women, so perhaps a post it it would be good too, especially because too many people think they have to give up dairy to reduce the risk and that is absolutely false. Adequate calcium is essential for muscle function and dairy products are the best form of calcium for our nutritional needs.

Again, thanks so MUCH!

The Farmer's Trophy Wife said...

GREAT POST!! Thanks for "putting yourself out there" Nancy, for all of us!