Saturday, November 5, 2011

Breast awareness and the importance of a mammogram

Wow, I can't believe it's been almost a month since my last entry, time is flying by. The last time I wrote I was talking about wardrobe dilemmas I want to follow up on the last post but I have a more pressing issue at heart that I want to share with you all.

How are you all doing? Hope you are all doing well.

I attended a Breast Awareness event this morning called "Hats Off Breast Awareness.... " ( can't even remember the full name right now...oh well!!!). However, I learned so much that I can't help but make time to share some tidbits with you all tonight. I will share what I do remember.

Our educators were two passionates women who work for a local hospital. Miss Joyce that I will mention many times below did most of the training.

Here are some of the facts that stuck with me:

  • You are never too young to start checking your breasts.

  • Even though Mammograms are not required annually till you are 40 years old every women should be mindful of her breast health.

  • Miss Joyce shared a very sad story of a 32 years old mother of three who at first loss most of her mobility and could not walk without the aid of a walker. Then it got to the point where she could not walk at all and only once she got to that point was one physician able to determine that she had breast cancer but it was too late as her bones had been affected, then her brain.  =The lesson from her true and tragic story was that 1) we are never too young to get checked 2) Our youthful hormones can actually cause more growth to cancerous cells.

  • No matters a person's age the risk of breast cancer is always present so make sure to continually do it.

  • 80% of people diagnosed with breast cancer are the first in their family. So even if you do not have a family history of Breast Cancer you can still be at risk. The young lady mentioned above was the first in her family.
  • Miss Joyce mentioned that there are THREE important things that we should do:
1) Self examination
(3)....humm sorry can't remember number 3, I promise to update as soon as I remember, sorry)

  • The size of your breast doesn't matter, anyone can get breast cancer. Apparently some women with small breasts can be lead to think that having a small breast keep them safe from the risk of breast cancer.

  • Men too can get breast cancer.

  • Once you are over 40 years old it's important to get a Mammogram once a year.

  • Breast Cancer is NOT a death sentence. Many women survive it for many years and live a good life.

  • A friend, Tammy, who is a cancer survivor in her forties was diagnosed at 29 years old.  She shared her story today with much encouragement for us all, young or old to take our breast health seriously and keep a positive outlook on life in an event of a negative diagnosis.  Her daughter who is in her early twenties has learned from the experience and monitor her breast health diligently.

  • Contrary to what we tend to think it's not just a lump that tells you that something is wrong with you. It can be anything from a mole, some discharges or whatever is different with your breasts. In Tammy's case it was a discharge over her breast that she described as something powdery.

    • In the picture above, Tammy explains the importance of checking also the area that she's pointing out. Our lymph nodes. Miss Joyce standing by ( on the picture) later explained that it's not just our breasts that need to be regularly checked during our self exams but we also have to check the area above the breasts, check our sides etc...

  • You got to KNOW your breasts so that you can easily spot any abnormality. Miss Joyce  urged us to "KNOW OUR TATAS"! So ladies either you call it your" girls", your "tatas" or whatever. KNOW your breasts so that you would be able to easily spot something that doesn't look or feel right!

    • Don't be intimidated by a Mammogram just because someone you know may have made a negative comment about it being painful to them.

    Something else to think about:
    Miss Joyce our educator also taught us that in scheduling a mammogram we should be aware of our time of the month as a certain time of the month might make us more sensitive to pain resulting in a bad experience.

    • Now, the most amazing story ( to me) that Miss Joyce shared was how a patient over 60 years old finally got her first mammogram done after losing her mom, sister and daughter to breast cancer. She apparently had a fear of the mammogram just to realize that it was not the painful experience she had expected listening to others' intimidating comments. After doing her mammogram this old woman thanked Miss Joyce and told her that she saved her life.

    It's your breasts, it's your health, it's your life so be aware, get a mammogram done (or better a thermogram, I will explain later)

    • Never make money an excuse not to get a a mammogram.
    For people with Medicare be informed that Medicare does cover it, as according to Miss Joyce many women don't even know that!
    If you do not have health insurance you should ask for assistance as there are grants available to allow women to get a mammogram.

    • A good tip Miss Joyce shared with us is to pick a date that's easy to remember to get a mammogram done each year. In her case her birthday is the date she get hers done each year.

    • Set a good example for those around you. As you monitor your breast's health and get your mammogram done regularly your children and significant others would learn to value and appreciate the importance of it. You can save your life and others!

    • There might be unfortunate cases where some people close to you might not care to do what's right but you can still be an inspiration to others. Like a woman in her 60s who attended today.
    She has two daughters who neglect the importance of it but as for her she plans on doing it the rest of the life "till she can't do it no more" (in her own words).  She certainly was an inspiration to me as she diligently get her mammogram done each year, and exercise daily to maximize her chance of a good life.

    •  Continue to eat healthy, exercise daily and keep a positive attitude because even if something unpleasant happens you, like Miss Joyce said today you would be doing the "hard part and half the battle".
    Well, that's the best I can do for now as far as offering a summary of what I learned today.

    I have known Tammy the cancer survivor I mentioned above for over 3 years and she can certainly credit her positive attitude to her survival story. She is also a big believer in consuming organic products which she has often credited some of her success to.

    At the end of the day, our lives might be in God's hands but He says in His Word "my people perish by lack of knowledge".  I wish more people had attended this event today! I learned a lot of new things.

    You know, many people justify their negligence or bad habits to the fact that we will all die someday. The issue is not that we will all die someday. The issue is the quality of our lives while we are living! Being aware and educated about things can and do improve the quality of our lives. The choices we make daily can and do improve the quality of our life.

    The event I attended today was called "Hats Off" because our educators Miss Joyce and Miss Aline illustrated by having us wear some funny hats, the many excuses that women come up with to avoid getting a mammogram.

    I promise to share more later, for tonight I just wanted to share what left and impression on me while the details are still fresh in my mind!

    Below is a picture of me in a hat that illustrates some of the excuses we make not to get a mammogram! I tell you what, that did not represent my personality at all...more about it later!


     I do totally agree with the importance of self examination and even the annual check. I am only questioning if mammograms are safe and if there's a better Natural alternative to mammograms. But before you use this question as an excuse to add to the list of reasons not to get one, let me add this, there's something called thermography that's a natural alternative to mammograms. Research it but whatever you do, mind your BREASTS ' health please!
     Do you get a mammogram done every year? Why is it important to you? Are you or anyone you know a a breast cancer survivor with a word of wisdom for us all? Have you ever heard about thermography?

    Time to get off here, talk to you all very soon and have a blessed week!
    Here's a small gift....
    flowers from a rose bush from my mom's garden, if I could add a small note to it I would say this " May the Lord bless you and keep you"