My 2013 Resolution: Get a Mammogram.

This holiday season, I’ve been hanging out with family, watching movies, eating waaay too much, and working out waaay too little. I’ve also been thinking, talking, and planning. That’s what led to this post. Though I don’t usually have a New Year’s Resolution, I’ve made a promise to myself and family that I’ll share with you: I’ve decided to get a mammogram in 2013.

Getting a mammogram has been recommended to me since I turned thirty-three because of my family history. My grandmother was diagnosed in her forties with stage four breast cancer, had a mastectomy, and lived another twenty years. Over twenty years ago, my mother was diagnosed at forty with stage three breast cancer. After radiation, chemo, and a lymphadenectomy, she is a breast cancer survivor. With my mother and grandmother having breast cancer, I have an increased risk of having breast cancer.

I’ve been putting it off for the following reasons (a.k.a. excuses): 1) I had hoped a good diet and regular exercise would be enough to keep me healthy, 2) I wanted to breastfeed my kids first, 3) I wasn’t yet forty, and therefore, had plenty of time, 4) Even if I found out I had cancer, I wouldn’t want to go through radiation and chemo, so finding out would just be a waste of time, money, and positive energy, and 5) Getting my size 36J breasts smashed and examined would hurt. Matter of fact, the treatments, if necessary, would hurt. Everything would hurt, and I like to avoid pain.

I could go on, but you know what my real problem is? I’m scared. That’s the truth. I even had a mammogram scheduled one year and called to cancel my appointment a few hours beforehand. Why am I scared? I know my family history. I know cancer kills. I know the odds. They aren’t necessarily in my favor. I also know avoiding the issue won’t change any of this, so I have to meet it head-on.

For years, my mother has given me the scoop from her personal experiences, challenges and triumphs. She’s also been encouraging me to take care of myself, which includes getting a mammogram. My husband has been doing the same, so that I would be around for years to come. Can you believe he actually wants to keep me around? 🙂 Anyway–it just so happens that my whole family used this holiday to team up and express their concern. Even my younger brother got involved.

I’m thirty-eight now, and they reminded me early detection is best. Then they made me promise to get a mammogram in 2013. I promised. So that’s my New Year’s Resolution.

I have donated to several breast cancer programs annually for the past twenty years and walked in several awareness events, but 2013 will finally be the year that I take a proactive step towards making my own breast health a priority. DIGITAL CAMERAI know this isn’t the designated month for breast cancer awareness, but it’s the end of one year and the beginning of another. And while everyone is reflecting on 2012 and planning for 2013, so am I.

In 2012, I joined a gym, got a personal trainer, lost thirty pounds and lowered my blood pressure. In 2013, I’ll continue to workout…and I’ll get a mammogram. As much as I hate going to see a doc, I’m going to put my fear aside and put my big girl panties on. Now that I’ve made this public declaration, I’m more likely to stick to it. You’ll hold me accountable, won’t you?

I’ll keep you posted.

By the way, the pictures in this post were taken in April 2011 after the Sister’s Network Inc. breast cancer awareness 5K run. I was tired. Don’t hold that against me. 😀

Davida and Omarosa DIGITAL CAMERA

Happy New Year! Make YOUR health a priority in 2013.

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9 Comments

  1. I’ll keep reminding you, Dicey. Have a great New Year’s day.

  2. I think it’s very smart of you to start getting mamograms, Dicey. Definitely scary (and no doubt painful) but better than finding out too late that something is wrong.

    There aren’t any cases of breast cancer in my family, but my mother died of brain cancer when she was thirty-five. When I hit my mid-twenties I started getting bad headaches like she used to have, even before the cancer. So for nearly a decade now I go for yearly check-ups with my doctor and the nuerologist as well as getting MRIs done every 2-3 years. They say I’m at a higher risk than most people because of my mom. It’s not something I want sneaking up on me.

    So while it is worrisome to consider possible cancer, there is something very reassuring when you get a clean bill of health after a check-up. Like for a little while you can live without the stress of wondering if some ache or pain is something more.

    Hope you have a happy New Year. I wish you the best!

    • Thank you for that, Susan. “So while it is worrisome to consider possible cancer, there is something very reassuring when you get a clean bill of health after a check-up. Like for a little while you can live without the stress of wondering if some ache or pain is something more.”–All of this resonates heavily with me. You are so right. I’m sorry about your mother, but very glad you’ve been getting a good bill of health every year. Happy New Year!

      • Glad I could help put some perspective. It’s what helps me. Hope you have a Happy New Year too!

  3. Go for it Dicey. I have one every year. It’s better to know than be afraid.

  4. I am glad that you have made the decision to get a mammogram. As you know I have been getting them annually since I was in my late twenties. Yes, I have had some scares throughout the years however, they were all false alarms. Glad to get those out of the way and move on with life. I am glad that you listened to your family and Danny to make that first appointment. It will get rid of the FUD factor (fear, uncertainty and doubt). We all want you to be around for MANY years to come. Oh by the way, you did make that first appointment, Right?:)

    • Uh oh. Uh… well, I donated money and participated in a walk/run for breast cancer awareness. Does that count? No? Okay, okay. I’ll call this week…tomorrow. Last week, I picked up some info and a referral from the Sisterhood Network. I just have to actually ACT on it. I hope I can remember to make my appointment tomorrow. 😉


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