Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A lift and a tug ...

I have a lot of thoughts and emotions running through my head and heart right now. Today I went to get a mammogram. As I anticipated my visit, I had planned on an extremely funny summary of my afternoon experience. However, it just doesn't feel funny right now. I sat in the very office, in the very room, where Kristi and I were told that she had Breast Cancer. It's not the first time I've been back. I've had several occasions for this very same visit. But today seemed to haunt me a bit more than usual. I've tried to shake it off, but the feelings remain. As I've mulled it all over and tried to make sense of what I'm feeling, I have determined that the month of April probably wasn't the best time for me to make this appointment.

I'll admit that every time (all six times) the tech said "OK I'm going to lift and tug" ... I chuckled to myself. Sad that she had to lift and wrong that she's allowed to tug! I was also aware of what a blessing these fancy cameras truly are. Without them and their technology that create a combination of lifesaving proportions, we would certainly be losing staggering amounts beyond today's numbers. We are blessed. We are really incredibly blessed!

So if I know this and I have this knowledge and I am well aware that Kristi is in a FAR better place than the last time I saw her, then why do I let the anniversary of her death sneak up on me and smack me in the rump? Because I miss her.

So I will take this opportunity to remind all of you of the responsibility that we have to take care of ourselves. Most of you who read this aren't even old enough for a mammogram. One of you, is already among the survivors of this blasted disease! But ALL of us, are at risk. It sounds harsh and it sounds ugly and I am here to tell you that it is both. I never want to watch another loved one suffer as much as Kristi did. I never want to lose somebody I care about to such unnatural circumstances. I am a firm believer that early detection is the answer. So ladies ... check yourselves! Give yourselves a little lift and a little tug. Make sure you know your bodies and make sure you communicate any changes to your doctors. Kristi was only 34 years old when she was diagnosed. It's never too early and it's never too soon. Life is good.


8 comments:

Tina said...

Awesome advice... beautiful sister... love you. Mom

Melissa said...

I think about her all of the time.The times that I met her I could feel what a wonderful person she was. I love to here my nephews and Tiff and Dan talk about her. You are such a great sister to your family members. They are very lucky to have you.

Becky said...

Thanks for the great reminder. I'll have to tell you sometime about the time I tried to get a mammogram (due to some cysts and recurring lumps in my armpits)and the nurse was SO rude to me, telling me I was too young to get a mammogram--in the waiting room in front of everyone. I was probably around 24 at the time. Ironically they had a big sign in the office saying "Breast Cancer Awareness Month" on display. I was embarassed and felt like a hypochondriac at the time, but looking back I wished I would have said something to her like "Shut up you biddy! Lift and tug!"

Mrs. Bennett said...

Breastcancer.org has a good site that talks about mammograms, how often you should get them, what questions to ask, etc. It says to start getting them at age 40, UNLESS you have a strong family history, and then to begin earlier - at age 30.

Here is the link:
www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/mammograms/

Heather said...

I am 34. I think it's young. Too young to hear that you have breast cancer. She was so brave.

Malissa said...

That is a really great post! And a friendly reminder to take care of ourselves! Cancer is such a scary thing...she passed on my dads birthday...thanks for this post.

Chris Shill said...

I'm glad that they are there to check you,but still to this day it takes all i got to get me to go and do it, I am sure it will always be a constent fear for me, but I should be thankful and grateful that i am here and I do thank my Father in Heaven every day that he has blessed me to be with my family these last four years and hopefully allot of more years ahead... good post Karen thanks

onehm said...

Thank you for sharing these thoughts. You are an inspiration.