Well it’s a little late but it’s official: all clear on the mammogram. I have to say once again that I really like the radiology technicians who operate the mammography equipment at Penn Medicine. My tech today was simply awesome. And it’s a nerve-wracking thing for me every year since my diagnosis.
I am one of the lucky ones and I know it. That comes with mixed emotions. I’m happy but sometimes I’m sad because of the people I know who have left this earth whom I knew who had breast cancer.
It kind of takes its toll on you emotionally. So yes, I do have to work at being positive sometimes. Eleven years have gone by and I am the same person, yet a different person. Breast cancer does age you in a way. I know so many women who try to run from that aspect of the disease. It’s not the be all and end all, but it just is part of this. Aging also happens one way or another.
I have actually created a photo collage of me then and me now. I don’t post many photos of myself but sometimes I do. After all, I had that crazy woman last October posting photos of me in my hospital gown right at the beginning of this journey asking who knew me like it was a wanted poster.
I am also 11 years older than when I started this whole process. Sometimes that’s a little hard to take when I look in the mirror, but I’m not somebody that wanted replacement breasts because the whole idea of that THEN and today of expanders and implants just didn’t sit well with me. Especially when I learned how they have to shove the implants to the side to get a mammogram.
So, I have a shrunken lopsided breast and a regular old 58 year old breast. I don’t necessarily find that or me attractive most of the time and it makes me self-conscious. BUT…I am alive, so I will take it. I included in this post two radiology images from today: what is left of my left breast, and the right breast.
My tech and I chatted about all of the excuses women give to NOT get mammograms. Please don’t make excuses. You’re a long time dead.
I am one of the lucky ones, and I am grateful.
Carry on and get your mammograms.