I Got a Mammogram

Pink ribbon on my handbag

This morning I went to the local outpatient center and got a mammogram.

About nine months ago I asked my doctor if she would sign an order that allowed me to get a mammogram (they don’t normally do this until you’re 40 years old-I’m 31). I explained to her that women in my family had died of cancer, and that although my grandmother didn’t die of breast cancer, she did find a lump in her breast that led to the discovery of other cancer in her body. Also, I had an abortion at 16, and while the National Cancer Institute does not affirm the link between breast cancer and abortion, there is enough evidence for me to want to get checked out early.

So today I did.

And friends, it was no sweat. The woman was gentle and kind, and the process didn’t hurt one bit. There was some pressure from the x-ray machine, but it was fine.

I’m so glad I went. If it turns out they find something, than praise God I went in for early detection. If they don’t find anything, than praise God for peace of mind.

I encourage all of you who are 40 and older or have had an abortion or breast cancer in your family to get a mammogram, and this is the perfect month to do it-it’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


Photo Credit: pink ribbon on my handbag

21 Coffee Talks on “I Got a Mammogram”

  1. Wow! Good for you! I'm curious–what type of cancer did your grandmother have? My mom had ovarian–twice. Praise God she survived–twice! I'll be 31 in a month. My midwife told me I should start getting screened at 35, but I'm wondering if I should push for sooner? I've already had 2 non-cancerous breast lumps–in my mid-20s. It was SCARY! I had to have one biopsied.

    • Sarah Mae says:

      Honestly, I don't know what kind of cancer it was, but apparently she didn't die from breast cancer (I should find out!).

      If I had had two lumps in my breast in my 20's, I would definitely begin yearly mammogram testing!

  2. Jaimie says:

    Thank you for sharing it didn't hurt, because that is the one thing that has been freaking me out. My mom fainted 2x during her mammogram. I am 35, but my grandmother had breast cancer in her 30's, so I need to get one soon.

  3. Melissa says:

    Good for you, Sarah Mae! I have fibrocystic breast tissue, so my doctor wants me to start getting mammograms at 30 (I'm 26 now). Having fibrocystic tissue doesn't make you more likely to get breast cancer, but it makes it easier for tumors to "hide." I had a scare four years ago, so I am definitely going to heed the warning and start getting them in a few years (if not sooner).

  4. Dawn says:

    Good for you! My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at 34. We were military, and she went to a military doctor about the lump she'd found. He told her "You're way too young to get breast cancer, but I will order a mammogram anyway." There is no such thing as too young. I was 12 at the time, and I remember after her surgery and follow up, her oncologist told her to make sure I started mammograms at 25. I think I had my baseline done when I was 27, and that was with a doctor's order and letter to the insurance company and they STILL DIDN'T COVER IT. I have been doing yearlies for the past 10 years (I just turned 40) and was on 2 month recall mammos for a year to start out with because I have calicifications everywhere in the tissue. As long as they don't change I'm okay. (For me it isn't if but when will I get cancer.) My mom passed away at 45 of cancer that we weren't sure was related or not. Either way, it's nothing to mess with!

  5. Rosey says:

    Good for you Sarah. I am a PINK WARRIOR who counts off each month as another month from my diagnosis of breast cancer. Mine was detected by mammogram. I had a kind of cancer that was not easily detected on mammogram, because it spreads instead of lumps. I had noticed the spring before it was detected that the affected breast seemed fuller and hanging a little lower. But there was no lump, so no worry right? My oncologist recommends that women with a strong breast cancer risk have both a breast mammogram AND a breast MRI. However, schedule them 6 months apart…such as one in Jan and one in July. Then a professional is looking at your breast tissue every 6 months, but your insurance company won't scream because each test is once in a year. I wish I had been given that advice BEFORE mine was detected and advanced to the lymph nodes. Another piece of advice as well…my father was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 53. His oncologist suggested that his children start cancer screening 10 years before a parent was diagnosed. Regardless of the kind of cancer, start screening at least 10 years before it showed up in your family. Otherwise, follow the standard of care suggested by your doctor.

  6. I am on my doctor's list for early detection. I have to start getting mammograms at 25… that's next week. (I don't know which I'm more upset about, turning 25 or getting a mammogram… :/) However, to a way off topic, question. How would I set up my comments to have a "reply" button. I love the way you have this set up. Is there a link, a website, a gadget? Please let me know. Hannahjoy.norris@gmail.com Thank you!

    Oh and P.S… I love that you go by Sarah Mae! And I love how Mae is spelled. :DDDD

  7. Crystal says:

    Good for you! I had a mammogram earlier in the year as well (I'm 29). I have a history of cancer in my family but not breast cancer. My reasons were from chest pain that I was having and also some fibrocystic places that my dr noticed. I also had several tests relating to the heart to be sure. Come to find out I have slight Mitral Valve Prolapse and caffeine effects it. I seem to have more chest discomfort when I drink it! Caffeine effects people with fibrocystic disease as well. I also have anxiety problems, which doesn't help either! So, caffeine and I don't mix! All in all, nothing serious, but I'm glad I did it! I say, be proactive. :)

  8. Lisa says:

    Thankful to hear you went for your mammogram, Sarah, and for encouraging others to do so as well.
    Next month will be one year since my diagnosis – found by a mammogram.

    Please remember – about 90% of women will get a 'call back' at some point in their lives. Yes, it is stressful, but try not to panic. The majority of those follow up mammograms show that you do not have cancer but some other issue such as those mentioned above.

    Early detection is key (and saved both my life and my sister's) PLEASE do not be scared of the mammogram procedure. You may be uncomfortable for a minute but you are strong women – I know you can handle it! :-)

  9. Laryssa says:

    Sarah, way to go being proactive! Another great option instead of or in tandem with mammograms is thermography. Great history of early detection without the added risks of using x-rays on compressed breast tissue. Check it out! http://breastthermography.com/

  10. Pat says:

    Good for you. One of my best friends had breast cancer at 28 years old with no one in her family with a history of breast cancer. I just got mine last week. Both my grandmothers died of breast cancer, so I'm super cautious.

  11. Angie Tolpin says:

    What a good thing to do… My great grandmother had breast cancer, not a fun road to go do, she was in her 70's when they found it… but after surgery she was blessed with another 23 years of life! I'm with you the earlier the better for detection.

  12. Beth WIlliams says:

    Congratulations on getting your mammogram! I pray they don't find anything, but early detection is the best chance of betting any type of cancer.

    Since your family has a history of cancer & because it is a great organizaiton..you may want to get involved in the local Relay For Life (American Cancer Society). The local community has teams and they do various events throughout the year. Then one day in June they have an all-night event where teams set up campsites, sell food, and some of the team stay there all night walking the track and being/celebrating with friends. They have a survivor's walk lap & luminary time. Luminary time is when people who have bought bags for loved ones, friends, etc. can light the candles & everyone is quiet for a time to reflect & remember.

    It is a touching way to help fight cancer. All the monies raised goes to American Cancer Society to help fight ALL forms of Cancer! I've been involved for the last 4 or so years with my church.

  13. Rhonda says:

    It is encouraging that so many young ladies are being proactive about their health! Please continue, in your quest for good health, to research and be informed. There is an alternative to mammograms that is safer and more accurate at detecting cancer, and that is breast thermograms. No, insurance will not cover the fees at this time, but hopefully in the future it will. Here are two links to provide you with alternative information. My best to all of you!
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archiv… — About halfway down this page is a download for a report on breast thermograms.

  14. Heathahlee says:

    You'd think with a mother who died from breast cancer I'd have a mammogram every month. Well, I'm two years overdue (and I'm 41, to boot). Momma would tan my hide. Thanks for the reminder. Love you!

  15. Hey gorgeous!
    Good for you.
    BTW, my last WW post was on Think Pink and you should have a look at the pics on there if you have a moment inbetween your Relevant craziness … I get to hug you in just over a week … you are going to be squished left right and center by 249 women – nervous?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this! I am going to talk to my Doctor this week about it. I am 30 and think I should push instead of waiting another decade to find out I should have started something earlier. I too have had an abortion and used the birth control pill for my younger years. It is very sad to think of yet another way the abortion could effect me in a negative light. Thanks for the head's up. (I visit here regularly but am posting anonymously for my privacy, but I do not mind if you contact me directly via my email, or reply to this comment).

  17. Good job getting it done my friend!! I had mine done earlier this year and all was fine – really no big deal to have done! I won't be scared of doing it again!

    Also – prayers for you with all the last-minute Relevant things I'm sure you have to do! I hope all goes smoothly and that you don't overdo it! Pretend that I'm there with you – helping out and giving out lots of HUGS! :)

  18. Missy says:

    Thanks for sharing! I'm 40 and have my first mammogram and also a colon cancer screening coming up. We have some family history of breast cancer and my dad is almost 3 years cancer free now from his colon cancer. He went in at age 52 and it was already at stage 3, I'm so grateful to God that he made it thru and is still here. His doctor did advise that the kind he had can be passed down, so I needed to start screening yearly at age 40 (like turning 40 wasn't fun enough LOL). Glad to know the mammy isn't so bad…mom has a horror story with her last one. It was a stormy day and right as they had one breast ready to take the shot the power went out..she wound up stuck in the machine, a bit uncomfortably to say the least, for about 30 minutes when power came back on….just made me pray there isn't a cloud in the sky when I go ;-)

  19. Sabrina says:

    Thanks for sharing this with us all! I recently came across an article from Dr. Mercola's website regarding Thermography. It seems to be an alternative to mammograms that is less painful and more accurate. I've never had a mammogram done but if it is less painful I'm all for it! Blessings.

  20. Debbie says:

    The abortion dis-connection was enough to make me nervous for some time, too. With no history in my family, and pregnancies later in life, I didn't get mine until I was 40. And I was surprised at how easy, simple, and not-so-uncomfortable it was! This is a great reminder that although we may be Heaven bound, we need to take care of this husk we live in. =) I'm due for my 2nd mammo, but since I'm still breastfeeding, it'll have to wait!!! =)

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    I'm Sarah Mae. I'm figuring out how to fit perfect into fallen skin. Stick around for the stretching...your soul is welcome here.

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