Monday, October 12, 2020

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I get to nag a bit about something I see as so very important. Mammograms. Here again is my story, a small part of it, and a reminder:

I didn't feel a lump or anything unusual when I had my mammogram back in 1999. But something was wrong and the mammogram picked it up. 

The cancer was stage 1 or 2, I don't remember. Because it was caught so early, I didn't need chemo which was a huge relief. But a lumpectomy, 14 lymph nodes removed, and then seven weeks of radiation therapy was not easy, nor were the five years on the drug Tamoxifen that followed.

None of this was easy, but it wasn't all that difficult either. 

I was treated at the UCLA Medical Center and I decided to attend a support group for cancer patients, offered by the hospital. It was led by a remarkable woman, a three-time survivor of a very deadly cancer. As I sat at the table and looked at the other women in the group, I knew I was the healthiest, I knew many of them would not survive for long. Knowing this was not easy, but it gave me a new perspective on life and death. A lesson, not sought out, but still a lesson well worth learning.

Life is precious. I am thankful for each day. I remind myself of this every morning in a prayer of gratitude.

I was 59 years old at the time.

In the end, my cancer episode was no more than a pebble on the road of my life. 

Who knows what would have happened had I decided to skip my mammogram just that one time, wait until the following year, wait maybe six months, since I was so busy. 

This year, mine was due in March, at a time when little was known about the pandemic. It was with great trepidation I set out for our local hospital. Once there, I found everything perfectly set up to keep me and other patients safe. 

So I got it done. 

This year, I worry that women may not go because of covid-19. I know I was worried even though I live in a small town with a brand new Adventist Health hospital. I decided to make my appointment first thing in the morning. It worked out well and everything was very safe. 

All that to say, I hope every woman who needs to get this done will find a way, even in the midst of this covid crisis.


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  2. I did not know that you are a cancer survivor or any of the story. None of it is in my memory bank. I am so glad you shared it and I hope that somebody sees it that needs to know this

  3. Dear Inger, your message is welcome and necessary. My reminder letter came this month and I have put it off making an appointment till the timing is better. However, as you said putting off is not really an option if I care about my health.

  4. Your message was very timely and in these days of Covid, it is important that women don't put it off due to the fear of the pandemic. Thank you.

  5. I'm glad everything worked out well for you. It's just goes to show you just how very important mammograms are! Mine is due next month and I never miss my appointments!

  6. great message Inger, and love the beauatiful photos.

  7. How lives would change forever if we did not make that decision. Mine is in listening to my body and heart, and being so thankful for cardiac surgeons. you tell it how it is, and we ladies all need to take care of ourselves even more so these worrying times. Do not delay.

  8. Your story is amazing, and so insightful. I am so glad your latest mammogram was nagative. I postponed mine because of Covid, it was due in July. But now I m thinking of doing it earlier. Your photos are beautiful!

  9. This is a good reminder and I appreciate that you shared your own story. We've all postponed so many things this's true. Thanks to for your lovely comment today. What a sweet friend you are! Hugs, Diane

  10. I confess that I am very lazy about my mammograms, maybe because of bad experiences I've had with them. I promise I will do better now that you have given me a gentle shove in the right direction.


  11. Hi Inger - a necessary tale to remind us. I bless my genes as I seem to be healthy - as too my mother ... but I keep an eye on my body in case ... and yes I do hope everyone will ensure they get all the check-ups they needs. I had my flu jabs at the weekend - normal flu and one for pneumonia (that apparently will last me my lifetime) ... again I'm blessed as I've never had pneumonia. Take care and stay safe ... with hugs - Hilary

  12. my Gram was 7th Day Adventist.
    and you're so lucky to have one of their hospitals in your area!
    they're known for their own good health and care and are in many studies on longevity!
    I'm not an Adventist but I admire and follow much of their teachings.
    and of course wonderful memories of my own little Gram. xoxo

    1. I know this and I love it. My primary care doctor just retired and his replacement will be from the Adventist community. I'm very excited about it.


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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