Thursday, June 17, 2010

365 Photo Project - Day 168

Taken: June 17, 2010, 1 p.m.
Location: Healdsburg, Ca.

Had my annual mammogram today. It wasn't much fun but they have a new digital imaging machine at the local hospital (donated by a fabulous group called Girlfriends for the Cure) and it's a lot less painful than the ones that squeeze your breasts like a orange juicer. This is an iPhone shot of the new machine. If you live in my town and you don't have health insurance, by the way, the Girlfriends for the Cure have funded a free day every month so you can get a mammogram.

Every time I go through this, I think of my Mom who at 76 is a two-time breast cancer survivor. She battled breast cancer when almost all the doctors were male and where things like reconstructive surgery were considered extras and even when they were done, weren't done with the patient in mind. My mom had two mastectomies and they tore her up pretty much. Hell, she's alive and we are thankful for that, but the advancement in medicine and in empathy and understanding of the breast cancer patient is light years better than it used to be.

Of course, the most important thing is catching it early. So do your self-examination and get that annual checkup. If you're at an age or in a group that needs to be screened, please take the time for a yearly  mammogram. You can see the guidelines and information here. Breast cancer sucks but dying of breast cancer sucks more. I know you women out there hear this a lot, but it's important. You can't afford to be complacent when it comes to shit like this. Do it. I did and  I was in and out in 15 minutes. It really was no big deal.

That's my public service announcement for the day. Be healthy y'all.

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