Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Eleanor and Betty

I have been repeating a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt to myself a lot lately:"Do one thing everyday that scares you."

Eleanor has always been a heroine of mine for many reasons, but above all because she was such a fearful person and she overcame most of her fears in the long run.

Seventeen years ago this month I had tests that showed I might have lupus.I have never had a symptom, but over time I have developed a pathological fear of tests.

As a result I have heard the doctors tell me for years to get a mammogram and I've nodded and made appointments. And cancelled them.

I spend way too much time afraid of health concerns. And I'm tired of it.

Three weeks ago I had all the blood tests the doctor wanted me to have. He hasn't called me, and he released info about them on the Kaiser site. I didn't look at them, but I'm assuming that if something was really wrong, he'd have called me. And he hasn't.

Yesterday, I went in and  had a mammogram.

I had to wait a while and was playing Jeopardy on my phone and what category came up?
"Breast Cancer Survivors". Eeep.
And the first question was about Betty Ford, who died Sunday.

She was age 93. She didn't die because of breast cancer. She survived it--and had the courage to talk about it to help save other lives.

I survived my mammogram--not fun, but not that bad. And thanks to my very understanding gynecologist, I got my results immediately.

 I know it's just luck I have to thank, but I no longer have to be guilty about not doing it sooner--I'm fine.

I still have to see my doctor and the Ob-Gyn. I'm still not fearless.

But I know I can do what I have to do. I can be a grownup.

Thank you, Eleanor. Thank you, Betty.
I'm giving money to the American Cancer Society in your names today.


De said...

They were two admirable women, as are you! Lots of the money donated to ACS goes to educating people about prevention and early detection.

I have a friend who is from Nigeria. One of her sisters died from breast cancer and one has had a mastectomy, and yet her physician has not had her go for a mammo yet (she is in her late 30s). I was shocked and told her that I felt pretty strongly that she should go, given her family history. Early detection is vital.

I'm so glad that your results were clear. The last thing you'd need is to feel as though you were at all to blame.

Magpie said...

good on you.