Guest Writer: Kimberly Mann
Recently, I had my first mammogram at the age of 41 ½. Yes, I delayed getting my mammogram for an entire year and a half despite my increased risk for breast cancer.
My maternal grandmother is an 18-year breast cancer survivor. One would think that would make me very motivated to have my annual screenings. I have many reasons for not going to get my mammogram. Honestly, looking back at it, they are all really lame excuses: I’m a healthy person. I exercise every single day. I work full-time. I’m a part-time Master’s student. I have three children in multiple activities. I am busy, busy, busy taking care of everyone else! There just wasn’t time to go and get a mammogram.
This summer I made time to take care of me by getting my first mammogram. What finally motivated me to go? It was a simple conversation with a group of ladies after my aerobics class. These ladies were complimenting me on being a good example to my three-year-old daughter by taking her to my exercise classes, pushing her in a stroller as I run, towing her behind my bike, and having her swim with me when I swim laps.
One of my friends was off to get her mammogram after class. She asked me where I go to get my mammogram. I had to answer, “Nowhere. I’ve never been!” My friend turned to me and said, “So much for that good example for your daughter! Go and schedule it today!” That was all it took, someone pointing out to me that I needed to be a better example to my three-year-old daughter.
I scheduled my mammogram that very day. I vow to go every single year so that I can be a good example to my daughter. I will take care of me!