October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and for many of us (including the host of the Weekend Watercooler), it’s time for the annual mammogram. I always enjoyed that post-mammogram T-Shirt with two oranges on it that says “fresh squeezed.” My particular story about this topic is that when I was in my early 30s and just a few years away from having my second child, one of my breasts started leaking a funny looking fluid. Not like breast milk, this was more like Coca-Cola. I saw my doctor promptly, then a surgeon and he did a biopsy. Whatever was going on there, it was benign, thankfully and resolved by itself. Because I was young, I was worried. When breast cancer strikes at a young age, it’s usually more aggressive. Unfortunately, some doctors can be dismissive about patient concerns … because they are young and cancer is unlikely …but not impossible.
When Barbara Foushee had her annual squish a few years ago, she got a follow-up call that none of us wants, telling her to come back for a diagnostic mammogram. These are done with different plates. She got the word pretty promptly that this was probably breast cancer. Her doctor advised her about her options and she acted quickly to treat it. On our program, she tells her story and encourages listeners (men, too) to do self-exams and get a mammogram.
The part we echoed to each other was this — if you feel something’s wrong, go to your doctor for tests and follow up. Don’t s stop asking questions until you’re satisfied that you understand. The life you save could be your own!