Friday, October 9, 2009

An Update: Mom, Hair and the M Word (and I don't mean "marriage")

Unless you live beneath a rock, you know that this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This month also marks a year since my dear mommy found out she has breast cancer. Wow. What a year it has been. A very long, very exhausting year…

With all of this in mind, it feels like time for another update.

She’s doing great! She’s still in treatment and will be until March of next year, but she has two major steps behind her—chemo and radiation. And her hair has started growing back. She already has a little bit o’ brow and delicate little lashes. Way to go, Schmom!

Speaking of hair, I’m still working on growing mine out. I swear, my hair hits a certain length and just stops. Is that possible? At any rate, I’m determined to meet the 8" Locks of Love requirement so I can make the big cut. Here’s where I’m at with this measure-in:

8.5 inches! Only 1.5 to 2 inches left, simply because I want a little hair around my neck.

As a friendly reminder, this is a group effort. See how Wendy
and Angie are doing with their growth.

Now, on to the scary stuff. I’m the daughter of a breast cancer patient, which means I have a one-in-three chance of following suit. No thanks! Not for me. I’m not as strong as my beautiful Schmom and I like my breasts too much. Is that okay to admit? Let’s hope so since I just did. ;)

So, here’s the plan. I’m going to get a mammogram. *gulp*

Yeah, I’m only 28, but I don’t exactly feel great about those 33% odds. I’ve heard the M hurts. I don’t look forward to having the gals exposed and squished, but I’m going to do it. *Deep breath* Yes, I’m going to do it and I hope you’ll consider doing the same. Strength in numbers, right?

Thanks, from my heart, for your ongoing support this year. My entire family deeply appreciates the love that you've so openly shown.

It feels a tad tacky to say “happy Breast Cancer Awareness Month,” so I’ll raise a glass to health in general. Please, don’t take yours for granted.


Ben and Jessie Munro said...

We should set up a mammorgram party!! :) I'm at risk as well it runs in my family my grandma had it and her mom had it. I've never had a mammogram but I've had a lump checked a few years back using an ultra sound machine. Fortunatley everything came back normal but I definately need to get the boob squisher done. I admire your courage to have it done! Age is not a defense anyone anytime can get breast cancer.

Lisa said...

I got my first mammogram this year, I'm not 40 yet, but decided to go for the baseline early. It wasn't so bad, really. Except for the part where some stranger gets a bit intimate with my boobs, not so bad at all. Let's just say, I've had worse pap smears. ;o)

I did locks of love earlier this year. Still makes me happy just to think about it. I think I'll just keep growing 10 inches, donating, and growing again. Saves on haircuts, too.

Unknown said...

Hey girl, the mammogram doesn't really hurt. It's more like uncomfortable, and it's for such a short time, you really don't have to worry about it. At least at the mobile clinic where I have had my 2 mammograms (2 years apart, part of NZ's national screening programme for all women over 40), the staff are sensitive and gentle, and I'm sure the radiographer where you have yours done will be kind and gentle too.
Go you!

Just Us said...

I am happy for you to hear that your Mom is doing so well!! I have cancer on both sides of my family and so far so good with my Mom, but she had to get checked eraly on and I assume I will as well. I have donated once to locks of love and I am growing my hair back out to do it again soon. It has taken almost 2 years to get it back to where it was when I donated the first time-they cut off 17 inches total in back...but I only donated 12 inches (because is has to be even all the way around). Good luck to you ladies-you can do it!! Maybe I will be joining your cutting cause again soon (I'm just trying to enjoy the legnth for a bit while I have it).

Nicki Lundeen said...

I have had mammograms...regularly since 40, and they really aren't that bad. It goes real quick, and before you know it you are out of there. They give a good squish, hurry get the shot, and that's it. So don't be scared, it really isn't bad, I promise.

Angie Lucas said...

Great post! Thanks a million for encouraging me to do this. I'm glad your mom is doing well!

Susan said...

I don't normally comment, but thought I would today. I'm 30 and had my first mammogram a couple of months ago. It really doesn't hurt... it's more of an uncomfortable feeling when they squish your breast to get the shot. No biggie! Fortunately everything came back fine! I'm glad that your mom is progressing with her treatments!

Celeste said...

Megan - i too am the daughter of a breast cancer victim. I had my first mammogram around the age of 28. You cana lso opt for testing. Since your mother is alive I believe she can be tested to determine whether the cancer she has is genetic. You should talk to your GYN about it. The mammogram is not as painful as you'd think! I'm so glad you are going.

Anonymous said...

I too donated my hair for the first time this year...its starting to turn gray and they sell the gray so they could still use my hair. Some body is walking around with my red hair and that makes me happy that I could help a little. Trying to let it grow again but the hairdresser has other keeping it short..her days are numbered if she keeps that up.
Good luck with the mammo...its not as bad as people say it is...just watch out for that time of the month when they are don't want to go then

Sandra Correale said...

I had my first mammogram this year - before I turned 39. I wouldn't say it hurts; it's uncomfortable more than anything. Knowing that I'm doing something good for me made my concerns go away. You'll be fine girly!