Just do it!
One of the biggest joys of entering the fabulous forties has been MAMMOGRAMS!!! Hooray. Ladies, check yourselves out, get your mammograms, get them regularly, and on time. Stay on top of it, but its no trip to Disneyland, that’s for sure. I had one recently. I was not excited about it. You can’t help but be a bit nervous but I soldiered through. A few weeks later the results came back saying that, due to “dense breast tissue” on one side, the test was inconclusive and I needed to come back. Okay, well this was not the news I wanted, but it was clear I had no choice but to follow through. I was told they’d be able to tell me my results on the spot so I took the next available appointment.
It fell on my son’s birthday which I felt ok about because I told myself God was NOT going to let my son’s birthday be the day I got any bad news. So, I put on my big girl panties and went to handle my business. I purposely went alone as my way of not giving any weight to fears that were trying to creep their way into my thoughts.
Now, a mammogram is not the most pleasant experience for any woman, but as my general practitioner informed me with his very thick accent, “Oh no, mammogram is not the best test for you because your breasts are VERY small”. I mean, he really drove it home with the “VERY” small, too.
Okay…I get it, much appreciated, Captain Obvious.
He’s not wrong though. This poor woman had to start out with some deep knee bends to get ready for the work she was going to have to put in to get my “VERY small” boob up in to that vice. She eventually got’er in there, I waited patiently, and she returned only to tell me she needed to run the test again.
So, we do the deep knee bends, hike the tiny boob back in the vice, and I wait again. She returns again to tell me they’re still not getting the clear read they want and we’ll now do an ultrasound. Here’s the deal as I understood it… if cancer is found in the breast it shows up white in a mammogram. If there’s a mass but it’s benign it shows up black. For me there’s a tiny mass coming up grey. Dense breast tissue makes it cloudy and hard to read, so the ultrasound is a more accurate choice. Damn you tiny ta-ta’s! A nurse escorted me into a different room, with a different tech. I was quickly losing my brave cover I had upon entrance and having a real come to Jesus moment in the exam room…on my son’s birthday, mind you. Thankfully there’s nothing to really worry about at this time, but I do have be tested about every six months for now.
When I went home and rushed to put the finishing touches on a little surprise birthday party for my son I realized even more the obligation I have to make responsible choices for myself, not just my family. I am very good about shopping “organic” and reading labels when it comes to the kids, but as a busy mom I can be guilty of not taking the best care of myself.
It was time to adjust.
I started by switching to a natural deodorant. I’ve known the risks involved with deodorants and antiperspirants containing aluminum, but had yet to fully make the switch. Trust me, there’s nothing like a couple o’rounds of inconclusive breast cancer screenings to kick you in to high gear. Aluminum really is just toxic for the body and we have no business just mindlessly slathering it on voluntarily every day. It’s linked to breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, kidney disease and bone disorders. This is an easy change, well easy-ish, at least. It’ll take a bit of experimenting to discover what works with your body chemistry but it’s worth the effort. I’d love to be one of those people who made it at home myself, but as of now, it hasn’t happened so until it does, here what I’ve found so far…
I’ve tried a few now. There is definitely some trial and error in this process as the first couple DID NOT agree with me…not cute. Then came “PiperWai”. I learned of it when randomly watching an episode of “Shark Tank”. I must say…I remain funk free all the day long! Even on those hot track meet days with the kids. It’s a bit pricey for deodorant at about $12. It doesn’t keep me bone dry when it’s super hot but it’s fairly minimal with no stank which equals victory in my book.
*Update: I’m currently using “Schmidt’s Naturals” – free of aluminum, parabens, and is certified vegan. I purchased it at Whole Foods for about $8, and it’s been fantastic! It comes in a stick, goes on clear, and yes, keep me dry and stink free…winning!
Know better, do better
This all has led me to be more careful about the things I put on as well as in by body. There are so many things we daily basis that are pretty much just poisoning us slowly. I’ve replaced most face and body products for things like coconut oil, aloe, and witch hazel. I’m far more diligent about checking what’s in our hair products and have been known to mix up some really cool concoctions using things out of the kitchen for the family curls. It’s never too late to do better. I’m back in the gym, making dietary tweaks and just all around trying to be the best version of myself. It’s a baby step situation, but at least they’re happening. That’s progress. I’ll keep you posted!
Have you made any tweaks in your routine in an effort to be take better care of yourself? Are you just one of those really together moms who already has it figured it out? Either way, please feel free to share tips, I could use the help! By the way….this isn’t in any way an ad for these companies, just passing along what’s worked for me in the hopes it helps a sista in the trenches.