Best Health Move of the Week
Last Monday marked the start of a banner week. I returned from vacation ready to tackle new projects, deadlines and training sessions with new gusto. I brought my workout routine to a new level with the completion of a killer four-week small group training class. However, the best thing I did for myself all week had nothing to do with sweating through 100 squat thrusts or getting back on track with my healthy eating habits. It had everything to do with the 10-minute phone call I made to schedule my first mammogram.
It was only a few weeks ago during a routine check-up when my gynecologist told me it was time for me to get my first mammogram under my belt. Since I just turned 38 in February, I thought I had a couple more years to go. However, since my mom is a breast cancer survivor and since I’ve been taking birth control pills for more than 15 years, he wants to set a baseline now. My internist agreed and offered a recommendation for an imaging center in my area. So, being a person who doesn’t like to let any item sit on a to-do list for too long, I confirmed that my insurance company would cover the routine screening and booked the appointment for April 7th.
Now that the appointment is on my calendar, I find myself dealing with a mixed bag of emotions: disbelief that I’m old enough to add this test to my healthcare check list; confidence that my results will be 100% normal; and finally, fear that they won’t. But when I find my mind racing ten steps ahead, I take a breath and remember something very important: knowledge is power. When it comes to your health, staying on top of screenings is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your overall well-being.
If you scour the Internet long enough, you’ll find plenty of contradicting information about when a woman should get her first mammogram. You’ll also find articles and studies that talk about potential harms associated with mammograms. Speaking with your doctor to assess your own risk factors can help clear up the confusion. Also, when it comes to breast cancer – as with many other diseases – early detection is key.
So at the age of 38, I realize I have more scars – physical and emotional – than I did ten years ago. However, I also can’t remember feeling stronger or healthier in my life. While I know I could do a better job when it comes to getting more sleep (who couldn’t?), I’m eating better and working out smarter than ever before. So, I look at getting my first mammogram as the next step in a path toward a better me.
If you’re reading my blog, you’ve already made the commitment to take better care of yourself by exercising and eating well. Just don’t forget to keep your overall health in check. If you’ve been putting off a screening, there’s no time like the present to pick up the phone and schedule it now. Whether it’s finding time for a workout or a check-up, each of us has the ultimate power to make the important choices that can help us have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!