Breast Cancer Awareness …. awareness is not enough …

So it is October, and it appears to be Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

I think that is great – its a relevant subject and more awareness can’t hurt, right?

Okay, so I am aware of Breast Cancer – so now what?  I can join a Facebook group and update my status profile picture, but really what does that do?

The call to action here should be “Get your arse off the couch, and make an appointment and get that frkn mammogram you have been promising to get and never got!  Go now!”

However I find that does not translate well into a tag line or slogan.

I suggest if you are reading this you pick up the phone and give your local hospital a call, ask to speak to the X-Ray Department and make an appointment for a mammogram.

The test takes about 15 – 30 minutes (assuming you have the benefit of private hospital care) and is somewhat uncomfortable, but hardly as uncomfortable as a pap smear.

Medical Aid covers it (again if you have it) but no doubt you can book it at a public hospital as well.

Once done, you get to skip off and know that you have done a bit more than “be aware” you have got your sh&t together and got a test. Or you are aware that there is an “area of concern” that needs some attention.

Either way, at least you are being an active participant with your breasts, your life and your health.

My challenge today is to knock this message through to 5 bloggers, they in turn get tested – and then knock this on to 5 bloggers they know.

If they have been tested in the last two years they pass it on, as awareness (and hopefully get-off-your-arse-motivation to other bloggers, and readers alike!)

It is like a chain-mail but without the benefit of a promise of a large dollar pay-out, or a veiled threat at the end.  It is what it is – get the test, nothing more, nothing less.

You do get a cool x-ray of your boobies that you can look at, which is almost as good.

The 5 Bloggers I nominate to pick up this challenge are (in no particular order):

Sharon at I believe in Miracles

Laura at Harassed Mom.

Natasha at Raising Men.

Margot at Jou Ma se Blerrie Blog.

Wenchy at The Noctural Wenchy.

Questions (you can answer if you feel like it):

When did you have your first mammogram?  November 2010

Does anyone in your family suffer from cancer?  No, not that I know of.  My mom had a sprinkling of cancer on her skin, but it appeared to be related to sun damage.  I do pop down to a dermatologist once a year, and do drag myself kicking and screaming to a pap smear once a year.

Why have you not gone for a mammogram? I initially ignored all warnings, and figured it ‘would never happen to me” then I listened to a radio interview on CapeTalk and the presenter was interviewing a woman who went from ‘having no breast cancer’ to a full mastectomy within 6 weeks, that is how fast her cancer spread – and she was not even 30!  I poo’d in my pants a bit that day and made an appointment, pronto.

What were your mammogram results?  I had an x-ray which was free from any issues, and then I had a sonar scan, just because I wanted one – and then after a little rub and push from a doctor, was told all is fine and I should come back in two years.  Of course you never know if they have missed something, or something might appear within the two year window …. insert paranoid face here …… I know I should be doing self-examination as well …..

How bad is “going for a mammogram” on a scale of 1 to 10?  Probably around a 2, I’d rather do a mammogram exam than go to the dentist or have a pap smear.

When is your next appointment? I will make it for mid-2012, as the doctor suggested I not do it under two years (he might have said five, but I am sticking to two.)

Do you know anyone who has had breast cancer?  No, I don’t think I do. Unless I do, and they have not told me.

What is my point?  Maybe by bloggers talking about breast cancer and going for mammograms we can encourage other bloggers to make an appointment and readers as well ….. just maybe.

Acknowledge source of image  – David Jay Photography – and huge props to :

Leave a comment


  1. Hi Celeste
    I saw this first on Laura’s blog, and followed it here.
    I hope you don’t mind, but I copied it for a blog post as well:

  2. Sigh. I’m going next week. Thanks for thinking of me. Muchness to you.

  3. You didn’t tag me, but once I finished breastfeeding I’ll go for a mammogram again, as well as a pap smear. Had my first mammogram at 22, my first biopsy at 23 and haven’t gone back. The ‘benign’ lump disappeared after breastfeeding Nienke.

    I’d say on a scale of 1 to 10 a mammogram is a 0. It’s THAT not scary or sore. A biopsy? 115!!!

    I wonder why we don’t have ourselves checked more? Maybe because it’s more of a schlep than anything else. But thanks for reminding us that it’s really the same as a routine check-up. And non-negotiable.

  4. Couldnt you have just tagged me in a “7 random facts” blog :-p I have a very real fear of all medical tests that may yield negative life altering results!

    Does my annual gynae check up count? he does examine my boobs?

    Will definitely take the challenge though 🙂

    • reluctantmom

       /  October 21, 2011

      You are funny and you make me laugh.
      Nothing quite makes me as anxious as a man in a white coat, with a latex glove …. I get all giggly nervous …. try and picture laughing hysterically while doctor is attempting to perform a pap smear. Fortunately the mammogram gal was chatty, so just stood there and let her manhandle my breast … it was like a drunken night out in my teens.
      Go for a bit of rough and tumble and post your x-ray …… think about the 15 minutes of quiet time in x-ray studio without baby and children … motivation enough!! xxx

  5. I finally went for my mammo a few weeks ago. They say you should do it as soon as you turn 40 but then I was pregnant and then breastfeeding and then still waited about a year. My mom had to have a mastectomy due to breast cancer so I am high risk. I must say I found it quite painful but that was because my boobs are a bit uneven and they had to do an extra squish which was the sore one. The standard ones were ok. And they say that next time they won’t do the sore one, it was just because I have never done it before. Good on you for highlighting this.

  6. Thanks for the great post. I am not on the 40 side of life but as my Mom has breast cancer and my grandmother and all 6 of her brothers died of cancer chances are extremely high I will get cancer of some sort. Gynae suggested I have the blood tests for genetic chances of breast cancer done soon then we will take it from there. My Mom said when she was diagnosed there was a moment of oh its finally here. I guess with that type of family history you are always just waiting for the day. I will do a post and put your quiz in it on my blog.

  7. Sharon

     /  October 21, 2011

    I see your challenge & I take your challenge.
    I’ve booked my FIRST EVER mammogram on the 2nd December @ Olivedale Clinic. I’m am poo’ing myself just a little bit!

  8. Love this post 🙂
    The reason I’m flying to CT tonight is to take photos of my aunt who has been fighting breast cancer. When we booked the flights it was to get photos of her bald head as a documentation of her journey… it’s now a celebration because she’s been given the all clear this week.
    So I have a long assed blog post about breast cancer coming up when I get back home next week

    • reluctantmom

       /  October 21, 2011

      That is wonderful, and special and very sad …. but I think having some great documented photographs will mean a lot to her when she has them. I look at those SCAR project images in awe.

  1. Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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