Moms tend to put themselves last on the list of things that need to be taken care of and maintained. Too many women put off regular health screenings as a result, but that can put you at even greater risk for more serious problems. For example, if breast cancers are caught early, they have a 100% five year survival rate but if they start to grow and metastasize, the amount of treatment required and outcomes begin to change. It becomes important for women to know what risk pool they are in for breast cancer and when they should start screening, and whether your doctor recommends yearly or bi-yearly screening.
Every year, I get together with a great group of women, and we get mammograms in the morning, followed by lunch and a bit of a celebration. We’ve called this group a variety of things, including “Mimosas and Mammograms” for the year we had mimosas while waiting for our turn; “Thanks for the Mammorys”, and other silly puns, but Bosom Buddies has stuck. (Those of us on ‘every other year’ screenings just come along for the fun, without the testing.)
The group started a few years ago when my OB GYN and I went and got our mammograms done together. It then expanded with a group of OB-GYN physicians I know: Dr. Arlene Smalls, Dr. Estelle Whitney, Dr. Maria Soler, Dr. Lisa Phillips and myself, and grows a little bit each year.
The best part of this whole idea is that it gets us all to take care of a task no one really looks forward to, and you also have a great group of friends there to make the process more of a fun event- So much so, I barely remember the mammogram part- just how much fun we had getting together. Plus, on the off chance anyone gets less than a clean bill of health, having your friends there for support is incredibly important and reassuring.
This year, on May 17th, at the Breast Center at Christiana Hospital, we’ll be continuing this tradition, and I invite you all to join us. Call and make your appointment Saturday morning with the Breast Center at (302) 623-4200, and drop me an email at LDpodcast@gmail.com and let me know you’d like to join in. Afterwards, Dr. Arlene Smalls has arranged for us to go out and have lunch at Deerpark Tavern, which will be a lot of fun as well. We just need to know if you are coming so we have enough tables reserved for lunch!
Even if you don’t live in the area, consider starting your own group with your friends. Call a local mammogram provider, and see if they will allow “block scheduling” for your group. Send out invitations, and have folks schedule their appointment.
On the day, seeing all your friends in the waiting room and catching up makes any wait go by quickly. Afterwards, go out to brunch or lunch at a nearby restaurant, and you can even celebrate a birthday or two- I know we usually have a few to celebrate as well. I promise this will make the process of getting your annual mammogram a whole lot more enjoyable, and will even make it something to look forward to, instead of dread.
I’ll post pictures here and on Facebook of the Bosom Buddies get together this year, and let me know if you start your own group. I love to see more women find a way to take care of themselves while taking care of their community at the same time- and this is a great way to get started.