How did you start off your Memorial Day Weekend? Hopefully way better than mine!
I am going to get raw and personal here…are you ready?
I have had a sheet of paper sitting on my desk for weeks, I even brought it with me on trips for a reminder that I need to take care of what is on there. The paper is an appointment reminder for a mammogram, that I obviously was not standing in line waiting for! Needless to say, it was on my to do list last week, I promised myself I would check off everything on the list…so I did.
So now here comes the raw part of the story, so I’ll just dive right in. We all have things that hurt or bother us more than others, some people have a tough time getting their blood taken, others have trouble going to the dentist, for me it’s mammograms! I have always had very sensitive breasts even painful at times. Fibrocystic breasts run in my family, which means the tissue is very dense and sensitive. So to combine the condition of my breasts with the intense pressure of the mammogram machine creates extremely intense pain for me.
My mother had breast cancer, as well as colon cancer and she is no longer with us, and I of course miss her dearly. So, shortly after she was diagnosed, I was told I should start having mammograms, at the ripe age of 31 because I had family history of it. So I started having them done shortly after this. The first time I ever had a mammogram I found out that I almost could not handle having it done. I nearly passed out in the arms of the woman conducting the exam because the pain was so unbearable!
Before I go further I need to tell you I am no pansy ass! No, I have not had children, but have been through many other physical pains in my life and could handle them all with no issue, only this exam! Of course not all women have this pain during this process, just a small percentage have pain even close to the intensity I feel. Not that any woman enjoys it, but they bear with it. What is your experience? I am certain I am not the only one...I can't imagine it ever being easy or pain free for anyone!
Just prior to the appointment, I had taken my Advil to dull the pain, and I was feeling like I was crazy for going to put myself through this. I thought it had been a couple of years since my last one. So, to clarify my thoughts, I did a meditation and my Mom came to me and said “You are fine, you do not have to put yourself through this.” Well that was a relief, but my appointment was in 30 minutes and the pressure was on, how do I cancel at the last minute? Should I just go and call it a day?
Needless to say I believed my mother, but felt incredibly pressured to make it to the appointment, just as I had felt pressured to get the mammogram in the first place!
So, I go to the appointment, and I speak with the woman conducting the exam, explaining my situation and why it had been 2 years since my last one. She looked at her chart and said, it’s actually been 4 years. Ahhh! I was convincing myself it had not been that long so I did not have to go through with it!
Dreading my exam, having my inner guidance trying to emerge, I asked her how many false positives they get from this exam, she hesitated for a moment and said very clearly, “Unfortunately around 85% end up being false positives that we find especially in the early stages because they are not sure so they have you do a biopsy just in case…but it is still the Gold Standard for early detection”.
I later found out through research that out of the 15% of correct positives, there is only a small percentage that end up being cancerous and a larger percent where they are unsure so they suggest you go forward with treatment just in case…
I said, “There must be some other option with less pain and better results in this day and age with how far we have come in technology?” Her response was that the only other options are not as precise etc…and it’s still the gold standard.
At that point I felt so inclined to pass on the test and explore my options…but again fell into that emotional peer pressure and went ahead anyway.
In the middle of my exam I burst out into uncontrollable sobbing tears and almost fell to the floor…but I kept going.
I survived it, of course, but after I left I realized I would never feel the same again, something had shifted in me. I cried on the ride home in the car, and I cried on and off throughout the rest of the day.
My husband was very supportive, but I am such a hard ass when it comes to this stuff, I am not easy to console, I prefer to be left alone with my thoughts. So, I tried to be open and appreciated his support, love, and care, it is priceless. I am trying to be more accepting, instead of being in my survivor mode!
Throughout the afternoon I discussed what was coming up for me after this experience. Still trying to deal with the residual pain that was hard to ignore, it’s now 3 days later and I still am having residual pain. I started to realize that I had been sucked into what I always tell others not to do…I was riding the rollercoaster of emotional peer pressure. I was emotional, my mother died and I was told having yearly mammograms was what I needed to do to prevent a big problem. Hmmm when you are searching for something don't you usually find it at some point?
I started to think about when I was told I had skin cancer and realized I reacted in the same way, very emotional at first feeling as though I was going to do what they told me to do, until I started listening to my own inner guidance system (IGS) and realized there were other options. So now that I put my emotions aside I did some quick research on mammograms and found out some interesting information!
They have been having controversy for years over whether mammograms are safe and are still the Gold Standard of finding breast cancer. There are so many misdiagnoses and false positives that end up causing an immense amount of emotional stress and financial loss because of this.
I am not advocating to not have mammograms, I know that they have saved many lives, maybe even yours. What I am advocating is listening to your own Inner Guidance, ask yourself if you are emotional about the information and advice being presented, which I am sure you are. Any personal health issues or loosing loved ones from an issue you are told might be genetic is emotional. So when you recognize that you are emotional about it, then try to step back, do your own research, find what resonates with you and your inner knowing and take that road.
I feel like society is always pushing its agenda on everyone and preys on the vulnerable, emotional and un-present. Especially in Health Care, yes they do a lot of good, but they also make a lot of money from suggesting tests and telling you that they are your only options. When someone says that something is your only option, I constantly take that as a read flag. My greatest advice is to start doing your own research, follow your life path and your healing journey. There is always another option, and it is you and only you who knows what is best for you!
You can always go back to the health care professional, I promise they will be there tomorrow if after you research you still want to move forward!
Dr. Susan Love who created Army of Women, which researches to find the cause of breast cancer, mentioned in an interview that 30% of the tumors found actually go away naturally. So with this fact, how many of those that are treated and cured do we know have been cured from the treatment or by the natural healing of the body? The body has amazing healing abilities and if you allow, it will heal. It wants to be healthy, you just need to listen to its needs, and when medical intervention is needed you take that road.
I am adding some links if you are interested in reading some research on pros and cons of mammography!
If you only read one please read this first one from Rolf Hefti Author of “The Mammogram Myth”
There were two points that really hit me…
- One- that the radiation in mammograms can be up to 1,000 more than an x-ray, so by having one every year we are actually increasing our risk of cancer since radiation is known to cause cancer.
- Two- that with it’s compression (which I am literally cringing writing this now) it is done so tightly that it could lead to a dangerous spread of cancerous cells…This alone is what I had an innate knowing of the first time I went…but again my emotions were running the show.
There are so many interesting ahha’s in these articles that make complete sense to me.
So the big question to me after doing some quick research is:
Why is mammography still the gold standard??
When the research is outdated and the updated research does not show it’s value consistent with it finding early detection and saving lives.
My last question is:
How much of this is part of making money as the bottom line and CYA (covering your ass)??
The health care workers, Doctors etc. may convince themselves that they are still doing the right thing by being proactive and being part of suggesting these exams for early detection, even though there is a good chance they know the statistics and the percentage rates are not in the favor of this style testing. I wonder how many of them have the exam knowing the statistics?
There are millions maybe even billions of dollars invested and made via mammography and breast cancer treatment. If they all came out stating that mammography is now NOT the gold standard and the statistics are showing that it may not be a viable way to saving lives there would be devastation in this field, financially, jobs lost, centers closed a huge domino effect!
I know what I am stating is controversial, but I am being pushed by something bigger than me to write this. There must be someone that will read something in this post that they needed to hear! Something is telling me to get personal and tell it like is, which I usually do very well, but I usually do not open up about my vulnerability as deep as I did here…
I will leave you with the purpose of writing this. I know this story is about mammography, but it’s not just about breasts! It has a much deeper message.
My message is:
- Be present
- Be your own advocate
- Know that your Inner Guidance and what it is telling you is always right, don’t ignore this energy, the information is pure, it has no agenda or emotional bias
- No one, no matter how much education, how many years experience they have, knows better for you than YOU!
- Choose to live healthy, appreciate your health everyday, be in gratitude for it!
- Be so in tune with your physical body that you feel when something is not just right (this is possible)
- Ask yourself when making a decision –Am I making this based on my inner guidance and knowing or Am I making this based out of Fear and peer pressure?
- At the end of the day do what feels right for YOU!
- Remember "Seek & Ye WILL FIND" Knock and it shall be opened unto to you....Are we knocking at the wrong door?? That is up to all of us individually to decide.
I know that some will disagree, but I also know that no matter how much education or intelligence you have or not, you are born with a knowingness within you that guides you to your highest good!
Thank you for reading this, I would love to hear your comments and feedback. I would also love to support you if you are dealing with uncertainty when someone is telling you there is only one way, but something inside is telling you that just does not seem like the best option. This is not just regarding your health; every decision you make has the potential to change the rest of your life! Send me an email and we can work out a time to talk and see if I can be of service! email@example.com
P.S. Even in business, we are told you have to do something one specific way to be successful…That is B.S. The only way you will be successful is by doing it your way with the energy of LOVE! Whenever you do something that you feel forced into, it is never the best way!