Ankylosing Spondylitis and The "C" Word

  I'm not sure if it's just me or if everyone experiences this, but there are days I don't want to leave the house. It can be days before a scheduled appointment or task, that I begin to dread the thought of going. There are days that I hurt and ache too much to go anywhere. Those aren't the days I'm describing. It's just a mounting sense of dread that holds me back. I can schedule something and even look forward to that event, but as the event draws closer my eagerness turns to apprehension. My mind is consumed with "should I cancel" or "maybe I can leave early". I begin to question myself as to why I even scheduled the event in the first place. 

  I had my annual mammogram scheduled for 2:30 yesterday. Last Friday, I began thinking maybe I should cancel. My thoughts were, I have had a mammogram every year, so I probably could put it off until next year. I mean all my prior mammograms have been clear, no lumps or cysts. Plus, my mom doesn't believe in mammograms. She is 81 years old now and has had one mammogram in all those years. She is very steadfast in her belief that mammograms are what causes woman to develop breast cancer. You can argue the known facts with her but there is no changing her mind. I guess after hearing her theory for so long, it starts to play in the back of your mind. 

  In the end, I did choose to  have my mammogram yesterday. I know with the medications I use for my Ankylosing Spondylitis I have an increased risk of cancer. Which is a very scary thought. I lost a dear friend earlier this year to cancer. She was only a couple years older than me. She first had breast cancer in one breast then the other, followed by cancer in her pelvis, ribs, and various parts of her body. It was so sad to see her go through the devastating effects of cancer. 

  Even with my rising feelings of dread, I will continue to have my yearly mammograms. I will advocate for all woman to have their yearly exams. I will cherish the memories of my sweet friend.

  Gentle hugs to all. May you cherish those close to you daily.

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