Mammograms Are Not Scary

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Breast Cancer is ugly. It’s mean and relentless, but it doesn’t discriminate. It attacks the young and the old. Black, white and every other color out there. It likes boys and girls. It’s a real beast of a disease and I’m mad I even feel the need to write this. I hate breast cancer.

Everyone you talk to has been touched by breast cancer. I don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation where someone has known nobody that’s had it. It’s everywhere. Sadly, my Grandma Lilly fought breast cancer twice and lost her courageous battle to the disease. My Aunt is a Breast Cancer Survivor and my Mother has taken preventative measures to avoid having to battle it. I’ve been having mammograms since I was in my mid-20s. Since my Aunt had it in her early 30’s, my Doctors felt it was important for me to start mammograms {and MRI’s} early.

Whenever I talk about having to get a yearly mammogram, women cringe and talk about how horrible they are. Some women even avoid them because they are so horrific.


I’m here to tell you that mammograms are not fun… but they are not something to be scared of. It’s a very quick squeeze and it doesn’t hurt and I have dense breasts {I’m totally getting personal here because this subject is that important to me} that have to be squished extra to get good images. I’d say at worst it’s a bit uncomfortable, but even that’s a stretch {pun, not intended}. It feels like your breasts are getting squished {which they are}, but there is no real pain. For me, the worst part is that it is cold. <— Yep, I went there.

Having said that, I don’t allow complaining about mammograms to happen in front of me, and I certainly would never complain about having to have one. I feel lucky to be able to have one. Trust me, there are far worse things than having to get a mammogram… like having breast cancer… or having advanced breast cancer because you didn’t get a mammogram because you were scared it would hurt.

Women, we owe it to our families to get a mammogram. Most health insurance companies cover mammograms and there are low cost and no cost clinics that will do them too. There are no excuses. We need to change the mammogram image from scary to just a regular part of life. It’s up to us to show our daughters that it’s important to take care of ourselves and get regular mammograms.

My Grandma put up a great fight during her battle with breast cancer. I know that she would have loved to have been able to meet her great-grandchildren. My girls would have loved to have gone swimming with her and feast together on pizza at her favorite pizza place. She kept our family connected together and I miss her dearly. She was kind and understanding and loved unconditionally. I hate breast cancer. I hate that it took away my grandma way too early.

 How have you been touched by breast cancer?


Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.