Guest blogger: Tracy Townsend
October 2010 will forever be a turning point for me as it is when I had my first irregular mammogram. At the age of 35 when I’d had a baseline screening, I was diligent in scheduling and getting in for my yearly mammogram. In October of 2010, I was oh-so-close to rescheduling my mammogram for no other reason than the “busyness” of family activities, volunteer work and my job. Fortunately I never got around to rescheduling and went in, as scheduled, for the mammogram, only to learn the following week there was an issue.
The official diagnosis came a two weeks later in November. It was non-invasive DCIS and very early. After the initial shock and the tears, I’d come to understand this as a clear testament to the promise of early detection, regular screenings, and most importantly to me, God’s favor. I got right down to the business of surviving and subscribe the line of thinking that you become a “Survivor” the moment you’re diagnosed. Next month—November 2013, I am claiming three years of Survivorship.
There are so many lessons I’ve learned along this journey. First and foremost, I have to make myself and my health a priority. My incredible husband and our amazing son depend on this. We have all come to embrace a ‘no procrastination’ policy. I cannot imagine how different things would’ve been had I put off that mammogram. My knowledge and acceptance of true friendship has grown. Truly some people are in our lives for a reason and/or a season. I am eternally grateful for the circle of women and men, who stood with me through diagnosis, surgery, recovery, and now in efforts to raise awareness and critical funds for research and a cure. When I’ve considered how everything has come to pass, my faith in God has been confirmed. Survivorship for me means sharing the importance of mammography, fitness and health.