As Amy Robach made the heartbreaking announcement yesterday that she had breast cancer, I sat stunned. I looked at this young, vibrant woman and thought, She's too young. We are, after all, around the same age, and I didn't want to admit that breast cancer could even be a real possibility right now.
A correspondent for Good Morning America (as well as the wife of CafeMom's co-founder Andrew Shue), she was asked to get a mammogram on air to demystify it for women who might be nervous. She wasn't exactly gung-ho about the assignment, feeling she didn't have a personal connection to the issue, but she eventually agreed. Of course, now we know that decision ultimately may have saved her life. Diagnosed just a few weeks later, Amy is now a very important symbol to women like me.
Like her, I had been reluctant to have a mammogram, even though my doctor has been urging me for the past year. I don't have a family history of the disease, but since my husband and I were considering having another baby, she thought it would be a good idea. If I were to get pregnant, that would mean I might be over 40 by the time I delivered and finished nursing -- pushing the test years down the line. However, in my mind, it was completely unnecessary at age 38. So I have been putting it off. I could blame it in on the fact that I am a busy, working mom, but I need to be honest with myself. That's not the real reason. I just didn't want to believe I was at that point in my life where I had to worry about breast cancer.
Another thing I've been forced to admit since seeing Amy's brave announcement: there is extreme comfort in NOT knowing something is wrong. What if? What if they found something? What happens then? But as scary as those questions are, not having the answers is actually infinitely more frightening.
So, I am finally making that appointment -- and I have Amy Robach to thank for that. Since she started that report, her hope was to help women muster the courage to go have a potentially life-saving mammogram. Mission accomplished Amy! Thank you.
Have you been reluctant to have a mammogram?
Image via ABC