• Kathy Yeiser

Perspective is Everything

It’s annual mammogram day. The day that, in the past, I looked upon as something women endure and that, because I have no family history of breast cancer, is almost irrelevant to me. Something that the patriarchy would have long ago improved if their own body parts were the things being pulled and squished.

I have dense tissue, big muscles and apparently I tend to tense up while in awkward and uncomfortable positions. All this tissue and muscle and tension meant that many years, I was called back for something they just couldn’t see well, which I considered inconvenient and costly, because, in my mind, my risk for breast cancer was soooooo low. Gratefully, even though my attitude was dismissive the staff was committed and always professional.

Today was different, instead of being annoyed as I was twisted, turned, stretched and compressed into awkward positions, I thought of my sister. Less than a year ago, she was in this same position, with the same genetics and muscles and propensity to tense up when stressed, and she got the call back. And then the biopsy. And then the double mastectomy. And now, thanks to a tenacious and professional team, she is recovering.

I now know that the time and the stress of a mammogram is NOTHING. In the past, I knew deep down that getting a mammogram was the right thing to do. Otherwise, I would have never scheduled the appointments, but on the surface, I rolled my eyes. Oh, how the staff are truly angels to deal with the naïve like me. How lucky we are to have this technology and knowledge in our community.

There are so many areas of our health where we see it as an annoyance. Why must I exercise? Why must I eat vegetables? Why must I manage my blood sugar? I don’t like that! It’s uncomfortable. But, deep down, you know

there must be some nugget of truth to the fact that this might be good for you. It might improve or save your life in the long run. It’s not just willpower that makes these changes happen. Finding the reason, changing your perspective, making the commitment. Those are the things. That perspective can change everything.

Mammo Comfort Tips for the Athlete in You

  • If you have poor posture, work on it. Start today so you’ll be standing taller by your next appointment!

  • Lay with a foam roller parallel to your spine for a few minutes each day.

  • Don’t go hard on an upper body workout just hours before.

  • Do open the chest, stretch your pecs and lats.

  • Do some upper body rotation like the triangle and reverse triangle yoga poses.

  • Just go!

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