I’m not going to stop hassling you till it’s done

I want you to think for a minute, about one of your kids or your partner coming to you with a health concern. Maybe they were worried about this or that, they weren’t feeling great and knew that they should check it out. Imagine if this was your Mum, or Dad a best friend that had the same concerns.

You’d comfort them, you would reassure them and then you would chase them up to seek proper medical attention about it. You’d follow them up, check in and chase them to make sure they got it sorted. Sure, you’d be worried because it’s someone that you love, but you wouldn’t freak them out with what ifs or pretend dramas until you knew what it was. You would be certain to follow it up with them with love and kindness and concern. Wouldn’t you?

Now imagine this: the same people come to you with their medical concern. You brush it off, you google and self-diagnose as likely something life threatening. You plan their funeral in your head and start to think about all the worst case scenario things that would happen to them. You don’t get them to see a Dr (because they are already dead right?!) and you back up their excuses of busyness and life rather than finding out. You wallow in worry, but don’t do anything about it.

Can you even imagine having that response to your child? Your parent? Sibling or parent?

AS IF.

And yet? We do this to ourselves as women and Mum’s every. Single. Day. I know, because I do it too.

As you’d know, I turned 40 last year and have been meaning to get around to getting a full blood test, get that skin check that I meant to do 3 years ago and then last week I got a reminder about a pap smear that was due. I had put off that skin cancer check because I had convinced myself that I had skin cancer. CONVINCED. Why go when they would just tell me what I already knew? DEAD. I had a mate recently who had a big scare with her heart and while she thought she was having a heart attack, she took herself off quietly and freaked the FUCK out of herself because she KNEW she should have had it checked months before, but put it off, and now here she was, HAVING A HEART ATTACK but feeling so guilt-ridden about it, that she was just going to be in pain alone.

Seriously, what is wrong with us?

I decided to slap myself around last week, book the pap smear, the skin check, a full check up with the GP, bloods, you name it. BIG GIRL UNDIES WERE ON as I am heading to 41. I met with my GP and got that full skin test done. You know what? It was fine. It took 30 minutes, sitting uncomfortably in my undies and bra with all my bits hanging out, but it was fine. Practically a spa treatment! I saw my gyno on Monday and had the pap smear, sure another 15 minute appointment where only 5 mins or so really awks. The new test has like a mascara wand that gets scraped right in and up the fanwa, but if it’s all good, I’ll be good for 5 years. The bloods are being done next week and hopefully, fingers crossed, all will be fine.

Peace of mind.
Phewsies.

I had a rant on Instagram about it when I got back from the skin cancer check yesterday, angry at myself for putting it off for so long, and getting angry at all of us as busy women and Mothers who put ourselves last. It’s BULLSHIT. We would never treat our loved ones with such disrespect and ridiculous exaggerations and imaginations of worst case scenarios, and yet we allow ourselves to stay up at night worrying about this imaginary shit.

I had SO many messages from women who were the same. Convinced they had cervical cancer (it was a urinary tract infection) or bowel cancer (darls you need Metamucil that’s it) and then from other cancer survivors who were the unlucky ones who KICKED themselves that they left it so late.

Ladies, we need to stop this.
Please.

Please think of yourself as someone who deserves and needs as  much attention as those we love and defend and look after so fiercely. Please put your own needs first, just one time. What good is it if we aren’t even here to LIVE and look after our loved ones because we were “too busy” to get that test? Or too uncomfortable, or embarrassed.

There’s nothing can’t be dealt with, hopefully fixed or treated, nothing too big to handle.

So PLEASE.

Book in for the pap smear, the mammogram, the dentist appointment, follow up that funny eyesight thing, the funny lump or bump in your boobs. Poo in the sample collection for bowel cancer, chase up that funny mole that has you worried. Get some blood tests done. See a GP and chat about how you are feeling sad.

Chances are, ALL of it will be fine. You made that first step, and the feeling of relief afterwards is even better than that first swill of G&T after looking after an emotional and overtired 2 year old all day. And if it’s not, at least you know and you can deal with it. With support and medical care and hopefully a little self kindness and love.

You’re too important not to do this.
There’s too many people counting on us.
And you would never let someone else get away with it, so don’t just because it’s you.
OK?

So tell me, what are you going to book in?
I’m not going to stop hassling you until its done, are we clear?

And if you are putting off doing that First Aid Course, don’t. Just bloody do it. Enter the code BABYMAC for a discount and have 12 months access to doing it whenever you like (however slow, however many times between you and your partner) you don’t have to do it one sitting, just whenever. Just do it.

Comments

  1. http://Annette says

    Hear hear Beth!!
    A year ago I FINALLY got so sick that my GP couldn’t keep missing that I was in severe heart failure. So severe that I only had 15% heart function! For two years prior to that I’d been feeling worse and worse, no it wasn’t whooping cough, severe bronchitis or anything respiratory it was my HEART.
    Today I had my first pacemaker check (that went in 20 days ago) and it’s working perfectly.
    But I let myself get SO sick before I pushed the panic button… and I don’t even have kids or a partner to be neglecting myself on behalf of.

    Ladies, please ASK for that extra investigation if you have a persistent anything. It could save your life.

  2. http://Kate says

    Because of your insta encouragement I booked my long over due skin check today. You know I was putting it off because it might mean having to ask someone for help with kids pick ups etc and I didn’t want to be an inconvenience. Hello how fucking inconvenient would be if I was dead! Second reason was not wanting to spend the money on myself because funds are tight right now, really funerals cost a whole lot more! I think you can see how I go straight from all good to dead in 3 seconds Max
    Thanks for the prompting
    Cheers Kate

  3. http://Irene says

    Good post and the other thing not to put off-is making a WILL. I know it’s confronting especially if you have young kids (as you need to address care arrangements) , but it is necessary. Also update the nominated beneficiary part on your superannuation.

  4. http://Marian says

    I have been doing skin checks for 2 years now- even had a 3 month check up on one worrying mole- but all was ok. A friend died at 40 from melanoma and I have been worried every since.
    The get fit campaign was based on some bad blood results and having both parents with type 2 diabetes. Thankfully all that is back to normal.
    But I do need to do the Pap smear – got the reminder last December.
    Also we all go to the dentist together and I have been giving the girls a daily lecture about looking after their teeth. Theirs were fine, I was given a lecture about My bleeding gums, the need to floss and ordered to buy a proper toothbrush!

  5. http://Kaye says

    I’m having my 3 yearly colonoscopy on Tuesday.
    I survived bowel cancer 8 years ago.
    No Easter eggs till Tuesday then I can eat them all.

  6. Excellent messages here Beth.

    I was always a dental check up every 6 months person & did what I was supposed to in terms of dental health & hygiene but into my mid 60s (am now 68) more pain and annoyance was happening in my gums.
    I went to the dentists (we moved house) and was told “clean better around the bridge” and “you need to get a biopsy on that white spot”
    1. Only a dentist could clean well enough around the back of the bridge and the pain & sore gums persisted.
    2. The white spot in mid 2015 was “likely candida” have some flagyl.

    It was only when I was in so much discomfort from the gums and the back of the bridge of my front teeth that I insisted in Jan 2017 the bridge & teeth be taken out, Then I would know what was going on.

    The dentist was conservative and I guess he wanted to explore what else was making my upper gums so sore and that they started growing over the top of the bridge that I said “out, please!” And as scared as I was of that major procedure (Valium helped&my hub was with me) all were removed nearly a year ago.

    It did not fix the gums. In fact they grew and worsened and in mid May a biopsy revealed Squamous Cell Carcinoma in those gums,

    I had NO idea you could get SCC inside your body …yes you can.

    Anyway, not to frighten anyone— but in some ways I wished I had been more resilient to insist in the removal earlier but it wouldn’t have prevented to cancer.

    I now know so much more about cancer in the mouth, throat etc and whilst mine, fortunately was not caused by the Human Pappiloma Virus, many men and woman are affected that way. This is why I advocate for the HPV vaccine that is offered for boys and girls in early High school years.

    My blog has my “cancer story” in series of blog posts if anyone wants to read more.

    Denyse x

  7. http://Heidi%20D says

    I had my mammogram & pap smear at the end of last year. I have just started testing with a view to going on the transplant list (heart/lung). They leave no stone unturned & are testing a huge list of things. Left home at 8:30am today & arrived home at 8pm, at the hospital having appointments all day.
    My husband only found out he had a cancer in his mouth because I nagged constantly until he went to the Dr

  8. http://Lisa, says

    I had a skin check on Saturday and I’m FINE!! woohoo! I am moley mcmole and was convinced I had skin cancer. But I don’t!

    I got a blood test after putting it off for months and am low in iron. I knew it. Should’ve got checked months ago, except I was just a tired, cranky bitch yelling st my poor young (maybe not so innocent) children.

    The pap smear though … Umm think I got a letter to say I was due for one. Hrrm.

    You are so right about the fact we need to look after ourselves. Thanks for the reminder. I blame being time poor on my young children when really I’m just lazy.

  9. http://NaomiJ says

    Awhile ago I noticed I was getting short of breath after walking up just a couple of steps and thought, ‘that’s a bit strange, I should go to the doctor’. THREE MONTHS LATER I finally go to the doctor, sent for full bloods and two days later I’m in hospital having an iron transfusion! Very naughty of me. Next on the list – PAP smear and skin check.

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