In October in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness I will post a daily blog with a reflection about breast cancer. The reflections will stem from something in the play. (All quoted lines are text from the play.)
Day 5: Yesterday I talked about the experience of getting bad news and how for the patient – and the “care giver” – in the moment everything stops. One’s Awareness changes and we will never forget that moment of getting the news. Our news came from a breast surgeon because Susan’s personal physician had “felt something funny” and referred her to a breast surgeon for a biopsy. I eventually nick name him “Dr. Happy because he is always so frigging optimistic.” Because it was our experience and because that moment in time is seared into my brain as an eternal memory. I assumed that I how all women got their news. I have since learned that “the news” is most often given by the Breast Radiologist. This past year I have been privilege of performing the show three different times before audience made up primarily of Radiologist. In June April I performed at the University of Virginia School of Medicine at the 13th Annual Breast Imaging Conference, and in June I performed at the National Meeting of the Society of Breast Imaging. What I learned was that for the person delivering the news there is also emotion and empathy. Except that emotion is often tucked away, compartmentalized because of the need to go on to the next and to maintain a professional distance from the patient. The Actual Dance performance seemed to give permission to the medical professionals in the audience to let go for just a bit. An important Awareness that is often to keep top of mind in the journey to also acknowledge the medical professionals “on the other side of the table.”
Stat of the Day: It is estimated that 48 million mammograms are performed each year!
Task of the Day: Schedule your next breast exam and mammogram. As the Society of Breast Imaging says: Mammography Saves Lives, and one of them may be yours!
Resource of the Day: So cheat. Here is a place that Radiologist go to for their information, or at least one of the places.