Published on October 14, 2021

My First Mammogram: A Firsthand Experience

My First Mammogram: A Firsthand Experience

For many women, when they hear the term "mammogram," nervous and anxious thoughts race into their mind with the accompanying thoughts of pain and uncomfortable images of their breasts.

Jazmyn's first mammogramFor Jazmyn, a 43-year old wife, mother of five, grandmother to one, full-time employee and part-time graduate student, explains that she also felt this way whenever a mammogram was mentioned.

We accompanied Jazmyn as she went to her first mammogram appointment at Adventist HealthCare Imaging in Rockville, MD, after putting it off for three years. Although she’s worked in healthcare for over 15 years, knows the importance of having a mammogram for early detection starting at age 40 and works closely with physicians who specialize in cancer care at Maryland Oncology Hematology, she still put it off year after year.

Jazmyn continued putting it off because she put other things first. Her children, mother, work and school all took priority over her preventive care. Her thought was "what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her" and emphasized that by doing self-checks and feeling fine, she was okay. She explained that she consistently made excuses as to why she couldn’t make the time to get one.

Another factor in her decision of waiting is she isn’t sure about her family history. Her mother and grandmother are both from Cambodia and don’t know their risk. Jazmyn’s mother and sister both have delayed their mammograms due to a lack of trust and since they feel fine, they don’t want to know the results. Unfortunately, some of that had rubbed off on her.

As Breast Cancer Awareness month approached, Jazmyn decided she needed to make her mammogram appointment. After learning that a friend waited too long for care, thinking about her new baby grandson and wanting to be a positive role model for her children, she knew that having her mammogram was something that needed to be done to keep herself healthy. While a bit nervous and anxious for the scan, she was still a little excited knowing that in the end it would be beneficial to her and she could tell her children the importance of getting it done.

Upon arrival to the Imaging center, everything was ready for her when she checked in at the front desk. She only had to verify the information and it was just a short wait until she was called back. Making the appointment was just as simple.

Although she was nervous for her appointment, Jazmyn shared the tech helped to make her feel comfortable and distracted her by asking questions about herself.

Jazmyn said that it "feels great to be done" and she built up what it would feel like in her head, but it wasn’t anything like she thought it would be. Plus, it was over before she realized. At the end, she thought "oh, that’s it? I’m done." She described that the scan felt like a little weight for only a brief moment.

Before she left the office, Jazmyn was even given a preliminary report of her results which she said helped to ease her mind, especially since this was her first time.

Since having her first mammogram, Jazmyn has decided that she will definitely make her annual appointments from now on. It’s a lot easier than she believed it was going to be. "I want to let women know that it’s not as bad as you think and knowing is better than not knowing. I was scared of the results, but I know that if anything was found, it was found early when it’s most treatable and that I was in good hands with my doctor."

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