I recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl . She is a big, bouncing, healthy baby but the same cannot be said for me. Within 5 hours of my daughter's birth, I was in Intensive Care with multiple pulmonary embolisms. I spent 5 sleepless nights in the ICU worrying about my two little girls. I did not wanting to die and abandon them to a life without a mother. This is what happened to me.
My mother died of breast cancer when I was 17. Hence, I am considered high risk for developing breast cancer. Additionally, my father died last year of ulcer related stomach cancer, a disease which may have been avoided with a short course of antibiotics ten years ago. I also had a gestational diabetes scare during my first pregnancy.
It is vital I have all my checks. I should not put them off. I haven't had a mammogram in seven years, and until recently it had been three since my last pap smear. I just received a letter in the mail for a diabetes blood test check.
I have proposed to all my friends on Facebook that we put aside a few hours or a full day on 21st May to do all our checks. The 21st of May is my choice because it is the date my mother passed away.
Putting a day aside and inviting your friends means that applying for leave, arranging child care options etc., becomes infinitely easier. Thinking of it as a social event should also make those "uncomfortable" tests a little easier to handle.
I have booked my doctor's appointment for 10:30am.
I have set up a Facebook page to advertise the event, where people can upload photographs of how they spent the day or give tips for negotiating the logistics: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Check-Yourself-Day/564608510230690.
Please feel free to join me in this event. Share it with your friends. Retweet it. Arrange a day which better suits you, but above all things, PLEASE get your checks.
I know this blog is not really about my PhD but in a way it is. I am only able to do my PhD full time after I come off maternity leave, because of the funds left to me in my father's will. Believe me, I would sacrifice my whole degree just to argue with Dad again but the fact I was doing a PhD made him so proud. It will become his legacy.