Dad: Stepping Up to the Conversation
So my friend, Samantha* did. When he was in town, she said, “There’s a funny noise…” (not really!). After a quick peek under the hood he suggested that he take her out for lunch because that’s what dads do.
Lunch was the usual: a local BBQ joint, easy conversation about life in general and then it turned serious. Knowing that there was something on his mind, Samantha just let him speak. She could tell it took a lot of bravery on his part as a stoic manly-man from the deep south not keen on talking – especially about women’s health issues. But there was a compelling reason to his talk – he loves his daughter.
My friend tells this story with a twist of humor (a little levity goes a long way) but the message is serious. His mother died of breast cancer. This puts Samantha at higher risk, even though she’s only in her thirties. So, staring at the wall just past her shoulder, making no eye contact and speaking evenly as if walking a tightrope he summoned his courage: “You need to get your annual screening mammogram, just to make sure.”
“Just like that, my dad was talking about my breasts but he couldn’t say the word! Ack!”
Knowing how hard it was for him to bring up the subject (and all the things he did to maneuver the conversation) Samantha took his concerns to heart. And knowing me, writing about breast health every day, made finding help easier. I was able to tell her what to expect, how simple and painless the procedure is and even direct her to this blog if she wanted to read more on her own.
So my friend is scheduling her first mammogram. Her father was brave enough to speak up, because he loves her. And she’s brave enough to face the unknown because she loves him too. Here’s to family – positive histories and all.
*not her real name
Originally published 3/13/14 on mammographykc.com.