A Breast Exam as a Survivor

I’m going into healthcare and will begin my program next fall. In preparation for the program, I have to become a pin cushion and have some paperwork done. That’s all I expected when I went into my appointment. Then, they told me they would need to do a physical exam since they haven’t seen me in four years. I’ve never had a breast exam or PAP test before, and they would need to do those as well.

I was terrified.

As I was undressing, I had tears in my eyes. I wasn’t mentally prepared. Sure, I’m doing well lately in regard to my mental health. I’m working long days, so I really don’t have time to think about the past. Still, the idea of getting a breast exam (which is likely going to trigger me) on such short notice was unbelievably scary. I tried to pull myself together as best I could before the doctor came in.

I told her my worries almost right away and she said I could decline the breast exam if I wanted to. This is my health we’re talking about. I really did want to get the breast exam, but based on how upset I got, I decided to skip it. My doctor was really understanding about it all and made it clear that it was entirely my choice.


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