It was that time of year again. Time to wear pink and join the thousands of women at the Alaskan Run For Women. As I stood in my designated corral, with my bib on, waiting for my turn to approach the start line, I couldn’t help but reminisce about my career. Not only do I have an important job that has to be done with precision and compassion, but it can be gratifying and sometimes life changing for my patients.
I will be honest with you. I don’t talk about work once I clock out. I don’t even share how my day went with my own daughter when I ask her how her day was. Fact is, my job is to do one thing, create a breast image identical to a prior exam in order for the radiologist to determine an interval change. It’s stressful and repetitive. It’s often very uncomfortable for my patients and most of them are nervous, if not scared about the results.
And as looked around at my fellow racers on Saturday, I saw a visual reminder of all of this. Beyond the empty bras from mastectomy’s, bald heads from chemo, and a sea of pink clothing…I saw grandmothers, mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters, friends and neighbors. I saw a whole community coming together to fight what I see women face every day, Breast Cancer.
I work at Providence Imaging Center. If you come to see us for your mammogram, chances are you will be greeted by me. I’ve been a Mammographer since 2000. I did my initial training in Nashville Tennessee and studied Digital Mammography in Boston. Before coming to Alaska in 2010, I was Lead Mammographer at Cary Medical Center in Caribou, Maine. Since working at Providence Imaging Center, I have performed more than 12,000 exams.
And still after all of this time, I stood in a crowd of women, emotional. It was moving and inspirational. Not just as a professional, but as a woman. The mission statement for the AKRFC is, “To raise money for and awareness of breast cancer and women’s health, and to showcase the talents of Alaska’s women athletes.” I’d say they accomplished that mission very well.
Though the words, “A Mammogram found my Cancer” will never lose their rewarding feeling, I know that it’s just not me helping to fight this disease. It’s a whole team of people I work with and I am blessed to be a part of it all.
Amanda Delight, RT(R)(M)