GrowMyBusinessFAST Blog/You're Free to Go: How a Mammogram Scare Forced Me to Find Balance in My Business.

You're Free to Go: How a Mammogram Scare Forced Me to Find Balance in My Business

A few days ago, my life took an unexpected turn.

“Your mammogram revealed a nodule. You need to schedule a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound,” the nurse said on the other end of the line.

"Nodule? What does that mean?"

"It’s similar to a mass or tumor in your breast."

Before this news, my relentless focus on growing my business had taken priority over my own well-being.

Now, there I was sitting inside a cramped room with a locker about the size of a foyer closet, draped in a clinical gown with my arms laced around my breast.

“Ms. Marlow? I’m Beth, and I’ll be conducting your mammogram screening today. Follow me.”
I trailed behind Beth slouth-like.

“Can you confirm your name and birth date?” Uttering my name and birth date felt as if I were talking about someone else.

“So, I'll be taking about three images. Once I'm done, I'll show them to the doctor. If everything appears normal, you're free to go. But if there are any concerns, we'll proceed with an ultrasound. Any questions?”

I shook my head.

Within seconds, I found myself leaning into the cold steel that squeezed my breast into a flat pancake, triggering tears.

If ever we needed AI or ChatGPT to discover a more innovative solution that would spare women the inhuman way of performing mammograms, it’s now.

After Beth took the images and left, I sat there stupefied, trying to focus on all the tasks I had to complete that day. I needed my mind to be elsewhere… anywhere but in that room.

I lost track of time waiting for Beth to come back; it seemed much longer than it probably was. When she returned with a calm but earnest expression, and said: "the doctor would like for you to have the ultrasound," I felt my chest close.

By the time the Ultrasound Specialist showed up and I followed her into the dark room, I was an emotional wreck.

Before long, I found myself lying there, my gaze fixed sideways on the screen as she probed around my right breast with warm gel. Her probing made me reflect to—on the endless days and nights I'd sat glued to my laptop.

I love what I do! But I had to learn to set boundaries, to find balance between my work and my commitment to self-care.

I barely remember her handing me a towel to wipe off the gel; all I remember is her saying: "If everything checks out, you'll be free to go."

After she left the room, I started doing the only thing that I’d been taught to do ever since I was old enough to know there was a God.
I prayed. I mean, really prayed.

"God, please let my results be good! I swear, I'll prioritize my well-being. I won't miss another mammogram. I'll cut back on the late nights, the days—sometimes weeks—without seeing my loved ones."

The moment the door creaked open and the petite woman stepped inside, time seemed to stand still. Finally, she delivered the words that echoed my prayers: "You're free to go."

A surge of relief swept through me. In that moment of clarity, I realized I'd been given a second chance—a precious opportunity to reshape my life's journey.

In the days that followed, I made a committed to establish clear boundaries, to learn to say no without feeling guilt, and to maintain a harmonious blend of drive and personal well-being.

In a society that often celebrates relentless work and achievement at any cost, it's all too simple to overlook an essential, enduring truth: our most valuable resource is not our relentless drive for accomplishment, but our ability to cultivate, restore, and cherish our well-being.

Here's to the voyage ahead, to the paths it may unveil, and to the wisdom of placing our health and serenity at the heart of our endeavors.

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