It was time for my two yearly mammogram. I liken it to a trip to the dentist, not something you look forward to, but so very necessary. Especially as my Mother had breast cancer in her 70s, and I have had bowel cancer a few years ago. I attended my appointment in the big blue bus, a first for me as I previously attended Hutt Hospital. This mobile unit covers a large area, from the local areas of Manawatu and Horowhenua, up to Wanganui and Taranaki, then over to Hawke's Bay, Gisborne and East Coast regions. It must be a real bonus for people who live some distance from a hospital.
My procedure was done quickly and professionally, although I will have to wait for the results as the x-rays are forwarded to Palmerton North Hospital to be checked by the radiologists. So………fingers crossed that everything is as it should be.
I soon spotted a quilt hanging up inside the bus, which I really had to check out. It features a photo transfer of the mobile unit as it travels around the country offering this very important breast screening service to women. With hills and valleys, a bit of the coast line, Nikau Palms and Mt Egmont, and bordered with New Zealand plants, it is so typically New Zealand. The label told me that this work of art was “Created by Marion Hamilton for Breast Screen Coast to Coast Mobile Unit in 2002”.
Breast Screen Aotearoa is New Zealand’s free national breast screening programme for women aged between 45 and 69, and is a wonderful service. With my 69th birthday coming up fast, this will be my last free x-ray, and I must decide whether or not to continue screening with private mammograms. Something to discuss with the doctor next time I go, I expect.