Jackie Douglas had her first mammogram at 33 - seven years earlier than the typical recommendation of 40, but a smart move for women, who, like Jackie, have a family history of breast cancer.
Still, since her mother and grandmother had been post-menopausal when they were diagnosed, it came as a shock when, at only 35, Jackie discovered she had an aggressive form of the disease.
“The reason I got the mammo was because I was thinking of having a third child, and figured I’d take care of my routine tests first,” she explains. “I was feeling great, and never expected the bad news.”
At the time, Jackie’s children were only two and three years old.
“Every time I felt claustrophobic in the scanning machine and felt like jumping out, I would think of their faces. I was determined to beat this.”
Despite a recurrence three years later, Jackie is now in remission. She reminds women to always call back after they’ve had a mammogram.
“Don’t assume it’s OK because you haven’t heard. My original paperwork got lost, and it took three weeks to get the results. I never stopped calling.”