This feels different

April 21, 2022

This feels different

By: Dorothy Gibbons, CEO & Co-Founder of The Rose

I arrived at our country place at 9 am on a Friday to find my sweetie complaining that he didn’t feel good. For a guy who is unreasonably healthy and, even at age 72, doesn’t take a single medication, I wasn’t particularly worried until he pointed to the middle of his chest and said, “This feels different.”

Those three words set off every alarm in my being, and he was in the Emergency Room within half an hour. Before the day was out, he was transferred by ambulance to a hospital known for its cardiac care. Four days later, he underwent a quadruple coronary bypass. 

Friends and family have marveled at the chain of events, saying: “Wasn’t it good that I was there.” “Thank goodness the cardiologist insisted on a heart catheterization even when all the standard tests were unremarkable.” But, most of all, I heard how fortunate we were that he didn’t blow it off but instead “listened to his body.” 

That is a trait not always found in men.

On the other hand, women tend to know their bodies; they recognize when something isn’t right, it’s that concern that nibbles at the back of their minds, but unfortunately, they don’t always take action.

“This feels different.” I have heard these words countless times from women who have discovered a change in their breast, a lump, a thickening, a redness. Too often, these same women tell me they had known something was wrong for a long time, but they were too busy to call the doctor, take time off from work to have a mammogram, or had to take care of someone else first.

When whatever it was that felt different couldn’t be ignored any longer, they call.

I remember one woman in particular who had known about her lump for sixteen months. She told me she had her son’s wedding to tend to and wanted to wait until it was over and he and his bride were off on their Honeymoon. She didn’t want to spoil things or want the family to be upset or worried. But, unfortunately, that wait came at a high cost: her life.

My wish for every woman is that the next time something ‘feels different’ in her breast, she picks up the phone and calls her doctor and has a mammogram. Sure, it could be nothing, but why would we ever take a chance?  “This feels different” is the body’s call for help. Don’t wait to find it

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About The Rose
Since 1986, The Rose has provided high quality breast healthcare to all women, regardless of their ability to pay. Its mission is to save lives through quality breast health services, advocacy and access to care for all. As a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence, The Rose is led by Fellowship trained physicians and offers advanced digital technology including 3-D tomosynthesis mammography, diagnostic workups, biopsies and its nationally recognized Patient Navigation Program ensures access to treatment and a continuum of care for all women. As a major part of Southeast Texas’ Healthcare Safety Net, The Rose is a strong advocate for quality breast healthcare and access to care. The Rose provides direct medical services to 40,000 insured and uninsured patients annually. Two Houston-based comprehensive Diagnostic Centers and Mobile Mammography Coaches provide services to women throughout 43 counties in Southeast Texas.