Doris Barbara never expected to become and advocate of a mammogram center. Now 80, she’s been getting an annual screening exam for many years but she always sort of dreaded it. She didn’t like the atmosphere and it was often painful, but she would go anyway because she was committed to taking care of her health.
“When you get up to be my age, you know it’s important to do what you can to take care of yourself,” said Doris, who lives in Toms River, New Jersey.
This year it was particularly hard to schedule. Her husband has been ill and Doris spends much of her time taking care of him and making sure that he gets to his many doctor appointments. When her appointment was due, she decided to just get it over with and forget about it until next year.
She got it done, but she didn’t just forget about it. Instead, she’s been talking about it a lot, with everyone she meets who needs a mammogram, in fact. The experience was entirely different than she expected and she’s eager to let people know.
“I was treated very well. I was personally escorted to the back and handed a nice, comfy robe, which was all new to me,” Doris said.
Throughout the exam she was asked about how she was doing and it was a comfortable experience, she said. Having worked in health care, Doris has an understanding of how systems work and what patients want. She said she was happy to find that same sort of understanding at Ella.
“You feel scared when you come in for an exam like this and it makes a big difference when people are warm and friendly and reassuring,” she said. “And the fact that you can have a cup of coffee or tea really makes you feel relaxed.”
Doris said she’s even recommended the center to her own doctor along with many of her friends.
“I’m not hesitant any more about getting a mammogram,” she said.