I almost missed the study that was e-mailed to me called “Breast Cancer Risk in Young Women Study.” In fact, I did miss it until my sister forwarded her e-mail to me. As I read all the study requirements, I realized I qualified!
I clicked the RSVP button: “YES! Sign me up!” and entered my information. Army of Women sent me a detailed email, telling me what to expect. Soon after, I heard from the research coordinator, and she gave me more information.
Do you think I’m nuts when I tell you how excited I felt? Just the thought that my blood would be involved in a breast cancer research study gave me thrills!
I already had made my oncologist’s appointment, and so I was scheduled to have my annual blood test on Monday. My kit arrived in the mail with some forms to sign and two empty vials. Now I began to get nervous. Would the phlebotomist give me a hard time about filling these two extra test tubes? I hoped not.
As I signed into the lab Monday morning, I looked around at the full waiting room. After spending years of waiting in similar rooms at hospitals and doctors’ offices, I could tell who was in the middle of chemo, who was accompanying a loved one for support, who was there for routine blood work like myself. I thought I was the nervous one with my two test tubes in a box, but other people were fidgeting anxiously, waiting for their name to be called. I figured out that the wait was about half an hour. Not bad, considering some of the waits I’ve sat through while seeing certain specialists. Some of those waits were spent shivering in a paper gown while sitting in an exam room–I’d much rather be fully dressed in a waiting room! As much as a veteran as I am at the waiting room game, I forgot to bring a book. It’s a habit I’ve grown out of now that my appointments have stretched out to a year in between visits.
My name was called, and into the lab I went. As I explained to the phlebotomist what I needed her to do, she was very kind and filled my two extra vials with no problem.
As I sent off my package with the FedEx man, I was so glad to be a part of something bigger than me. Being part of a research project goes beyond taking care of myself; I’m doing my part in the future care of women just like me. Women and men just like you.
Are you one of them? Join Army of Women at www.armyofwomen.org today to find out!