Gartman: Get (your mammogram) done

Published 3:22 pm Wednesday, October 4, 2023

“Get it done.”

That’s what Patricia Gartman said to encourage other women in getting their mammograms.

Gartman, wife of First United Methodist Church of Atmore Pastor Andy Gartman, said last July, she came to Atmore Community Hospital for her yearly mammogram.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“They called me, and told me I needed to talk to my doctor,” Gartman said. “They sent me a nice little letter. I talked to my doctor, and my doctor said, ‘Let’s go ahead and get the diagnostic and ultrasound done.’”

Gartman then went to have the ultrasound done, and the radiologist wouldn’t let her leave.

“He was talking to me on the phone, and said, ‘I want you to go ahead and get a biopsy done.’ I went to Mobile and had a biopsy, but it was very, very small.

“Everybody was just so surprised it was so small,” she said. “I really say that Atmore’s digital mammogram machine caught it.”

After the diagnostic phase, Gartman said she then had a lumpectomy last October.

A lumpectomy is a type of breast cancer surgery in which the tumor and a small amount of surrounding tissue called the margin is removed. The purpose of a lumpectomy is to remove the cancerous cells.

“I had a lumpectomy, but my margins didn’t come back clean,” she said. “I went ahead and had a mastectomy in December. In January, I was cancer free. I didn’t have to do chemo or radiation. I am on some medicine.

“I am truly blessed they caught it way ahead of time,” she said. “I just thank the hospital for having that digital mammogram. That’s the best thing. I’ve told everybody to get their mammogram.”

Gartman said her faith in God, and the prayerful support from her church helped get her through this ordeal.

“Get it done,” Gartman said on advice to other women. “I know my daughter in law is younger, and she went ahead and had her’s done. Everybody I’ve talked to do, I’ve encouraged them to go ahead and get it done. That’s the main thing I want people to do, is get it done.”