Let me first begin by asking if you do your self checks of your breasts? If you don't......start immediately. I have encountered so many women who are too young to begin their mammograms that have BREAST CANCER!!! You have got to be pro-active. Know your body. If you have any susupicion of an abnormal lump or bump...SEE YOUR DOCTOR!!! I can't emphasize this enough!!
As for my own journey.....I had been fairly regular with the mammograms. Recently I had heard that we can begin skipping a year if we've had normal readings. I did not get one last year. Now I wish I hadn't skipped. I had noticed a lump on the outer right quandrant of my right breast. Our local (1.5 hrs away) mobile mammography unit was scheduled to be in our are on June 9th and I promptly made an appointment. I kept the appointment and had the usual x-ray. Nothing different. Just a little concerned and anxious to hear the results like....all clear just fibrosis. Usually a letter is sent, but nothing. During this time we had left and took a little vacation out to Ogalala, Nebraska. I received a phone call from my regular physician telling me that I needed to go back and get a diagnostic mammogram and possibly and ultra-sound. I scheduled that to happen as soon as we got home. So we're talking about 2 weeks of time here. At the next appointment, after the mammogram had been read, a tech came and told me that he'd be doing an ultra sound. We did that and he took it to the Dr. to be read. He came back and I asked him what they thought. He said they thought it should come right out. He never said the word cancer, but that's what immediately popped into my head. Ok...time to jump into overdrive and get things taken care of. By the time I got home a couple of hours later, my Dr. had called to tell me that she was referring me to a breast surgeon. Doom and gloom. Ok....so now what? How do we get those films from one location to the other. We're talking a distance of about 3 hours. Mountain Home, AR to Springfield, MO. They were going to MAIL them....yikes! Do they know how long it takes to get things mailed?? I called them and told them I'd be picking them up the next day and hand delivering them to the breast surgeon. We went and picked them up. On the ride up, being the curious little thing that I am, in the disk envelope was a folded up piece of paper. I pulled it out and it was the radialogists reading of my mammogram and ultra sound. The words "highly suspect malignancy" jumped out at me. They should have just as well be in bold. It's a good thing the hubby was driving because I would have crashed. Tears flooded from my eyes as I realized I was dealing with something I had never delt with before and had no idea what to do!!! I've always been pretty much in control of everything in my life and been able to take care of things. I just didn't know what to do!
So now we wait. The breast surgeon has the films. I call his office to see if they have looked at them yet and made any detemination. The films have to be uploaded into their system and a radialogist has to look at them. Too much time. Bless all those nurses hearts for answering my questions and phone calls! Finally a nurse from the Breast Care Center calls and tells me I'm scheduled the next Wednesday for a breast biopsy. Well....we're finally getting some things done! I'm feeling a little better. So now what do we do...we research. We all have the world wide web (www) at our fingertips and we research when we want to know something. Well, 80% of the breast biopsies done are benign......yippee! I want to be in that group. So, for now, I'll stop here. I need to take a break and so do you to go check your breasts!!!