IT'S BREAST CANCER (awareness month)  

Posted by Heidi in

Saturday afternoon the phone rang. This is rare on any saturday but especially so the weekend of General Conference. Even before I checked the caller I.D I had a premonition it would be a request for a do-over of the mammogram I had had the previous Tuesday. It turns out that it was my healthcare provider calling but it was just a recording informing me that “a prescription that you have ordered has been mailed per your request”.
I had post-traumatic-stress flashbacks from three years ago anyway.

The Flashback: Three years ago I had my very first mammogram. Ever. I was almost 42. The fact that my grandmother, mother and sister have all had (and survived) breast cancer makes my (late) (ish) timing a bit foolish. But I wasn’t worried. When all the “pictures” had been taken and the technician returned to say she needed a retake of the right breast (she claimed I must have moved) (I didn’t) “just in case”, I still wasn’t worried. She was quite pleased with her retake so I was very surprised when she called back a few days later explaining that I needed to come back in for a more thorough mammogram. I was annoyed, but still not worried.

I didn’t worry until a doctor (he didn’t say but I suspect he was an oncologist) called to say (in sepulchral tones) that I needed a biopsy on my right breast and that further information would be coming in the mail. Since I was more than familiar with the fact that I have always (that’s ALWAYS) had a non-malignant mass (or so I’ve been told) in my right breast, I was even more annoyed than worried. However, when I received the glossy photos of women lying face down on an ironing-board style table with a lovely breast-sized hole in it that allowed the doctor to do who-knows-what to your breast while the biopsee (not a real word for those who assume I only use real ones) (I don’t) was blind to the proceedings, I started to consider the possibility that I had breast cancer.

One painful biopsy later (the doctor gave me a shot to kill the pain but he missed the nerve. Yeah. Lovely. Especially since they removed a square half inch of tissue from my breast which is not the least missed considering that dense mass amassed in that same general area) and another mammogram immediately following, there was no cancer at all whatsoever. Each of my annual mammograms I have had since (two) have gone off without a hitch (I try to ignore the gasps of dismay from the technician when she reads my breast-cancer-ridden family history) until Tuesday when the technician cheerily informed me that she had to re-do the right breast. “You must have been breathing or moved when I took the first one.” (I didn’t.)

Speed forward to Monday morning. The phone rang and this time it was my premonition realized—it was Kaiser with the request that I come back in for a more thorough mammogram of the right breast. She softened the blow with the old standby piece of propaganda “You must have moved or something.”

(Ladies, if it has been more than a year since your last mammogram, go and get one and make it sooner than later. You won't be sorry. Okay, maybe you will be but not as sorry as you could be or might be IF . . . )

(For those who think they see symbolism in my photo, doubt not.)

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 6, 2009 at Tuesday, October 06, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

31 wise, witty and wonderful comments

Good luck with the retake.

I just turned 35, so I suppose I should be making an appointment.

Thanks for the reminder (I think).

October 6, 2009 at 5:08 PM

My service yesterday (as per my goal on my blog) was to give money to my friend who is walking for the breast cancer awareness walk thingy.

And when I was 20 I had two core biopsies and ultimately surgery to have four fibroadenomas removed. I know how scary it is, even when it isn't cancer.

Good luck with the next mammogram.

October 6, 2009 at 5:24 PM

I have GOT to do that. Soon, I know. Thanks for the reminder.
I'm so sorry about all your "redo's".

October 6, 2009 at 5:33 PM

Hello lady,
It's been too long since I've commented. I've been around, but sometimes hurriedly...

I hope the very best for you. And I thank you for reminding me to take this stuff seriously in my own life.

Peace to you.

October 6, 2009 at 7:09 PM

Panic attack when I saw the first half of your title in my reader.

I hope the retake goes well. I'll be praying for you.

October 6, 2009 at 7:35 PM

Good luck with your mammogram. They are sooooo important! I too have a huge history with Breast Cancer in my family, and had my first one last year at 36. Early detection can make it much easier to treat in the long run.

I believe that the Lord often prepares us, giving us promptings of what is to come, so we can be prepared to deal with what we need to do. May He guide you! Good luck again!!

October 6, 2009 at 7:37 PM

I hope everything is okay, Heidi! Please keep up posted---I'll be thinking about you.

October 6, 2009 at 7:39 PM

I haven't had one yet (33). I'm not really looking forward to it someday either.

October 6, 2009 at 7:47 PM

Well...that's no fun. :( I will think non-lumpy, very benign thoughts for you. Love you.

I still haven't done mine, mainly because the baby is still nursing. (Will she ever stop?) But since my MIL and aunt have all been fighting the good fight I really need to move it up the docket.

Today was a very good mail day. Thank you. :)

October 6, 2009 at 8:08 PM

Babe, you'd better email me asap about those results!

I had 2 tumors removed from my left side and that was no fun. Luckily, neither was cancer. Still, gotta check up on that stuff though, huh?

October 6, 2009 at 8:08 PM

Gee, Heidi, could you fit any more drama in your life? Sure hope this turns out to be a non-event. I was nearly forty-seven when I had my first mammogram, but then I was forty-six when I stopped nursing my youngest. I had to have a retake of the left breast; I didn't move, but the tech dropped the plate (on her own toe-poor woman) and ruined it.

October 6, 2009 at 8:39 PM

You will be in my thoughts. I hope everything goes well and that you don't need another procedure.

October 6, 2009 at 9:26 PM

Joyous things to look forward to when you turn 40.

October 6, 2009 at 9:30 PM

I'll add you to my prayers tonight. I really hope all goes well.

October 6, 2009 at 9:30 PM

Oh, Heidi, this is great! I have the same family history (except that my mom didn't make it) and the same crazy paranoia from all the medical personnel because of it. You absolutely must read THIS POST so you'll know once again why we're soul sisters for life:

(And in the mantime, I hope it's nothing!) xoxo

October 6, 2009 at 10:26 PM

I'm sorry you have to do this song and dance again, but at least you know that after the aggravation, it will be nothing. Again. I know it! I'll say a prayer for you.

October 6, 2009 at 11:21 PM

I'll be praying for you!

October 6, 2009 at 11:32 PM

Charrette and I had this discussion recently.

I just had to have my right side redone too. Last week. I almost always need a redo on that side, and I have been going since I was forty. This time the doctor took my photos and examined them right then and there and finally said all was well. But, man. I feel for ya.

Thinking of you.

October 7, 2009 at 12:23 AM

Heidi! I didn't know you had a family history. I'm sorry about your scare, and as others have said, hope all is okay. As they've also said, I'm sure it is! Thinking of you!

(and I came on the computer to change my blog color to pink for this month. I wrote articles about breast cancer awhile back so I'm much more aware of it than I used to be.)

October 7, 2009 at 12:52 AM

I had a scare too when a doctor felt a tiny lump. They didn't do a mammogram though because I'm too young. They did an ultrasound which is more reliable on younger tissue. Thank goodness, everything turned out ok and it was no big deal, but it is scary to have to check those things out.

I really, really wish you luck with your next redo. Sounds like a quite an ordeal. My prayers are with you! xx

October 7, 2009 at 5:13 AM

Good thoughts coming your way. I am glad you are taking care of this and thanks for the great reminder.

October 7, 2009 at 8:40 AM

Hmmmm. I have about 6 prescriptions just sitting in my drawer unfilled. I know I need to get a mammogram, but I keep putting it off, year after year . . . Okay, I am going to have to repent.

October 7, 2009 at 10:19 AM

I had a heart attack when I read your title, too! Yikes. I hope all goes well, sorry you have to do it twice.

October 7, 2009 at 11:27 AM

I hope the retake is just because there's some scar tissue in there from the previous procedure. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!

Hugs and love,

October 7, 2009 at 12:14 PM

Wow Heidi, I'm feeling for you! I hope everything comes back just fine, I'll be praying for you too!

October 7, 2009 at 12:54 PM

Keep us updated.

I would like to have a mammogram (not because they are fun) now to have a baseline, but sometimes they aren't so easy to come by. I'll mention it at my next appointment.

October 7, 2009 at 7:56 PM

Knowledge is strength.
Hope all is well.

October 8, 2009 at 7:17 AM

Here's praying that, as Charette's post says, it's a lot of hoopla for nothing.

35 comes next year. I shall have to get serious about it, even if I do not have the family history you do.

October 8, 2009 at 10:27 AM

Wow! How scary...and painful.

October 8, 2009 at 4:02 PM

I hope everything goes well!

I love your halloween docorations!!

October 10, 2009 at 11:05 AM

News? Worried here. Love ya.

October 13, 2009 at 9:37 AM

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