I recently had to go see the doctor for my "yearly" exam, yeah, you all know the one! While I was there, she told me I needed to schedule a mammogram. "Not that again", I thought to myself. I'd had my first ever mammogram at the beginning of last year, and all was well…why do I need another one? I agreed to set up my appointment with radiology, and bid my doc a fond farewell. I kept my promise and scheduled my mammogram before I left the medical center that day.
As the day of my mammogram approached, I contemplated calling to cancel it. I am a very modest person and just really did not want to deal with the whole disrobing and everything that is involved in having a mammogram. Instead, I sucked it up and kept my appointment…like a good mommy should!
The big day arrived and went off without a hitch. I had my mammogram and was in and out of the office in minutes…glad to have it behind me.
Two days later, the doorbell rang. It was the mailman, he told me I had a certified letter that I needed to sign for. As I signed for it, I saw the return address…and my heart sank. It was from the medical center, "This can't be good", I thought to myself. I closed the front door and sat down on the sofa, clutching the envelope tightly. "What's that, Mommy", my little one asked. "Just a letter for Mommy", I replied. I waited a few seconds before opening it, bracing myself for what it might say.
The letter said I needed to call the medical center to schedule another mammogram and possibly an ultrasound… something "abnormal" had been spotted in the mammogram I'd had done two days earlier. "NOOOOO! Oh my goodness, this can't be happening! Please, God, please let me be okay, my boys need me!" I immediately began to pray. I also contacted family and friends via FB and asked then to start praying for me.
I called the medical center and gave them my name, I was put on hold immediately. "Hmmm, this ain't good", I thought to myself. Prior to having my youngest, I worked in the medical field for ten years…so I know a little about the scheduling process. The receptionist came back on the phone and said, "We can get you in tomorrow ." Wow…that's not good either…they must really think it's bad if they are squeezing me in so soon. I made the appointment and hung up the phone.
The rest of the day was spent in a daze. I did a lot of praying, and thinking about my boys. So many things I still want to do in life… I'm not ready to leave this earth.There is a family history of breast cancer in my family, my great-grandmother had it…not once, but twice! She ended up having a double mastectomy and lived well into her 90's.
The next day, I went to my appointment, for my second mammogram in one week. This time, they sent me to a "specialized" facility that deals with nothing but breast cancer… that made it even more scary, more real. When I arrived, I sat down and looked around at the other women. Did they all have breast cancer, or were they like me, terrified and praying profusely?! I was called back within a few minutes and met the tech that would be working with me. She explained that they would be doing my mammogram first and then the radiologist would read it. If I needed an ultrasound, it would be done immediately afterwards and I would know the results before I left. Whew, well, at least I will know the results. I started to feel light-headed as I got undressed.
I was led to the mammogram machine and the process began. I was extremely nervous and started to sweat. The tech asked me if I wanted to sit down, I declined. I told her I just wanted to get this all over with and find out the results. After she was done, she asked me to take a seat while she went to talk to the radiologist. I sat down and again began to pray. I remember I kept exhaling, trying to calm myself down.
The tech came back into the room within a few minutes and said, "OK, you can go home now, everything is fine!"
"Are you serious?!" I asked. "Yep, it was just a lymph node, everything's fine!" I could feel a huge smile begin to fill my face. "Thank you, God!" She told me I could get dressed and then she told me to have a great weekend. (It was Friday). As I stood up and started to get dressed, I told her, "I will, I will have a great weekend!" Tears filled my eyes and my whole body was shaking. The reality of the situation hit me…how close I had come…how lucky I was. I got dressed and thanked her, before I walked out.
When I got to the car, I again thanked God and tried to compose myself. I was overcome with emotion. I was so happy, but at the same time, so sad. Sad for all the other women who would not get good news that day. My heart was breaking for them and their families.
I am so glad I did not cancel my appointment for my mammogram. If this had been something serious and I had cancelled my appointment…I don't even want to think about what the outcome might have been.
If it has been more than a year since your last mammogram, please call and schedule one today! Do not put it off, it could save your life. You owe it to yourself and your family to do all you can to keep yourself healthy. Please pick up the phone and schedule your mammogram today!!!
Have a great 2012!