Thursday, July 8, 2010

DD Talks Breasts



Brace yourselves, I’m going to get serious on you. Sorry, but I had a scare last week, and if it helps one person for me to share the lesson I learned, it’s worth it to get a little personal.

Last Thursday, I got my first ever callback from a routine mammogram that I’d had the week prior. I was truly floored. I missed going last year, and had rescheduled this one twice. Now I was being told that not only did they want me to come back for another mammogram, they wanted to see me the next morning. I was definitely freaked out. When I got the call, I was making dinner and an apple pie. I cried, made a couple of phone calls, then we ended up with dinner, three apple pies, a pumpkin pie, and blueberry tea cake. I’m not a baker.

My husband had a rare day off the next day, and to his credit, I didn’t even have to ask if he’d come with me to the appointment. Neither of us expected to be there for over five hours. I certainly didn’t expect to be told I’d need an ultrasound after that second mammogram still showed a problem. Thank God my husband was there to see me through the wait until that test could be done.

At the end of those five hours at the hospital, after much hand holding and wringing, the ultrasound showed two small cysts creating a questionable shape on the mammograms. Nothing to worry about. The Doctor, however, had a few things to say to me about not doing monthly self exams, and skipping last year’s mammogram.

She’s absolutely right.

She also told me that the majority of women who get breast cancer - and that number is a staggering 1 out of every 7 women - have NO history of it in their family. There was no reason for me to ever feel safe, or to be so casual about routine testing.

I’ve learned my lesson. I will be going every year without fail, and I will be doing those self exams.

Won’t you do the same?

17 comments:

Michelle Polaris said...

Hey Dalton,
Thank you for sharing this difficult moment. I'm 40 this year and am making the call today for the mammogram. I'm so thrilled it turned out to be good news for you. Big hugs.

Cara McKenna said...

Wow, so scary, Dalton, but generous of you to share your experience. While I was at my parents' for the Fourth I went to visit a childhood friend I haven't seen in ten years. Her cousin, who can't be older than 34, just got diagnosed with breast cancer. I'm 31 and have it in my head that it's something I don't need to worry about until I start getting routine mammograms at 40, but that sucky news definitely cut me up short.

Katie Reus said...

So sorry about your scare and thank you for sharing your experience!! I'm glad you're okay though and thanks for the reminder about the self exams. My doc laid into me last visit about self exams too!

Wynter Daniels said...

Glad everything is okay. I had a similar experience a few years ago. I'm a believer in taking advantage of all the great screening tools we now have. They save countless lives.

Kaylea Cross said...

Dalton, I'm so glad everything's okay! Cancer is a scary, scary word. The numbers are staggering, aren't they?
Big hugs to you, and one for your hubby for being there for you when you needed him. He sounds like a romance hero :)

Dalton Diaz said...

Thanks, guys. And if you haven't called for that appt yet, call today!

Mai said...

Hey DD, thanks for sharing that, because it's very important. I'll be 33 next month and I need to take this more seriously, and I will be, thanks, and i'm very happy that everything worked out for you.

Desiree Holt said...

Gawd, I am so totally there with you. The same thing happened to me a few eyars ago and I was scared spitless (and other adjectives) until it turned out everthing was benign. I hadn;t skipped a mammogram but I'd stretched it out for nearly 20 months so it was almost like missing one. I'll never do that again, and I opreach to EVERYONE about it.

Jina Bacarr said...

Thankz for sharing, Dalton. So glad to hear you're okay. I agree with Kaylea. Your husband is a true romance hero.

Maggie Nash said...

How scary for you Dalton!

What a horrible way to be reminded that we all need to look after ourselves. Here in Australia mammograms are free for anyone over 50, but Breast Cancer still remains the largest killer of women in our community.

Great for you to blog about it to remind us all to be vigilant!

Dalton Diaz said...

Mai and Cara, it wouldn't hurt to get a baseline now if the insurance will pay for it. It's not the most pleasant exprience in the world, but it's a lot less painful than cancer that's not caught early.

Desiree, the dr. said the self exams are even more important than the mammograms! Don't skip or stretch out either! Something else I didn't know - we're supposed to be doing those self exams twice a month, right before and right after our periods.

And yes, I married a true hero.

Dalton Diaz said...

Maggie, wow! Are women not going even tho it's free?

Chris said...

I'm glad it turned out ok! I recently went through something sort of similar, so I can definitely relate. Alas, monthly self-exams aren't a realistic option for those of us who have serious cyst issues - we'd have to live in the gyno's office. For us, the mammogram is really the best choice.

Ashlyn Chase said...

Welcome to the lumpy land of cysts. Loads of women have them, myself included, and I went through the same scare a couple of years ago.

You're right about doing breast self exams. I've been forgetting to do them lately. Thanks for the reminder!

Ash

Dalton Diaz said...

Ash and Chris, yeah, the dr. said that, too. Verbatem, "Welcome to the cyst years." Wish I'd seen her first before the 2 mammograms and having the crud scared out of me! Like I said, tho, lesson learned. No safeties, do the self exams.

Amber Skyze said...

Hugs DD,

I had mine a few months ago. No scare, but my maternal gram died from breast cancer so I've been going regularly since I turned 30.
Glad things worked out and it was just a scare.

Christine H said...

DD, I'm so glad your Ok, wghat a scare. I can't honestly say I'll get one when that time comes and it's coming very close! But my Mom who's 65 has never seen any Dr. since she had me her last child at 26. I'm kind of creeped out by the Gyno even if the one I have is a woman. My friend Mandy had breast cancer and they got it all Thank goodness also my friend Angie had cerivcal cancer and she had regular pap tests but it was already stage 4 when they found it, she went through 2 years of chemo and radiation and now since she's lost control of her bladder and her tubes to the bladder are blocked shes been having stints in every six weeks now finally she's she just had another surgery, I forget what its called buy she'll have a bag attached to her hip to hold urine and she is Cancer free now after a little over 2 years and that still doesn't get me to go to the gyno either. I've only been 2-3 times in my life, once to try birth control, but then I ran out & I never went back and I went another time because after reading a women's magazine it had a story in it about a lady that sounded just like me, I took that to me Gyno and she sis some checking and testing and said yes you do have PCOS, but that's the last time I went. I have no plans of going back. Not sure what I'll do as my Mom is fine with out ever going. I just think I will be too i guess. I really hope so anyway!