Why Mammograms Scare Me More Than Halloween

October 30, 2015




I honestly don't know where to start today, so I guess I'll just get right to it.

Right here...right now, I am saying out loud that I hate October and I hate mammograms. I'm not really sure which one is worse to admit. I mean in the dreamily decorated land of blogging, October is a flagship month. It is the harbinger of autumn decor, crock pot meals, fall front porches and cozy home tours. You cannot hate on October.

It just isn't done.

Of course, it's also the month of pink ribbons and breast cancer awareness. Hating on mammograms is heresy. But I do and with very good reason. They scare me. Breast cancer is a horrible disease. It has affected my family and altogether way, way too many of my friends ~ some of whom I have lost, others of whom are in treatment right now. 

And while I know that mammography is a wonderful tool for detecting problems early and doesn't deserve the hate, cancer is my thing that goes bump in the night. The whole process scares me...especially since I've been called back almost every single year, from the age of 24, for something that needs to be followed or biopsied, it's become terrifying.

For me, this usually plays out in October, so I am sure you can see now why I am not a fan of either.

This year, I was optimistic. I had already been to the facility on three separate occasions over the last eighteen months. I was hoping that this would be a quick, uneventful trip. In and out. I refused to hear anything bad. I was such a nervous wreck, that when the films were done, I threw on my shirt, stuffed my bra in my back pocket and left. I shimmied it on at a deserted traffic light once I stopped hyperventilating. It was my one moment of comic relief. I spent the rest of the day hoping that I was done for the year, but no such luck.

The phone rang less than twenty four hours later. Nothing to worry about, but they need you to come back for more films.

Of course they do.

I called my sister and begged her to come with me to the follow up a few days later. I could not go back there alone.

In the meantime, I wrote a post. It was entitled October Is A Truly Terrifying Month. The title referenced my silly tale about a spider.

Not really.

The more detailed films revealed new microcalifications that looked suspicious and the radiologist was recommending another biopsy.

Wait. I've already had a biopsy on the other breast. That was thankfully benign. I have to do this again??

Yes. That was the definitive answer.

Well, I didn't think so.

So I made an appointment for the following week with the fabulous breast specialist I had seen several years before on my first trip down this road. I wanted her to tell me that I didn't have to have it done, that it was nothing to worry about, that the radiologist was wrong. I was counting on that escape hatch, even if I knew better in the back of my head.

I waited for my appointment by taking a trip to farm country and wrote about it in the post An Unexpected Journey. It was another thinly veiled reference to what was really going on in my life.

While I tried to remain calm and carry on with business as usual, I wasn't online all that much. My comments were brief and my blog reading was done in batches. I wasn't particularly chatty in email either, I retreated. I wanted to do things with my family, breathe the fresh air and enjoy life away from the screen and the temptation to Google things that might've been more harmful than helpful.

A few of you noticed and emailed and I so appreciate that. Your words of kindness made an uneasy time more palatable and while I did not share the details of my situation, that would've made it all too real, I know that you probably knew what was going on. After all, it's October.

One in eight.

Of course my breast specialist and her radiologist both told me that I had to have it done, despite the protests that I felt like swiss cheese, that I was fine to wait and visit again in six months to see if something had changed, that the last few years were filled with so much bad that I wasn't strong enough to do this, but they didn't budge.

"You're stronger than you think you are."

I really wasn't.

You see, my blog is pretty. I tell funny stories and exude a "can do" attitude, but when it comes to medical stuff, I am a giant mess. I have the worst case of white coat syndrome known to man and spending the last several years surrounded by some very sick family members and dealing with a few health issues of my own, I was done.

I made the appointment, but I knew I wouldn't keep it. I read all the recent articles about the over-diagnosis of breast cancers that may or may not ever turn into something, I read the new Time Magazine article about doing nothing, watching and waiting. I read studies about slow growth, false positives and the dangers of too much radiation.

The dutiful patient in me reluctantly read the other side, too. I read about the small window of time doctors have to catch contained cells before they become invasive cells, I read the studies about how even things that look stable for five years can indeed be cancerous, I poured over posts from women who were diagnosed with early stage DCIS that was found to be invasive IDC when excised.

And then I looked at my kids and kept my appointment.

I prayed with intention ~ A LOT ~ something I haven't done in years and my poor sister had to literally hand me off to the doctor, I was a flight risk, but I did it.

Thankfully, yesterday, less than twenty four hours after my procedure, I got the benign word.

I know how lucky I am and my heart breaks for those who are not.

So why share this all with you? What's the point?

Well, I don't know exactly, maybe this post is more for me, than you.

While I was waiting for the biopsy and the results, I kept asking myself what was I so stressed about before all of this? What insurmountable problems had I been facing? I couldn't think of one. That is worth remembering.

Perhaps, I don't want to forget that we're all stronger than we think we are when we need to be or that prayer really is powerful, that loving friends and family do make a difference and that faith can carry you if you let it.

Maybe I'm sharing to let you know that just because people are winning awards, getting published and featuring pretty vignettes with sponsored roses, things aren't always rosy.

But probably, most importantly, I'm sharing to remind myself of how vital this screening is and fearful or not, I can handle it. I already have a script for my follow up.

I guess I'm going to hate April now, too.

Damn. I really liked that Easter Bunny.




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84 comments:

  1. Hi Kim. Your post says you haven't recieved any comments yet, and I always hate to be the first one, but here I am so I will give you my love and understanding and tell you that I always feel the same way. My blood pressure goes way up when I'm in the doc's office. I just had a heart test and even though I could tell that nothing had changed since the last one, I was so scared. My husband had a high PSA count one time and now goes to the urologist every 6 months to be retested. He went this morning and I was so scared. We are both fine and every year I get my mammogram and feel the same as you except I have nothing to base my fears on as I have never had a bad one. But, after going through it with my daughter , I know that it is all just one little step to the right and everything could fall apart I have no advise in how to get over the fears, because I know they are there whether a good or bad diagnosis is revealed, but you are so right when you say you HAVE to keep those appointments. My daughter is happy and healthy now because she did but one little thing I learned from her is that she comes right out and tells them that she is not leaving that office until she speaks to the radiologist about the results, and it works. The results would not be changed but the time that you have to wait to hear them would not be so insufferable, and like you, she does have to go back every 6 months. For the last few years she has been having an MRI too, just to make sure...I'm so happy that you took the test and that everything came out OK. I will keep thinking good thoughts that they always will..Have a great Halloween..Judy

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    1. Hi Judy,
      Thank you for such a thoughtful comment and your kind words…and thank you for being brave and going first! :) I am so glad to hear that you are all well and that your daughter is followed closely. It is important, you’re right. My siblings are well today, because they went for screenings and things were caught early. I know that it is for my own good, but yes, the blood pressure goes up and the "what if’s" comes out. I hope you have the best Halloween, too. May that be the scariest thing you encounter! ;)

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  2. Dear girl, thank you for sharing this with us. It was like reading my own diary in many ways. Two surgical biopsies, countless needle aspirations, always a trip back for more film, two trips on to the ultrasound room, trips to oncologist for physical examinations, those six month rechecks to see if anything had changed.

    And the early years waiting in the most dismally painted waiting room until they finally painted it pink. After the first few times I always begged for my husband or female relative to go with me. A woman should not have to sit out there waiting alone.

    Mine was always benign calcifications. And with that sentence always comes the thought of all those women where benign is not in the resulting report. So I always always feel that they have so much to share, so much to teach us. Eleanor Roosevelt's words are wonderful and sooner or later in our lives we all need them for something.

    Posts such as yours today help us pull together as women and support each other, understand a little better what we might be going through when our blog posts might seem just a tiny bit different than usual.

    Myself, I schedule all of these things in August or July, my least favorite months.

    Love to you,
    Dewena


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    1. Oh boy, Dewena. I am so sorry. It seems that so many of us have been through this. I was not sure that I should share. I didn’t know what purpose my tale would serve, I really try to help others on my blog ~ an easy how to, a little inspiration, a thought provoking tale…or maybe a good laugh. This didn’t fit into any of those categories and yet, I was compelled to hit publish. I am glad that I did now. I do hope that my share will help others to know that they are not alone, that perhaps feeling terrified is kind of normal (and expected), that even when faced with something very hard the strength to carry on is inside us all. Thank you so much for your honesty and for sharing your own history. Warm regards and a Happy Halloween, my friend!

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  3. Could be we all have this fear deep inside us but are not so good at verbalizing it. It is healthy to be able to say how we feel. I stuff so much so deep inside it will never come out and keeps me apprehensive and feeling anxious. You did it the right way. Telling us what it feels like lets us know its ok to feel this way. Thank you!

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    1. Hi Rita. Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. This was definitely something I wanted to share, but wasn't sure whether I should or not. Now that it's out there I am glad I opened up, it helps me to know that I am not alone and if it helps someone else either express themselves or go for a test, it is worth it.
      For me, writing my anxious feelings out is easier than talking about them. Perhaps keeping a journal would help? I find that once it's out of me, I can begin to let it go.

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  4. Kim,
    I am so happy for your wonderful news. Something positive I am thrilled. Love this post it will help others that are struggling with the same fears. I have breast cancer in my family and my mom, God love her, has survived it twice so I know the fear and uncertainty. Just glad your results were benign. Sweet news!
    Love ya sweet friend.
    Kris

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    1. Kris, thank you so much, it did feel good to have some positive news! Blessings to your lovely mother and to you my sweet friend.

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  5. I'm so glad that everything turned out fine. I know just how you feel, and it is so scary! I have had three biopsy's
    already. I just went last week and had my mammogram, and thank god it was okay. I was scared to death too!
    I'm happy everything is okay with you.

    Kathy

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    1. Oh Kathy, three?? I am so glad that there were all benign, but I can imagine how unnerving that was. I worry about another one, but I guess it’s one day at time, right? Glad your latest was all clear! Here’s to many more and thanks so much for sharing. You really feel alone until you hear of others with similar tales. It helps.

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  6. That was quite a scare. I'm glad that things turned out well in the end, but then again, you seem to have a tendency to develop microcalcifications on your breasts, that being said, you are slightly more prone to the big C . I know it's scary and it's annoying, but just keep doing what your doing and look at your kids whenever you feel like skipping your appointment on this important matter, rant all you want on your blog, but JUST DO IT. I would rather err on the over-paranoid side than miss something I may have been able to stop IF ONLY. Taking care of yourself is the same as loving your family. Think about that always.

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    1. Vel, you are probably the only doc that doesn't scare me and your words make perfect sense. When I confronted the specialists they all said the exact same thing to me...yes, it would be easy to bury your head in the sand and what we find may be scary, but why wouldn't you want to know and get rid of it when it's small. The window of opportunity is unpredictable and you're right, I don't want to say, if only. Thank you for your words of wisdom.

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  7. Kim, I'm relieved to know that the test was negative. Like you, I'm fearful each time. I've gone through the biopsy scenario, and fortunately it was negative. That doesn't mean that I'm not scared with each and every mammogram.
    Thanks for sharing this. It took courage to write about it. Positive thoughts sent your way for the months and years to come, sweet friend.
    Hope you can have a little fun on Halloween. Celebrate that it's the last day of October. Ha!

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    1. Thank you so much, Sarah, so many sweet words! It is scary isn’t it? It’s a necessary evil, I suppose, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I am going to try to enjoy Halloween, enjoy some friend and celebrate that yes indeed, October is over!! ;)

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  8. Well, sometimes I think it might be a good thing that I know nothing of my family history. I guess I say that because there's nothing I can do to find out either, and I suppose I want to feel positive about that aspect. I have been very lucky in the mammography department. I am 58, and only one time have I been asked to come back. And that was it. I know you've been so surrounded with illness that the white coat syndrome is probably made even worse by that fact. I am SO glad for you that you made it through another and it's okay.
    Brenda

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    1. Thank you, Brenda, and yes, that white coat syndrome is probably at an all time high lately. It doesn't make the visits any easier, that's for sure.

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  9. Oh Kimmie....I can only send a big hug and tell you that I am so thankful your got the benign word!! I've been in your shoes a number of times and it is truly terrifying.
    Blessings to you sweet girl....
    J

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    1. J, I am so sorry to hear that you have walked the same road. It seems that there are a lot of us...and I will take that hug and send one right back to you my friend. xo

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  10. Hello Friend,
    I am so happy for you. XX OO
    Our son Atticus had surgery to test his lymph nodes. I was a complete mess. But I faked it on the outside. I do wonder why we can not scream that we are not okay. So I totally get what you are saying. I never wanted to look or act like I was not in control of all this. But in private, I would cry. I really appreciated this honest post!!

    I am sending a BIG HUG!!
    Carla

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    1. Hello Carla. Thank you so much for the super sweet comment. I am so sorry that Atticus had to go through the surgery. I always feel the worst for kids. They should have nothing but happy times. I understand the brave face for his sake. I do the same in front of my kids, but those private moments, yes, that’s when I would crumble.

      I hope that his surgery worries are far behind him and you are all ready to enjoy a fabulous Halloween. Hugs back to you, my friend.

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  11. Bless your heart, I kind of understand. I always have to go back for the second round of imaging and sonograms. Never have had a biopsy though. Really there's so much to say about this but I'll just say...I'm so glad you are ok!! Unspoken prayers answered.

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    1. Thank you so much, Stacey. I am glad that you have been good so far. I know that the extra peeks and testing are for our own good. I try to keep that in mind and banish the scary thoughts. I'm working on it! :)

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  12. Oh, Kim, I totally get this. I've been through the same thing. Not biopsies, but the additional films and ultrasounds needed. I have calcifications in my left breast. Like you, I am terrified of any medical procedure. I have high anxiety as it is, and any kind of medical appointment or procedure makes my anxiety go through the roof. One of my sisters-in-law was just diagnosed with breast cancer. In fact, we found out yesterday. She sees a surgeon on Monday to discuss the next course of action. I don't know if she discovered the lumps (there are two) on her own or if they were detected by mammography.

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    1. Hi Melanie.
      I am so sorry to hear about your sister in law. I am sending prayers along that she receives some good news on Monday at the surgeon. So much of what they discover today is highly treatable, but either way, it is scary to deal with and go through. Truth be told, I almost didn’t share my tale. I felt a little foolish about admitting to being so very afraid, but now I am glad I did, it seems like I am in very good company. Maybe others will find comfort in knowing that they are not alone, too.

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  13. Dear Kim, I am so glad you got a benign report and all is okay. I understand completely how you feel. I have been called back a few times too for calcifications. It's never easy to return knowing what the outcome could be. In the end all times were okay, but the going through can rock your world for a time and the waiting is the worst.
    Now I have something we are watching and have been for some time. I go every year in June instead of October and in between if needed, just for my own sanity of sorts. Maybe with less to wear in the summer I can get out quick, I don't know but it helps me, so I do it then. Like you, I have seen a lot of family cancer and several with breast cancer.
    So proud of you for staying strong and having the courage to share your journey. Wishing you good health and many more clear tests in the future.
    Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Halloween. Enjoy and be glad the month is nearly over!!
    Blessings, xo

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    1. Happy Halloween my friend. I am so sorry to hear that you are also on the "watch list"...not a fun place to be. It certainly does not make that appointment easy to confront, does it? I am glad to know that you are stable and hopefully, your calcifications will stay there. I thank you for the lovely wishes you send my way and I wholeheartedly send them right back to you. Here's to good health, clear tests all around! :)

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  14. Hi Kim, Thank you for sharing all this. I understand it completely. You know, one of the best things this post may do is allay the fears of others that go through the same thing you do. A lot of people find it terrifying to go to ANY doctor for ANYTHING. I, too, have had a biopsy (and scare) but all has been clear since then. But---had it been cancer it would have been caught very early. You did he right thing.
    My hubby had prostate cancer and, because of what happened to two of his best friends, went ahead and had the surgery. His friends fought having the surgery and both died because the cancer got "out of the box" so to speak.
    I just went and had a routine colonoscopy and had some unexpected news---waiting for the results till the first of the week...but, as bad as I hated to do it- I did it and will have to take it from there.
    I am proud of you, Kim! Even though you were scared you did what you knew needed to be done and for that I give you a lot of credit.
    Just think----April is a whole winter away! xo Diana

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    1. Hello Diana.
      Thank you my friend. I usually do what I am told, but I have to be dragged like a tantruming toddler. The terror is so real to me. I am glad to hear that your hero opted for surgery and is all clear now. I hope you get the all clear, too. I am sending prayers and positive thoughts to you.

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  15. Oh, Kim, I'm so sorry I missed those signs that you were in need of some virtual hugs and prayers, but I am so thankful that your biopsy was positive (I never know whether to call it positive or negative, but you know what I mean). All this time I thought I held the title of "White Coat Syndrome Fem Fatale!" I'm so sorry you had to go through that, but I am so glad that you drummed up the courage I know you had all along and did it. I'm pretty good at putting my "game face" on when it comes to medical situations, but my BP gives me away every single time. The nurse or doctor always asks "Are you nervous?" Well, duh! I know it's not always easy to share our personal stories on our blogs, but I have found it to be such a soothing balm. Your blog friends (this one for sure) don't care if you are sharing a room redo or showing how to do a craft, we (I) want to know you are okay and if there is any way we (I) can help you. Please remember that, kiddo. And when Easter rolls around, please know you have someone to help you with that Easter Bunny.

    XOXO,
    Carol

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    1. Hello Carol. You missed nothing my friend. You helped me more than you know and you did indeed offer me some of your positivity one day, when I remarked how wonderfully cheerful you are. I think you are truly amazing. Your posts and pictures gave me strength while I was going through my trial…tiny compared to what you are going through. You are handling your situation with so much grace, I know that is why you are doing so well. I am sending you prayers for a quick and steady healing and thanks for your generous friendship.
      Thinking of you always, dear Carol.
      xoxo

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  16. You are a very brave woman and a blessing to so many who are wondering if they should even go get their mammogram, by posting this important message. I just had a mammogram and although I never get called back, it is scary to think they might find something. Following through will just strengthen your faith and resolve to go through it again if you have to! It is scarier to me not getting checked and then having it be too late when something is found! I tend to run to the doctor with symptoms rather than waiting. I am so proud of you and so happy that you got good results!

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    1. AnnMarie, thank you so much. I wasn't really sure whether or not I should push publish on this one. I am glad that I did. I honestly thought that my extreme anxiety put me in the minority. While I am not happy that so many have had the same experience, it is comforting to know that I am not alone. I hope this knowledge provides comfort to others as well...AND I usually go to the doc at the first sign of symptoms to catch things, too. For some reason, I would just rather avoid that mammo.

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  17. Yes, Kim, I did notice you weren't as available as usual. It seemed odd. I missed you! Praise the Lord for a good report! And for kids who remind us to take care of ourselves. Mine literally saved my life, because there was no one else to care for him. ha! So, kids ARE good for something, right??
    I definitely think changing the month you have your exam is a great idea. That way you can enjoy the fall celebration. ;-) Welcome back. Enjoy the rest of the season that is only 1/3 of the way through. Still two more to go.
    Love and prayers,
    Nancy

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    1. Thank you so much, Nancy and thank you for pointing out the positive...there still are two more months left in this glorious season! I am glad to hear that you are well...yes, those kids certainly are motivating, aren't they! xo

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  18. First let me say I am happy your report once again came out benign.. But facing medical problems are frightening, especially as we get older with the old clock ticker makes illness more possible. Two years ago I had major surgery, on my face, they needed to peel my face back from my forehead to 7" below my neck. I have never been so frightening in all m life, not knowing what I would look like. The morning after surgery I woke up with major PSTD and not able to leave my home for close to 7 months. I know I should have test done, but I can't because the thought of walking back in to a doctors office would clearly send me back to PSTD again. Now I know the price I will pay for this....but it is what it is...I just can't. So you are much stronger than me..

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    1. Cathy, I am so very sorry for what you have had to endure and please do not think that I am stronger than you. I cannot even begin to imagine what you have been through. I believe that anyone who has endured what you have had to would certainly be EXTREMELY apprehensive any time a doctor appointment was necessary. I am sending you prayer for peace, hopes that you are feeling better and letting you know that I think you are one of the bravest people I have ever had the pleasure of chatting with.

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  19. Oh, Kim, I totally feel for you!! I have been going for all sorts of scary breast exams and specialists since I was 26 and every year I absolutely dread my annual mammo. And last year I didn't go, so now I'm two years out, which scares me even more! I'm so proud of you for facing your fears and doing what you had to do - and I'm so happy the results came back benign. I put a sticky note on my office desk this afternoon before I left work to make sure I call and make all my doc appointments....the mammo included. I'm afraid of them all.....say a prayer.
    Hugs to you, my new friend. xo

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    1. Oh Deb, I am so sorry that you are on the same merry go round. It is a terrifying ride. I have been tempted many, many times to stretch out my time between appointments. I just have big sisters who make me go on time! ;) I absolutely will say a prayer and send positive thoughts for a quick, easy and trouble free visit. You can do it! And if you need a virtual hand to hold before you go, reach out, please!! xo

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  20. i have also been in those shoes. or ... that bra ... i guess you could say.
    while waiting for the results of the suspicious lump i read in the library ... all about it. and other women's experiences. it's as if i wanted to hold hands with people who'd been there. done that.
    it's the awful WAITING.
    i'm so SO glad it came back benign for you. and for me too.
    not so lucky with my thyroid two years ago. full of cancer. they took it out. he said "i think i got it all."
    there comes a point you just have to take them at their word and get on with your life. you have to!
    and i think you do a very good job of doing just that too!
    XOXOXO♥

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    1. Hello Tammy! If it's not one thing, it's another isn't it? I am so sorry that you have been these trials. I have known so many people with thyroid cancer, including my brother in law. I hope that is the end of your scary stuff and all else is happy, happy and super healthy! :)

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  21. I'm glad ... that it's OK (and over) ... that you're back, and ... that you still have your great sense of humor. Seriously though, happy that everything turned out all right. I know how scary hospitals are, even for just tests! Have a good weekend. Oh yah, HAPPY HALLOWEEN.

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    1. Thank you so much, Cheryl. I’m glad to be back, too. Blogging is much more fun…I missed chatting with friends! Happy Halloween to you, too. I am looking forward to candy!!

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  22. I did notice that I wasn't seeing and hearing from you as much . . .
    I wish I had known what you were going through . . .
    But it wasn't about me, and my wishes . . . It was you and your terror . . .
    And now it is today, still October . . . all is well, all is well . . .
    (October is my "freak month". . . and not Halloween freak . . . just "stuff.")
    Goodness sakes . . . I am happy you have that benign word under your hat!

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    1. Oh Lynne. You are always so kind to me and you always share beyond your blog, that interaction is so precious to me…what better gift than friendship and pretty distraction! Plus, several of your posts, spoke directly to me and helped more than you know.

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  23. Hi Kim, I read your post hours ago and have started this comment several times over the day. I want to say the right thing, something that would be helpful and supportive but I have struggled with the words. Like so many others here I am so glad that your reports came back benign. I can only imagine how difficult the waiting is especially if you are waiting alone. And by alone I also mean when you hide your feelings to protect your kids from seeing your fear or don't tell your friends until it is all over with. My mom had an abnormal mamm, a repeat, a biopsy, a diagnosis of DCIS, a small surgery to remove the cells and then radiation. My sister or I, and often both of us went with my folks to her appointments. My sister has had a couple of abnormal paps with call backs for additional procedures and she chose to not say anything until after it was all over. We are all so different in how we deal with things and you have to do what is right for you. My daughter has a best friend with a young family who has had a double mastectomy and chemo for her breast cancer. So far she is doing well. She and my daughter and a group of their friends are fighting fear by raising money for breast cancer research. They formed a team and walked in the Susan G. Komen 3 day walk this past August. She is very public about her battle. In fact she has a great t-shirt that says 'Hell yes, they're fake. The real ones tried to kill me" Her approach may not work for everyone but it works for her. I only say all of this because I want you to know that next time, if there is a next time, and there will probably be a next time, if you need someone to talk to I am your gal. I am not often afraid of medical procedures. I was a nurse for a long time so I have a little less fear of the unknown. And i am not embarrassed to say that I can find 101 things to talk about when you need a little distraction in that waiting room. I can send you my number...

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    1. Lorri, I started my post many times, too. I just wasn't sure what I should say, what I should focus on and if I should share at all. I am glad now that I did. I am sorry to hear about your mom, I am glad that she is doing well. I know so many, including family members, who have traveled that exact same DCIS road. I also have friends that have had the double mastectomy. I send my heart and prayers out to them all. I appreciate the offer to hold my virtual hand...I may just take you up on it! Honestly, I think my sister needs a break! ;-)

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  24. I'm so sorry that you had to go through this but I'm thrilled that you got good news. I know exactly how you feel, I have the same issues. I've never had a mammogram that I didn't have to go back to get rechecked, never. I know that the unknown is unnerving. 2 years ago after my mammo, they called me back in the room and told me that it looked like I had breast cancer. I'm all alone, going about my day and never expected to hear those words. It literally knocked the wind out of me. I had to have a biopsy but we were leaving on a 2 week vacation the next day, so I had to wait. I'll tell you that it was the hardest two weeks ever. All I could think about was what the Dr. told me that day. Luckily, mine came back benign but I worry every year I have to go. Thanks for being brave enough to talk about this. I think that there are so many women in the same situation and we all just put on a brave face and do what we have to do. Talking about it helps. Hugs to you my friend.

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    1. Hi Kristi, I am so sorry that you have had to go through it all too. I know that the waiting is so hard. The first time I went through it, I had the mammo on a Friday and the procedure and results by the following Thursday. This time was slower and time to think is not my friend. I thank you for sharing your story and adding to the conversation. Hopefully, all our stories will help someone else.

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  25. Kim,
    I am so very sorry that you have had this going on in your life and I thank you for sharing your story with us all.
    Your bravery and voice will inspire other women to be strong and take that scary step just as you did.
    Know that I am sending prayers your way and wishing you a happy weekend with your family.
    xo
    Jemma

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    1. Thank you so much, Jemma. I appreciate your comment and kindness. I am glad you think it may help others, I am pretty private about this stuff and was reluctant to share. Reading through all the comments, though, I am glad that I did. Happy Halloween to you!

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  26. Many gentle hugs, my Dear. I'm sure you did a service, by posting this.

    With your history, you have an understandable right to feel apprehensive. My rambling on here, will not add anything.

    I just send....
    Many gentle hugs,
    Tessa

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    1. Thank you, Tessa. I appreciate your kind words and gentle hugs. They go a long way! :)

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  27. Talk about an edge of your seat post, Kim ! Thank goodness you had the benign ending ...I was holding my breath for awhile there. So now have a Happy Halloween :) Hugs, Deb

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    1. Thanks Deb...yes, thank goodness! My words exactly!! :)

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  28. Very well-written post, Kim I'm so grateful to God that you're okay. Hugs, sweet friend.

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    1. Thank you so much, Nancy. Hugs right back to you.

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  29. Kim,
    I am just getting to catch up on some blog reading tonight...we can not like Halloween together! ;)
    Oh my gosh, I can so feel your white coat fear...I am terrified or Dr.'s and hospitals and everything that goes along with them.
    I too have had call backs, and it is not fun...but I go too...because we have to...there are people in our lives that love us and want us to be around. It was smart to take your sister with you, I always have someone with me too...well partly because I am a fainter...nurses hate me.
    Like you I am very private about things and don't share anything on my blog, but reading this post makes me see just how positive and powerful your words are and will be to someone else who is afraid to go!
    I am so glad that you got the all clear, what a relief. Hopefully this will make you just a little bit stronger for April!
    And you are so right, no one knows what someone is really going through, we all have to be just a bit kinder and gentler because we just never know what someone is dealing with.
    Hugs to you! And Happy Un-Halloween! ;)
    Kimberley

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    1. Oh Kimberley, I am always so scared that I am going to faint, but the nurses always laugh at me. They tell me that the ones who think they will faint, never do! I hope so. I also hope that sharing will help someone confront the test or perhaps something else in their life that is scary. I appreciate the comment and I hope your Halloween was UN, too! ;)

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  30. Oh my goodness Kim! I was on the edge of my seat while reading this, wondering what the outcome was going to be. I get where you're coming from...not knowing if you should write this post...wondering 'what is the point'. Well, the point is, what happened to you, and what happens to so, so many of us, is scary. And scary is always best tackled with support from those who care.

    I got a mammogram about four months ago, but prior to that it was five years! I'm not proud of that, and I will never do that again, but that's how much I hate them, and for most of the same reasons as you. After the memo, I sat in the waiting room for over 15 minutes. That's never happened. I finally got up and asked 'what's up'? Nothing. They just forgot about me. Scary!

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    1. Oh Doreen, it is so scary. I often think about skipping, but I have an army of people around me who make me (force me! ;) ) to go! I am glad that you went and you got the all clear. Phew! I can't believe that they left you there. Don't they know that women are sitting in that waiting room counting the seconds until they come back with that "you're ok...you can go!" Yikes!

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  31. Thank you so much for hitting the publish button Kim !! You being so strong and brave I'm sure has made some ladies think and you could have saved someone's life.
    At age 50 after procrastinating I had my first 3D mammogram. I figured while I was there in the same building to have my bone density scan. Mammogram fine , bone density not. I have severe osteopenia, a precursor to osteoporosis.Having a complete hysterectomy at 37 and going straight into medical menopause didn't help. I have 3 bulging herniated disc's and a right knee that needs replaced before my bone loss get's anymore extensive. No, it's not cancer , thank God . When we hit our 40's, as women we need to have our mammograms AND bone density test's !!! I am SO happy your biopsy was negative:)) Big hug's for you , TT

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    1. Tammy, I am happy to hear that you were clear on your last mammo, but yes, that bone density test is important, too. My mom broke two hips and a shoulder. I do hope that now that they have identified it, they can treat it? I wish you luck and thank you so much for sharing and weighing in. Looks like I have a new test to request in October. Ugh! :)

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  32. Kim, you had my heart in my throat all this time while I was reading this. So glad and relieved that you are allright. I too have been throught the big scare. Luckily it was benign. I will be praying for you so that all will be well during Bunny season. Hugs and love to you.

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    1. Thank you Mary and I will keep you in my prayers, as well. Hopefully, neither of us will have to go through the big scare again!

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  33. Kim, I know I wrote to you already but I just wanted to come back and congratulate you on being the winner of that beautiful sign from NanaDiana. I am so happy that you won!. While I was here I read all the comments from all our other fellow bloggers and just wanted to say that we belong to a really great sisterhood and that all the comments were so a part of their hearts and we can all be thankful that we belong to this community.Have a great week..xo Judy

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    1. Judy you are just really too sweet. Thank you so much for the congratulations. I nearly feel off my seat when I read that I had won! It is a beautiful sign and Diana is just the best. I feel the same way as you, we belong to a lovely community and I am so grateful to be a part of it. I hope you have a lovely week, too. xxoo

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  34. Oh Kim, I am so happy for you and glad that you shared this wonderful post with us! I totally understand the stress and the questions that go through our mind at times like this...each and every time it is scary to go through these procedures! I was sitting at the edge of my seat while reading your post and I am so relieved you are in the clear. Warm hugs~Poppy

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    1. Thank you so much, Poppy. I am sure you do understand and I hope that you are feeling well and your own scary health days are behind you.

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  35. Oh Kim, I am so relieved to hear your good news! The unknown is always the hardest part! I am so glad you have your sister! I know we are all breathing a collective relief that the news was benign. Living one day at a time is so hard to do. I want to know everything in advance and have my life perfectly planned out. I am so glad you have shared your story! Have a beautiful week one day at a time!! Will keep you in my daily prayers. Love to you! Lynn

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    1. Thank you, Lynn. I have been trying to live in the moment for years, it is not easy, especially when something like this pops up. I appreciate all of your kindness and prayers! :)

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  36. Glad all is well. I had my Mamogram last week...but got the call to come back for more imaging. I have been down this road too, so I will just have to wait for the round of more images and the doc's results. Sheila

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    1. Oh Sheila, I am sending prayer and positive thoughts that they take another quick peek for good measure and send you on your way until next year.

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  37. Oh Kim, I'm so sorry to hear what you were going through! I'm so glad that you are ok. It's good that you stay on top of everything but very scary I'm sure.
    I am so happy you won the sign from Diana's giveaway.
    Thanks for sharing your lovely projects too at our party and I hope you have a good week.
    Julie xo

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    1. Hi Julie, thank you so much. I am relieved and happy to back to blogging with focus. Diana’s sign win was a real treat! She is the sweetest!

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  38. I am so so happy for you, dear Kim. A big hug.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. Thank you, Amalia. I appreciate your sweet comment. :)

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  39. Hi Kim, sorry it was such a scary experience. I hate going for mammograms too. I have had to re take them. With having cancer three times, my doctor are very diligent about my screenings. I didn't have breast cancer...ovarian cancer twice and thyroid. Let's hope you can relax now. Thanks for your visit...

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    1. I hope that you can relax, too, Linda. Three cancers seem almost too much to bear. Prayers and positivity to you, my friend.

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  40. My goodness, so many emotions in my heart as I read through your post, because I was feeling the pain and agony of your heart as you endured the "waiting" and the anticipation of that appointment, and the prognosis. I'm so very thankful that you got a benign diagnosis! Praise God! Oh dear Kim, it is such a struggle to deal with these health issues, and to find yourself in the waiting rooms waiting for a procedure, a test, a diagnosis. I think writing about it is a great way to let that fear out of your heart, face it, and realize you don't have to let it destroy your life. I will be praying for you that peace will be with you!

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    1. Thanks so much for your sweet words and prayers, my friend. They mean the world.

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  41. Good God woman... you scared me to death! I read this post as fast as I could, so I could get to the news. I'm thanking God that it was good.

    big giant hugs and love to you,
    rue

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    1. Thanks Rue. Right back at you! :)

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  42. Hi Kim, I couldn't believe it when I came upon your post. You see I got that call to come back in next week for a second mammogram and an ultrasound. Im sure you know I am a basket case waiting for 2 weeks now to go back. They have called me back 3 different years and each time its because I have dense breasts they tell me that the films are harder to see. This year I had a new 3 d mammogram and I got the call 3 days after I had my mammogram. I have been physically sick waiting to go back for the second mammogram. I know these tests save lives but they sure do make a nervous wreck out of me in the meantime. Hopefuly it will b ok again, at least that's what I am praying for. Sharon in Carolina

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    1. Hi Sharon, oh boy, I am so sorry that you have to go through this. I know that awful waiting feeling, two weeks, ugh. I too am hoping that it is just a quick callback. I am sending you prayers and positive thoughts.

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