Mammogram recheck story

miscindyJanuary 20, 2012

Two weeks ago I went in for my first mammogram. They let me know before the test that it is not uncommon to get called back for more views, so if I do get called not to freak out about it. So 2 days later I got a call from Women's Health asking me to come in for more views. The woman on the phone was really trying not to freak me out and said that due to dense breast tissue, the radiologist wasn't able to see everything clearly. So, I didn't freak out and in fact took an appoinment for a week later so I would not have to miss work. Flash foward to yesterday . . . the appoinment.

I was not nervous as I went in to the dr office. It wasn't my regular dr, but I still was fine. I changed into the gown and locked my things in the locker and went to sit in the waiting room. The technician who was giving me the directions about what to do wasn't very cheerful, but I figured it was just her personality. She did my mammogram pretty quickly and then had me go back into the waiting room to wait for an ultrasound. I knew I was getting the U/S but didn't realize that it's not typical. I was nervous as I waited. I saw other women in the waiting room and everyone was really quiet. The tech came back and said it would be a few more minutes, someone else was getting an U/S. So, eventually I was called back by the U/S tech-a different woman. I kept waiting for the friendly smiles, the "oh, this happens sometimes when we can't see the pictures very well." There was no reassurance. No smiles. She took me into the room and said, "So are these lumps that you are feeling?" What Lumps? "I wasn't told I have any lumps, just that they couldn't see very well in the mammogram," I said. The tech did not answer me and began the U/S as I wiped tears and tried to keep it under control. She spent a long time going over the same section of the right breast and said nothing. Then she switched to the left breast. After a moment she said, "Oh I see what they are looking for on this one. This is just a cyst. See here how it's black on the screen? It's filled with fluid and you can get it drained if it bothers you. Do you know about cysts?" Yes I know cysts are not a cancer scare. What was a scare was that she still wasn't talking about the right breast. Then she said the doctor would be in in a few minutes to explain everything to me and answer all my questions. By now I am sitting on the side of the table shaking and wiping tears. I pull myself together to get directions to the restroom because I really had to pee. It was just a minute after I returned that the doctor came in. She introduced herself and said "How are you?" I didn't answer her question. She, like all the others did not smile and was not friendly. Why can't someone be reassuring??? She had the tech do the ultrasound again and they talked about "it", not fluid filled, does it change shape when you compress it . . . then she told me that it's likely not cancerous--about 1% chance--and to come back it get it checked in 6 months so they can see if it's growing. That was it. The dr left and the tech said that she tells it like it is and if it looked suspicious I would be scheduling a biopsy.

So I am supposed to feel relieved and not worried. I do not feel that way. I am upset and stressed. This morning I went to work and had to leave right away because I couldn't talk without crying. It's hard to teach that way! My husband asked if I wanted anything before he went to work, I said no. He gave me a quick kiss and left. He doesn't deal well with women's emotions. I am naturally a crier, but because I know he won't tolerate it, I don't usually let him see me cry. So here I am with no one to talk to. I don't want to call my mom because I know I will cry and I don't want her to know I am upset.

I'm not sure what I am asking, I guess I'm just venting. I don't want people who know me to know I am so upset about nothing, but I did tell my co-worker.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am not trying to make light of your situation....I know that you are worried about it being cancer. It's only natural that you would be worried. That's our human nature at work.

But, let's just look at things from another angle. Sure, that lump could turn out badly. You could also get hit by a car and smashed into the pavement. You could get hit by something falling from a window in a building. Someone could go crazy and start shooting at everyone, including you. You could slip in your bathtub and bang your head enough to mess up your brain. There are hundreds of bad things that could happen to you. You could even get food poisoning at lunch today and die before tomorrow.

Do all of those possible bad things send you into tears?

Every day that we walk this wonderful earth may be the last day that we have because bad things happen to good people. Live for the good things that you have today. Don't waste your time crying about what might happen tomorrow.

And for the technicians and doctor that didn't behave as you felt they should.....There are people, unlike you, that would complain because the tech wasn't serious..."she just kept smiling." The medical staff has to walk a narrow path between being too blunt and too friendly. Not everyone does it well. What bothers one patient, is just exactly what another one is looking for. One wants to given ALL the facts. Another doesn't want to know anything. How is the tech supposed to know how YOU feel?

And so you are "distressed and upset." About what? It sounds as if there is little chance that you have a worry. As the tech said...if the doctor was worried, a biopsy would be done very soon. There would be no waiting to see what happens in six months. It doesn't work that way. A doctor would NOT take a chance like that. But, on the other hand, a GOOD doctor knows that strange and unexpected things happen and she wants to look again later.

Take care of yourself. Talk about it with your friends if you feel comfortable with talking. It may help you.

Let us know how you are getting along.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 7:32PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"She introduced herself and said "How are you?" I didn't answer her question. She, like all the others did not smile and was not friendly. Why can't someone be reassuring???

I agree. I once had a cold hearted female gynecologist. She wasn't friendly. In fact she was downright hostile. I never went back to her again. Some doctors are cold as ice. Perhaps you can ask a family member or friend to go with you the next time so you won't be alone when your having to get tests like these.

Links you might find useful.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 3:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I certainly understand how you felt. I had a similiar situation many years ago when I went in for what I thought was nothing serious and wasn't even allowed to go home but directly to the hospital. So I can see why you were looking for some reassurance, especially from the doctor.

Techs are often not allowed to say much so I have learned not to try to read their thoughts. Doctors on the other hand can still be thorough with their medical treatment and emotionally supportive. My husband works in a Cancer Center and often have patients that do not have medical insurane that are transferred to them from another cancer center in town who won't treat them. The one comment that is often made to the employees of where my huband works is that they are treated like human beings there versus a patient number at the other center. And that goes from the receptionist at the front desk to the social worker to the Therapy Techs, to the Doctors.

If you are not sure or comfortable with what you were told, you can always have the U/S and the mammo sent somewhere else to be read. Did they ever talk about the right breast with you?

Let us know what you decide to do.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 4:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh miscindy I wish I read this on Friday so I could have responded to you sooner. I absolutely agree with you about the coldness of your visit. What the heck? If they don't teach medical personnel to have at least a little warmth, don't you think it would come naturally to a caregiver? I remember my first mammogram appointment. I was so nervous I called ahead of time to see if the tech would be make or female. The girl said oh you won't know until you get there. Huh? She couldn't tell me who was working or I couldn't make an appointment with a woman? So I told myself well, if it's a guy, then you'll just walk out and come back another time. When I got there I asked the woman at the desk and she said that they don't have male technicians for mammograms and of COURSE it would be a woman! She couldn't believe someone told me otherwise! I think it all depends on who you get. Some are really nice, and some just plain s*ck. I hope you are doing well and that your physician explained more about what they think they saw. You deserve a good explanation.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2012 at 9:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

miscindy, I feel for you. I got the dreaded call to come back in for another mammagram, too. I had one earlier this week & will be going back next week for another one. When the tech did the left side, I felt a sharp pain but not on the right side. It's the left side they want to test again. One minute I'm thinking it will be nothing & the next one I've got myself losing it & having to take chemo. A bit stressful, to say the least!
agnespuffin - I like what you wrote - "Every day that we walk this wonderful earth may be the last day that we have because bad things happen to good people. Live for the good things that you have today. Don't waste your time crying about what might happen tomorrow." I think that will get me through the next week.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 8:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had a mammogram recheck about 5 years ago. That wound up being a repeat mammo, an ultrasound, and finally a biopsy. The biopsy was most nervewracking because I didn't know what they'd find and also because I didn't like the idea of a needle in my breast. Turned out that it really didn't hurt, the tech and doctor (both women) were very kind - and results were negative.

A few years ago I had to have another repeat mammo and ultrasound; by that time I had an implant (like a pacemaker) above that breast, so the tests hurt a bit more. But I didn't have to have a biopsy - results were fine.

I've finally accepted the fact that I have lumpy breasts and to not be surprised if I have to have more tests following my yearly mammo. If they *did* find cancer - early detection is good, and they have very advanced, successful treatment these days. The staff at my mammo center is kind - they have little heated half robes, offer tea and coffee in nice china cups - it's really not bad, even when I have to spend more time there than I'd like!

Repeats are nervewracking, but remember that most of them wind up with benign results.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 12:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Gladys, no heated robes, tea or coffee at my Health Center. Lucky you! The letter I got said 99% of repeats are benign, so that's a good thing. I've had some bad experiences with mammograms in the past, but no call backs. Once my left side was compressed so hard that it hurt for a month after & I could hardly wear a bra. I'm a working girl, so that was a very uncomfortable month. After that, my Dr's nurse had told me to go on Mondays (the tech on Mondays is the best). I can't believe that I forgot that this year. So this time, my left side was compressed so hard, that it felt like something popped & I had shooting pain. A very uncomfortable few minutes. If I get through this ok, you can bet, I won't forget to go on Mondays in the future. I suppose I'll get that left side compressed even more this week. Can't wait! Haha

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 9:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yeah, I'm blessed to have a very good mammo center. Last time I was there (didn't have to go for a recheck - yeah!), the tech asked about my implant. It's a type of brain implant, to control my tremor - the battery is above my breast, the wires are in my brain. She asked all about it, said she was going to research my situation more when she got home, so she'd be more sensitive to others with my diagnosis in the future. That was really terrific.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2012 at 11:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nice tech there to want to research your implant. I did want to tell you that I had a beneign cyst. Woo Hoo!!! God is good!

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 3:46PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Right side chest pain only at night when sleeping
Hi Everyone, I've done some research, and have found...
itchy skin eczema?
I have been itching and scratching since the end of...
Relentless Night Cough/Post Nasal Drip
Hello, I am desperately seeking information/advice...
Painful Spots of Roof of Mouth
Has anyone had these? Every once in a while, I get...
Chronic Chapped Lips
I have NEVER had lips that weren't chapped ever since...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™