I went for my annual 3D mammogram screening yesterday. I got a phone call this morning from the imaging center. They need me to schedule “a recall appointment.” No one is recalling my boobs because they’re defective, but they need to recall me back to the office for further examination.
The panic is inevitable. I sat up and grabbed a pen. The doctor just had areas he couldn’t see. “So the doctor didn’t see abnormalities? Just has areas that didn’t show up?” She doesn’t answer me directly. Instead she offers, “When we’re younger, our breast tissue is denser. So the doctor wants another mammogram under more magnification and also an ultrasound.” The other day, at my annual gynecologist appointment, my doctor said my breasts were dense but that she didn’t feel any areas of concern.
There is a history of cancer in my family: breast and ovarian, so I’m especially nervous. I told my doctor that I have mild lower back pain, so I also had an ultrasound of my pelvis and a trans-vaginal ultrasound.
Fine. Let’s just get this over with. “Can I come in today?” No. There is no doctor on the weekends. Fine. Monday? No. Not until Friday, March 31. I ask if I can go to a different, affiliated imaging center, something sooner, just for peace of mind. I phone another place, they can see me two days sooner, on Wednesday. But before they schedule me they need to know if it’s an ultrasound for both breasts or just one. I don’t have the answer. AND the answer freaks me out. Because both seems fine (they equally can’t see everything), but if they say just one breast needs an ultrasound, it makes me think there’s an area of concern. Wouldn’t they tell me if they saw an area of concern? Or would they not want me to worry, so they just say the vague, “doctor wants to see more?” Or are they just being ultra-conservative and thorough?
Now I need to harass them every day to know if they have cancellations.
I’m sharing this to remind people to schedule their mammograms, their primary care annual exams, and their dermatologist screenings for mole-checks. Also, more importantly, I feel like I now need to stop commenting away any mild pain and instead just get it checked out. Even if it means a recall. Next up, I want a followup blood test for my cholesterol and for my liver and kidney function. I just want to know that it’s all okay.
Despite being on estrogen and progesterone because I went into menopause when I was 34, I still didn’t get my period the past 2 months. So, I’m a stress case, and I just want it all checked out. Get it all behind me. And I share this to remind you to do the same. Don’t self-diagnose. Don’t explain it to yourself, why you’re gaining weight or losing weight inexplicably, or why you feel bloated, or why you have a mild dull low back pain. Just get it checked out.