**This is the last of what turned out to be a series of posts about my experience with mammogram screenings. I updated the posts with current resource information. These are not sponsored posts. To start reading from the beginning click here.
I began my search for community and social service organizations in the area for help. I called the local hospitals’ nurse lines which help with doctor referrals. I explained my situation to the nurse through fears and tears, but she was of great comfort and assistance. She gave me phone numbers and information to some of the area’s local agencies, and the phone number to the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation helpline. The nurse told me she would be sending me some information on Breast Cancer by mail. She also asked if she could call back to follow up with me in a few days, which she did a few days later.
I called all the local agencies first, and while they had programs in place, they tended to gear towards women age 45 and some programs 50 or older. When I called the Susan G. Komen foundation breast care helpline they told me about a local program that I might qualify for. By the way that phone number is 1-877 GO KOMEN.
I was told all they would need was proof of my income or lack thereof. I called the program office and they immediately scheduled an appointment for me to come in. When I arrived to the appointment the details of the program were explained to me. I was asked what led to my inability to cover the expenses, and once i gave my proof of income, they wrote up a waiver for me, called their affiliate office, scheduled the appointments for the tests, which wouldn’t for a few weeks. She sat down with me to talk about preventive measures, and gave me tons of information about local support groups.
I can’t say that I wasn’t still scared, but I felt a lot more informed, and I felt like I had a team of supporters behind me. Don’t get me wrong, my husband has been great through this whole thing, and so has my BF, but now I felt like I had this big team of support, and that meant a lot. Looking back I wish I’d found Dr. Val Jones article “Abnormal Mammograms Often Terrify Women Unnecessarily” before or even after my first mammogram.
A few days later I went in to my appointment. I took the films with me from my previous mammogram, as instructed. After the mammogram, they compared the results the previous exam and the results were the same. Then I was called in for the ultrasound. I can tell you that I’ve never been through anything scarier, and I’ve had four children, so I’m not exactly squeamish. I kept looking at the screen to see what would show up……absolutely nothing.
Yep, that’s right nothing. So I asked, what does it mean? Based on the findings, or lack thereof, clinical management was recommended. There is no focal target for a biopsy, so short term follow up with another mammogram to confirm stability was recommended in 6 months. So I get to worry about this for another 6 months, and see what happens then.
It’s been a week since all this has happened. I’ve been reading all the information I was provided with, and plan on making a couple of lifestyle changes. I’ve come to the conclusion that while it’s okay for me to be scared and worried, whatever is or isn’t going on with my left boob; for the moment I have not been diagnosed with breast cancer.
On a side note…
I know there are women out there who have been or are currently in my shoes. Women who don’t have the means to obtain medical care. If you or someone you know could use help seeking assistance please direct them to the Susan G. Komen website, or for a direct link to their low cost or free mammogram please click here for more information.
Please stay tuned.
P.S. I joined the fight for the cure. I hope you do too.
**This is the second of what turned out to be a series of posts about my experience with mammogram screenings. I updated the posts with current resource information. The original post can be found here.