Saving my Tatas one Mammogram at a Time….

pink ribbon tree of hope

In late April I went to the doctor’s office like a good little girl for my physical.  Okay, I wasn’t being such a good little girl, but after being laid off again, I figured I’d take advantage and have the entire family checked out before our current insurance ran out.  Having a good employer who pays for your family’s medical insurance is a great perk. One I was definitely going to miss.

I love my doctor!  She is an amazing lady and doesn’t give me any slack.  If she notices I haven’t been taking care of myself as well as I should be she scolds me.  She is very direct and unfiltered like me.

I don’t like doctors that give you the run around.  She suggested I get my yearly exams out of the way while I was still covered.  When she mentioned a mammogram, I thought sure, I’m almost 42 it’s as good a time as any to start.

About a week or two after my mammogram, around the time of Memorial Day, I went to Spooky Empire’s May-Hem convention; tests forgotten.  I’m really bad about answering calls from phone numbers I don’t recognize.  The person who had this phone prior must have been on the call list of every telemarketer in town.

Two days after I returned from the convention I received a letter from the doctor’s office saying that they had been trying to reach me in regards to my test results.  I called the doctor’s office.  The nurse told me that my mammogram results were abnormal, and that the doctor had a prescription ready for me to pick up so that I could have another mammogram as well as an ultrasound done.  That’s when a bit of panic set in.

I went to the doctor’s office during my lunch to pick up the prescription.  The referral paperwork said that there was a stellate lesion visible in my left breast.  The doc’s office was closed for lunch and I had to return to work.  I called and left a message for her so that I could obtain more information, but I needed to know.  So when I got back to work I searched the interwebs and this is what I found:

“Among breast abnormalities, spiculated masses having a stellate appearance in mammograms are highly suspicious indicators of breast cancer. Unfortunately, the detection of spiculated lesions is very difficult. Their central masses are usually irregular with ill-defined borders. Their sizes vary from a few millimeters to several centimeters in diameter.”

So there I was trying to figure out what I was going to do next, and then the tears came.  My insurance had run out.  If I couldn’t afford my doc’s office visit I sure as hell wasn’t going to be able to afford an exam?

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.  She also gave me the phone number to the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation helpline.

Have you had your first mammogram yet?  I’d love to hear your comments!

The Broad

**This is the first of what turned out to be a series of posts about my experience with mammogram screenings. I updated the posts with current resource information on October 1, 2015. These are not sponsored posts.