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Topic: Dread and Anxiety over yearly Mammogram

Forum: Stage I Breast Cancer — Meet other members with a Stage I breast cancer diagnosis to share information and support.

Posted on: May 5, 2019 11:01AM

lola12 wrote:

I had a unilateral mastectomy almost 9 years ago for stage 1A cancer and each year I have such extreme anxiety over getting a mammogram. It almost stalls my life, I cant sleep, and just go through the motions of life until I get my result.

Am I the only one? How do you cope. I am due and cant decide to take time off work and just get it done or to wait until my day off next week.

I feel like my entire body is on alert and I am trying to figure out how to handle this. I know my mammograms have been fine, I know recurrence rate is low for my stage, but I just cannot get a grip on this.

Any suggestions?

Lola
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May 5, 2019 12:39PM PurpleCat wrote:

My first post-treatment mammogram is four months away and I'm already stressing about it, so no, you're definitely not the only one. I will probably take the day off and am thinking about bringing someone along with me. I'm also rehearsing a mental script that goes something like, "Yes, there is a possibility they may find more cancer, but I did treatment once and I can do it again if I have to. And with a clear MRI a year earlier it's unlikely that anything that wasn't even visible yet will have grown to an advanced stage. And if it did, I'll get through it."

Dx 10/2018, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/4/2018 Lumpectomy Surgery 10/18/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy
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May 5, 2019 07:08PM Tmh0921 wrote:

I'm 19 years out and still have anxiety over my mammograms. I take an anxiety pill when I go, whichhelps.

One question for you, does your doctor write your mammogram orders as screening or diagnostic? My OB/GYN always wrote them as screening and I'd wait several stressful days for results. A few years ago, I bypassed my OB/GYN and went right to my surgeon for a new lump (ended up being a benign cyst). He got me in at the imaging center that day, and wrote my mammogram orders as diagnostic. I was shocked when they had me wait after doing the imaging and they gave me the results THAT day, in person.

I mentioned to the breast nurse who gave me my results that I loved how they now read the images and gave me immediate results. She told me it was because the doctor ordered the mammogram as diagnostic, they always read the diagnostic images in depth immediately.

Now I have ALL of my mammogram orders written as diagnostic so I get immediate results. This doesn't alleviate all of the stress, but helps a LOT.

Dx with stage 1B IDC, Left, at 27 years old in 1999, Dx with ADH, Left, 2016, Dx with ALH, ADH, DCIS, Left, 2018 Dx 12/7/1999, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 0/14 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 12/22/1999 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy 1/31/2000 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 2/1/2000 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 8/24/2016 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 9/5/2018 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 9/7/2018, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 1
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May 5, 2019 07:50PM Meow13 wrote:

lola, I have mammogram appointments with a result reading immediately after. I go to Swedish hospital in Seattle their image center. That really helps. Also my annual MRI I think is read immediately after but I know if I don't hear from them that same day the result is good. I think this helps with the stress for me. Do you have that option?

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May 6, 2019 01:27PM lola12 wrote:

thank you all, I callled, explained my anxiety and got an appt for today at 1:30 and they will read it as I wait.

Lola
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May 6, 2019 09:10PM PurpleCat wrote:

So glad you were able to get in more quickly! How did it go?

Dx 10/2018, IDC, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/4/2018 Lumpectomy Surgery 10/18/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy
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May 7, 2019 10:40AM lola12 wrote:

Thankfully, it went well. 9 years cancer free :)

Thank you for all the advice. I called and explained my anxiety to the staff and they said come in at 1:30 and the radiologist will read it immediately.

I am breathing again.

Lola

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