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Topic: Why am I so afraid of mammograms?

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

Posted on: Jul 8, 2020 08:05AM

lola12 wrote:

Tomorrow I have my mammogram. If all is well, I will be 10 years since my diagnosis.

Each year, life stands still until I get my mammogram. I don't plan and my anxiety goes off the wall. I wish I knew how to control this, I know the odds are good.

Does anyone also experience this? Any coping mechanisms?

Lola

Lola
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Jul 8, 2020 08:35AM edj3 wrote:

Well if you're like me, your cancer was discovered by mammogram. So of course that's scary.

Tried the tamoxifen, no thanks. Dx 4/9/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Dx 5/6/2019, LCIS, Left, <1cm, 0/1 nodes Surgery 5/6/2019 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 6/2/2019 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 9/23/2019 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 8, 2020 08:58AM lola12 wrote:

Very true, but the past 9 years have been fine. Grrr. Hopefully I will be 10 years cancer free tomorrow. Fingers crossed.


Lola
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Jul 8, 2020 10:54AM - edited Jul 8, 2020 10:59AM by Mavericksmom

You are not alone. As someone who had breast cancer twice, IDC in 2003 and ILC in 2018, 15 1/2 years apart, I can honestly say I am the same. The range of my emotions was like the outer edges of a swinging pendulum. Sometimes I had so much anxiety that I seriously felt I didn't want to ever have a mammogram again. Why? Fear. Fear is NOT our friend. It creeps into our minds like a thief and tries to rob us of our sanity.

I think what you are afraid of is getting cancer again, not the mammogram. If I am wrong, please state that because there is a whole different approach that might help if it is really just the test itself that causes your fear. In my case, I really didn't fear the mammogram, I feared getting the bad news, but going for a mammogram stirred up all that fear.

What lessens my anxiety when it is time for any breast cancer related test, is to tell myself two things. First, if I have cancer, it is there regardless as to whether or not I have the test, and secondly, it is SO MUCH BETTER to find it as early as possible! There is actually a third thing to remember, the chances are in your favor that it will be completely normal!

You have a whole lot of support here should you get a less than "negative" result. Try to relax and focus on how you will feel after the mammogram! I hope they give you immediate results. I currently use the cancer hospital where I was treated and I see my doctor immediately afterwards, but even my local hospital where I had mammograms for years, would let me wait and get a copy of the report before I left.

Hope this helps! I wish you the best result possible!

Dx 6/6/2003, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/24 nodes, ER+/PR+ Dx 12/4/2018, ILC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
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Jul 8, 2020 11:49AM lola12 wrote:

You are 100% right Maverick,

I am not afraid of the test, it is the results for sure. I will get immediate results too.

It is crazy how worked up I can get, I also go to the same place where I was diagnosed, so its like a yearly flashback.

Thanks for the advice, I need to remember the odds are that it will be ok.

Lola


Lola
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Jul 8, 2020 01:13PM wallycat wrote:

I am eagerly reading this ...I have had a bmx, but my anxiety is through the roof simply making a routine doctor's appointment, much less GOING to it. I can't even get my blood pressure checked because it is through the roof-white-coat-hypertension.

I know how you are feeling and I wish I had words of wisdom. I have tried meditation and the mantra of "don't borrow problems..." or the "coward dies a thousand deaths, a brave one but just one..." and none of it has been helpful.

Then my DH got dx with metastatic prostate cancer last year ...and he is the picture of calm; never complains about going, getting scanned, monthly appointments, blah, blah...I start to think it might be a nature/nurture built in response for me, the stress.

Best to you.

Dx 4/07 1 month before turning 50; ILC 1.8cm, ER+/PR+, HER2 neg., Stage 1, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes. Onco score 20, Bilateral Mast., tamoxifen 3-1/2 years, arimidex-completed 4/20/2012
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Jul 8, 2020 02:37PM LiveLoveLaugh2020 wrote:

The anxiety is real. I think the majority of us experience this. I hate going to pretty much any doctor now let alone my BS and for imaging, testing etc. Wish this wasn’t the case for us! But I pray that you get benign results! And have a nice glass of wine to celebrate :)

DCIS Dx @ 34 - Bil NSM 09/2019 - Bil implant exchange with FG 01/2020.
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Jul 8, 2020 03:38PM Sunshine99 wrote:

I think we're all wired so differently. Some of us worry, some us don't, and some of us stick our fingers in our ears and chant, "Na na na na na na" so that we can't hear what we don't want to hear. I personally tend to worry about the little stuff. Not, "What will this test show?" but big time worrying over "Will I find a parking spot at the clinic?"

What works for one of us is useless for someone else. No, worrying won't help anything, but we still do it. Find what relaxes and calms you (chamomile tea does NOTHING for me!) and do that. If it helps to come here and "vent", then do that. You'll not be judged here! :)

(((hugs)))

Cancer has progressed to my bones. I pray that it never enters my soul. Dx 11/2/2007, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIA, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 3/26/2020, ILC/IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Hormonal Therapy 4/22/2020 Arimidex (anastrozole) Radiation Therapy 5/5/2020 External: Bone Radiation Therapy 5/12/2020 External: Bone Targeted Therapy 6/10/2020 Ibrance (palbociclib)
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Jul 8, 2020 04:23PM AliceBastable wrote:

I don't get nervous about mammograms. I've had other cancers, and for one of those, I get regular CT scans, and those don't make me nervous, either. I'm in a discussion group for that cancer, and I swear, 75% of the posts are about "scanxiety." To me, mammograms and scans are routine maintenance and let me know what's going on with my body. They are also interesting! If there's anything bad going on, I want it caught early, and that's what scans and mammograms are for.

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/7/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/28/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jul 9, 2020 05:27AM Mavericksmom wrote:

lola, I hope you come back and post today to let us know how things went for you. Sending cyber hug!

Dx 6/6/2003, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/24 nodes, ER+/PR+ Dx 12/4/2018, ILC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
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Jul 9, 2020 06:46AM bcincolorado wrote:

I think we all get scan=xiety after cancer. I know where I go get mine anyone who has had breast cancer they read right away and let us know and have us wait while it is read before we leave. Then afterwards the official report is typed up and sent off and we get it in the mail as well and sent to the doctors but I know first. Best of luck to you today.

Dx 8/2009, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/7/2010 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2010 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 1/30/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 9, 2020 06:57AM lola12 wrote:

I will let you all know, each of you are a blessing. I will get the results today.

Hopefully, I will be reporting that I am officially a 10 year survivor and done with tamoxifen!

hugs,

Lola

Lola
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Jul 9, 2020 07:03AM lola12 wrote:

Hi Alice,

I have read your post a few times in the past 10 hours and I must say your outlook has giving me strength. It is maintenance to get a mammogram. Like the Hunger Games movies say, May the odds be forever in each of our favors.

Lola

Lola
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Jul 9, 2020 10:21AM lola12 wrote:

Thank you for the support, all is well, I am officially a 10 year breast cancer survivor.

Phew. I don’t know what I’d prefer more right now- wine or nap?

thank you all truly

Lola
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Jul 9, 2020 10:52AM - edited Jul 9, 2020 10:53AM by LiveLoveLaugh2020

Yayy congrats! I say wine first, then nap lol :)

DCIS Dx @ 34 - Bil NSM 09/2019 - Bil implant exchange with FG 01/2020.
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Jul 9, 2020 11:55AM Mavericksmom wrote:

Woohoo!!!! Congrats on TEN years cancer free!!!! May you have a lifetime of the same result! Oh, and definitely have some wine!

Dx 6/6/2003, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/24 nodes, ER+/PR+ Dx 12/4/2018, ILC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH)
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Jul 9, 2020 02:58PM Dani444 wrote:

congratulations! Absolutely have the wine 🍷

DX @ 46, premenopausal, mammaprint low risk Dx 8/21/2018, LCIS/ILC, Right, 4cm, Stage IB, Grade 2, 2/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 10/24/2018 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Radiation Therapy 12/6/2018 Lymph nodes, Chest wall Surgery 8/20/2020 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Jul 9, 2020 05:03PM wallycat wrote:

Excellent! Congrats and *cheers* with a glass of wine!

Alice, I have reread your post and I also find it most comforting. Perhaps that is how my DH sees it all and it is definitely a worthy interpretation. I'm going to read this before bed and try to commit it to my psyche!

Dx 4/07 1 month before turning 50; ILC 1.8cm, ER+/PR+, HER2 neg., Stage 1, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes. Onco score 20, Bilateral Mast., tamoxifen 3-1/2 years, arimidex-completed 4/20/2012
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Jul 9, 2020 05:32PM lola12 wrote:

I agree, Alice, your words were comforting to me. It is maintenance.

Cheers to each of you.

Lola
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Jul 9, 2020 05:47PM keepthefaith wrote:

Lola,

Congratulations! That is awesome news. Good for you:).

I always tell myself, "just get it over with" when it comes around. Although, I won't lie, when I am in the waiting room, it all comes back to me like it was yesterday.

Dx 9/17/2013, IDC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/17/2013 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 12/2/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 12/25/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 1/15/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Chemotherapy 2/10/2014 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 3/31/2014 Breast Hormonal Therapy 5/22/2014
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Jul 9, 2020 06:39PM bcincolorado wrote:

Congrats and personally I would say a nap is healthier for you!



Dx 8/2009, IDC, Left, 5cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/7/2010 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Left Hormonal Therapy 1/15/2010 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Hormonal Therapy 1/30/2016 Femara (letrozole)
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Jul 9, 2020 07:10PM AliceBastable wrote:

So glad it was a good mammo! The right dose of wine will guarantee a really good long nap! 🍷🛌

Endometrial cancer 2010, basal cell multiples, breast cancer 2018, kidney cancer 2018. Cancer's a bitch, but I'm a bigger one with more practice. Dx 5/2018, ILC/IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 8/7/2018 Radiation Therapy 10/28/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes
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Jul 12, 2020 07:03PM - edited Jul 12, 2020 07:06PM by Britspeech

Ho Lola 12. Yes, I think most of us have that scanxiety. I'm coming up for my 2nd at the end of the month. I'm also in the Albany area and go to St Peters Breast center for all my mammos/ ultrasounds. We could get, together and chat if you like. Congrats , btw !!

Sharon

Dx 8/3/2018, DCIS/IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 9/27/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 11/13/2018 Hormonal Therapy

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