Monday, July 29, 2013

Mammogram Stress...

So, I received a call today. I have to go back and get another mammogram!!! EEK was the first thing that went through my head, even though they told me that I would be called to return for another scan. But, knowing I am getting the call and actually getting the call, two different things. It is amazing what emotions are drummed up from the bottom when someone stirs the pot!

Anyway, the reason I have to go back is because the mammogram picked up "tiny calcifications" in my right breast. Of course, I started freaking out, so I posted on facebook about my freak out - and my wonderful friends unleashed such support, I'm not freaking out as bad. Many of my friends indicated that they went through this stress, and it was nothing. "DON'T WORRY!!" Ha, ha! :)

One of my friends sent me to this website: which has some good info, because I didn't know what calcifications were before reading it. Basically what it boils down to is this: calcium in my breast, which could be due to LOT of things NOT related to cancer. But, then again, it could, maybe.

In fully researching the subject, I went to Komen.Org and I searched for calcifications and found this fact sheet: FACTS FOR LIFE Breast Calcifications. This document reinforced the information found in the other post, but also emphasized asking your doctor questions.

These sites helped some, but I am still a little stressed. Going into the mammogram, I knew I was going to put myself through this stress, which is part of the reason I tried avoiding it. The radiologist at the Paulding Physician's Center (Wellstar) tried her best to leave me with a "don't worry if they call you, it is normal" but I can't help jumping to the most gruesome outcome. (I would like to thank Stephen King for that!) I am now sitting here, worrying. I will be worrying all week.

But, the great thing is: my appointment is on 8/5/2013 and the mammogram will be reviewed while I am there. I was assured that I will know the results/next steps before I leave the building. My fingers are crossed that this is nothing, but I am asking you to keep me in your prayers, just in case!

Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna

Sunday, July 28, 2013

From One Starbucks To Another (and back again!)

On my drive to the training walk this morning it occurred to me that I was up at 4:35 AM driving to meet up with fellow walkers at a location over 1 hour from my house in order to walk 8 miles. Now, while this doesn't seem all that significant (because I walk most weekends), the revelation hit me like a ton of bricks. It didn't matter that I got maybe 30 min of solid sleep. It didn't matter that I spent yesterday at a toddler's birthday party in a bounce house. It didn't matter that my stomach was upset or I was WAY tired. I was still up at 4:35 AM on a Sunday to train for the Susan G Komen 3 Day for the Cure. For the rest of the drive, I kept asking myself "Why can't I show this much commitment to other things, such as work, or laundry? Why can't I find this kind of dedication to showing up to work?"

It seems I put on my big girl panties when it comes to this cause because I know a life depends on it. Someone out there is going through something way more horrible that missing out on the "sleep in day" and getting some extreme exercise.

Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

My First Mammogram!

So, yesterday I put on my big girl panties and called the Wellstar Imaging Center at the Paulding Physician's Center to make my mammogram appointment. I was VERY surprised to learn that they had appointments for TODAY, which of course, I took, because given too much time to think about it, I probably would have chickened out.

I am not afraid of the test, I am so very, VERY afraid of the results.

When I arrived for my appointment, I checked in on facebook. I met with the radiologist, who went over the procedures, letting me know exactly what to expect. She told me about the machine. She told me about the squishy I would have to endure. Then, she told me I may get a call to come back. She told me this BEFORE she turned on the machine. Apparently, the doctors like to have two for the base line. So, this put me at ease somewhat, because if I get a call to come back it is only to retake the test to establish a good base line rather than a problem.

After that, she put my boobs into the machine and squished. It wasn't so bad. My husband spent all last night making up stories about how bad it was going to be. "Boobs squished paper thin." "Radiologist taking forever to get to the machine from the booth." Oh, the horror he had me prepared for.... NEVER HAPPENED.

In fact, I was surprised at the whole appointment. It was quick, it was easy, and the radiologist was SUPER nice! As the radiologist was walking me out, I mentioned how it was awesome that I got a next day appointment. She informed me that they take WALK INS! Of course, she told me this as she was reminding me to return every year for another one, so they can track the changes in my breasts and see significant changes.


When I was done, I checked back in on facebook - less than an hour. In fact, I signed in at the appointment desk at 3:55 PM, went through registration, read 10 pages of Gone With The Wind, survived the exam, and was back in my car by 4:37 PM. I will definitely be back next year.

Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Keeping My Commitments

So, today's walk was much more than I could ever ask for. The girls I walk with have become much more than my co-walkers - they are my cheerleaders, my confidants, my friends, and my lifelines! Today's walk was no different. I showed up out of sorts - BUT I DID SHOW UP - and I left feeling uplifted. Of course, I could blame the adrenaline high the way I felt as I got back into my car, but I know that isn't all of it. These girls just know how to call "bullshit" and get my butt in gear. While I may have only walked 6 miles, it lifted me hundreds of miles out of my funk.

Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wow...How time FLIES....

Vacation really does have a way of stealing your time away. But, it didn't steal ALL of my time!! I happened to get some walking in..some of it more fun than my usual routes, some of it more hilly. Note: I didn't count the day at Disney World, as the Disney App ate up my battery, stupid Android phone, so no map! But, on the bright side, I had fun while walking and trained in sticky, humid heat.

So, while I did get some walking done, I haven't been real good about it, or at keeping up with this blog for that matter. I realized the reason I have been so "eh" about it on my last walk: I am very fearful of getting my first mammogram. Part of me desires to put breast cancer out of my brain, completely, because I am worried about what the mammogram will say, especially since I know way too many women (and a few men) suffering from this disease. I KNOW early detection is the key, and I really should have done it on my birthday, but I am just so frightened. I have no family history: meaning I have no medical history of any blood relation because I was adopted at birth in a closed adoption at a time when they didn't/couldn't test DNA for future probability of diseases, not that my family has no history of the disease. Such a big difference! Part of me never wants to know, because if I have it, my babies are at a higher risk of having it, and I am the first they have of their maternal family history.

But, I don't want to die either.

So, if I don't get my butt in gear and get the mammogram done, I may just end up being too late to do anything about it. Not writing in this blog, or walking, or raising money, well, it kept me from facing the fact that I HAVE to get a mammogram, sooner rather than later. Not writing, kept me from promising that I will get it done. Not, not not....And while I DID call the Komen Foundation - that just lead me down a stress-filled path. The help they gave me was almost too good - locations of providers, costs, how to qualify for lower costs, etc. The woman that answered even tried to help ease my fears a bit. But it all depends on all this medical insurance non-sense.....

Reviewing insurance plans - is it covered, is it not? Does it matter where I go? Is one place better than another? Which one is better? If I get a positive result, will I get a second mammogram and will that one be covered as well?Do I qualify for subsidized testing? Is there anywhere in this sub-sub-urban area I live that does this? Are they reputable or should I go to the city to have it done?  Can I afford it if it is not covered? Can I afford NOT to get one?

NO I CAN'T because, I don't want to die.

While I write all this now, tonight, I know I am gaining the strength to face this stupid fear I have, but not yet, not yet. NOT, NOT, NOT.

I will change this, I will. And I know I will, because I have actually walked over 1 mile purposefully twice while on vacation with family. Pulling away from the fun in order to walk over an hour by yourself is not an easy task, but I need to get my butt in gear, and get this thing moving again!!! 

Here is a walk I did while vacationing in Florida (look, I walked on water!!) :

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Here is a walk I did while vacationing in Missouri (I did this one in dress flats - because I HAD to walk and my sneakers were no where to be found):

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Thanks for reading! ~ Deanna