The girls

Remember yesterday? When I said I was swamped and couldn't post?

I lied.

I mean, I really do have people coming today and I have cleaning and cooking and proofreading to do, but that's not why I didn't post. I didn't post because I was busy being nervous.

Listen to this.

Last year I got my first mammogram ever. I waited three years past when you're supposed to because I was scared. My cousin Maureen, who was an aerobics instructor, really thin, didn't drink, didn't smoke, died of breast cancer at age 44. But last year I sucked it up and got a mammogram.

And they found something. I blogged about it last year. I am so freaked out by it still that I can't even make myself go back to those pages and look at them again to give you a link. It was November 24, 2008, I think.

What they found sounded really bad and really serious. My doctor told me to prepare for the worst. Those three days–the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday before Thanksgiving–from the time I got the initial call saying, "We need you to come back in" until I finally got seen again? Three worst days of my life. Without a doubt. I have never been so scared.

So then when I went back for the second test, the day before Thanksgiving last year, the doctor said, "Oh, you're fine!" and he said I had to come back in six months.

Well.

There was a 2% chance that when I went back in six months that I'd really have something wrong with me. Two percent! Guess who spent those entire six months concentrating on the 2%? I Googled, I went on Mayoclinic.com, I read horror stories.

And then when I went back? I was still fine. But guess what? I was so freaked out by then that I was convinced they had missed something, and when I went back THIS year for my regular mammogram that they'd tell me oh, darn. There really WAS something wrong with you.

So last week I went back again. For my regular mammogram. They told me if anything was wrong they'd call me Monday. You can imagine how slightly…keyed up…I was on Monday. I shopped for Thanksgiving and called home 750 times to see if they'd called. All day I thought about it.

Finally, at 4:00, I figured I was in the clear. I was watching Francis bathe Henry, and I was smiling, and feeling peaceful. And the phone rang.

It was the mammogram place. They found something…ON THE OTHER SIDE.

All year I have been obsessed about what they found on the left, and now they had something on the right?

They told me I could come in next week, but I insisted they get me in sooner. So today? Just like last year? I had a day-before-Thanksgiving appointment for a diagnostic mammogram. I mean, really? Again? Seriously?

But here's the story. I'm fine! I'm really fine this time. I am a Birad 2 and not a Birad 3, as I was last year, which means I don't have to get rechecked in six months. They are 100% sure it was nothing.

When the doctor came in to tell me, after I burst into tears, I had so many questions for her, she asked, "What is your background? In what field of healthcare do you work?"

"I am a hypochondriac," I told her. I guess I'm really good at it. I've been given a lot of fodder for it this year.

So, happy Thanksgiving, y'all. I for one will be even more grateful than I was LAST year.

Wouldn't it be hilarious if I choke to death on the wishbone now?

65 Comments

  1. I loved this post. I am going to have to remember the “I am a hypochondriac” line. I am sorry you had to go through all of this. I would have been obsessing the same way.

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  2. We should really be grateful today for mammograms. I found out today that my aunt found a stage zero lump. Meaning the cancer she found was the size of a grain of sand! She found this early because she gets mammograms every year (as do I, since the age of 19!)!!

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  3. Thankful you’re okay. Someone said on your comments “palpable anxiety.” And yes it is. Been there – done that – in process right now. Enjoy every minute of Thanksgiving!

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  4. Hey as one who is in the midst of doctors telling her “you have breast cancer but we can’t treat you because you are a pituitary dwarf and don’t have insurance” I totally understand.

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  5. >>Wouldn’t it be hilarious if I choke to death on the wishbone now?
    That would be tragic, but sadly, yes, quite hilarious. But we in the blogosphere would never know about it because you would be dead, and thusly not blogging. Do you have an emergency plan in place whereby if you did choke on a wishbone, Marvin would immediately log on and blog about it on your behalf? If not, you probably should work on such a plan.

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  6. Glad you’re okay June! Next year, see if you can schedule your mammogram for not the week of Thanksgiving. That way you can at least not be all stressed out beforehand.

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  7. So glad the news was good. I went through this 4 years ago and in 6 months got bad news so I always appreciate the good! (I am fine now so it still ended up well)
    Take deep breaths and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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  8. All good wishes, Hookers & Blow, but this is all about June and the girls. Read Cristy’s comment, she just killed me dead.

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  9. Hey Sugar… My girls are not on the large size. I have had two mammograms and it did not hurt at all. I kept waiting for the pain to begin but it never did. Good luck!
    IT’S HOOKERS AND BLOWS BIRTHDAY?!?!?!?!? Happy Birthday Paula H&B. Here’s wishing another year with all the hookers and blow a girl could ever want!

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  10. Dear Dawn,
    Oh, how I miss the tingling and the hating carbonation. I, went from nine migraines a month to two a month. Sigh. I miss you, Topamax. Come back to me.

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  11. Ah June, I understand your crazy with the mammogram only all too well. Had my first one at 32, and have been back several times when they found something “out of the norm,” including two biopsies and lots of ultrasounds. My call backs usually come on a Friday, which gives you the weekend to imagine the worst. On a happy note though, my last one earlier this month was normal — a first in 8 years. I think it’s cause I’m 45. You tell me.
    Oh and I have Topomax news!! Up to a full dose now, and except for the happy toe tingles and the ass taste of my beloved carbonated Diet Coke, I’ve had only two migraines in the last month. Quite a change in the two to three I was getting a week. Still waiting for the miracle weight loss thing to happen, but I guess you can’t have it all.
    Glad your results came back just fine. Happy Thanksgiving!!

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  12. I’ve been that route before, even to the next steps of the ultrasound and then the biopsy. This time I got by with the screening mammo, the diagnostic mammo, and the ultrasound, which went from Oct. 6 until November 18th.
    Happy Thanksgiving, and isn’t it a wonderful one?

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  13. HEY EVERYONE! WISH HOOKERS AND BLOW A HAPPY 29TH BIRTHDAY!!
    In celebration, I am offering free breast exams for all you still crushing on Hulk.
    (If we can’t laugh, we’d always cry)

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  14. I was once told by a doctor that because of an abnormal spot on my cervix I most likely had stage 4 cervical cancer. She said I would need a hysterectomy, chemo and radiation right away. I was 26 years old. She did a biopsy just to confirm it. It turns out that 90% of women with this spot have stage 4 cervical cancer and 10% are perfectly fine. I happened to be in the 10% who are perfectly fine. I kinda wanted to punch her.

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  15. well I got a little choked up june. i have two women in my outer circle who have breast cancer. one that unless a miracle happens will die from it. the other – chemo starts next week. and yes, I spent this last 10 days wondering about a little bump under my arm. poke,prod and push to see what it was/wasn’t. fortunately it’s nothing. per 2 medical care personnel. but, hearing your agony – choke..sniff. I’m glad the boobsy twins are good.

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  16. As someone who has had FIVE FREAKING MAMMOGRAMS this year, Sugar, I think they dont hurt. Okay, todays did, but it was an extra-special squishy mammogram. In general, they pull a little, but for me, no actual pain.

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  17. wondering how bad that mammy's gonna hurt the girls when I go next month and would appreciate advice for a first-timer, Sugar Mommy says:

    Glad to know that you’ll still be naturally boobalicious.
    Happy Thanksgiving, from my ta-tas to yours!

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  18. Glad that you are okay. As a fellow hypochondriac, I understand the worry. Did you ever see my recipe for drunk turkey? I commented a few days ago with the recipe. It’s delicious, I promise!

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  19. So happy that your hoo-ha’s are OK. I had two moles removed earlier this year, both came back with pre-cancerous cell findings. I now have to go to the dermatologist every three months for a full body scan. I have two more moles that have to be removed. One on the sole of my foot (how fun!) and one on my booba. Do you know how tempting it is going to the derm’s office? I come out wanting, at the very least, botox, a chemical peel and quick liposuction. I think they lied to me. I don’t think there was anything wrong with those moles but they knew I would be a sucker for all of there promises of regaining my youthful appearance.
    I am thankful that you are OK. I am thankful for all of my psuedo friends that gather here at June’s blog. I am thankful to Statler Steve for being one of the many faithful Target employees that will have to deal with the likes of me Friday morning. I am thankful for the turkey and 8,345 side dishes we will be eating tomorrow.
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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  20. I LOVE it that your dr. thought you work in healthcare. As a fellow hypochondriac (although I prefer to refer to myself as “body aware”), I thought that was hysterical.
    I can only imagine the horrors you’ve been going through. So happy to hear of a good result for you. Phew. What a relief.
    Happy Thanksgiving (from a Canadian who celebrated Thanksgiving about seven weeks ago).

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  21. I don’t know if I have a blog entry about my mammogram scare AND the funky PAP test scare, but, BELIEVE ME, I know how that feels.
    This year we had the WTF? HUSBAND HAS LUNG CANCER? scare. Just today. Pleurisy with no fever must = SOMETHING HORRIBLE. Turns out he does have some scar tissue from God Knows What on one lung.
    But it’s NOT CANCER.
    Honestly, I JUST found out.
    Now I have something to be thankful for!
    So glad you do, too.
    HAPPY, HAPPY Thanksgiving!

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  22. Similar think happened to my mother this year – they got her all freaked out, had to do another one and turned out it was nothing. Seems like the initial mammogram seems to be overly sensitive or something.

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  23. Glad you’re okay, and sorry for all the anxiety you’ve gone through. A plateful of mashed potatoes and gravy and some pie ought to soothe your soul. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  24. Sigh. I feel you. Two years ago, that call, “we’re not sure, but it could be something.” came for me, 4 days before Christmas. Of course, it ruined Christmas for me. The waiting, where my hypochondriac mind wandered to the darkest of places with the help of my friend Google, was excruciating. Turned out it was just some fibrocystic fun.
    All is well. How wonderful for you. Now, you can eat turkey and watch the animals bathe each other in blissful peace. Happy Thanksgiving.

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  25. As you know, my dear, I am VERY thankful you are okay so I do not have to move to Greensboro! My dogs would be miserable without me! 🙂
    Do you like how I made your possible sickness about me?
    The true sign of an only child!! 🙂
    Did you all know that Junie and I are both only children?
    Happy Thanksgiving, Faithful Readers!

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  26. OK, seriously? you gotta make a joke like this “Wouldn’t it be hilarious if I choke to death on the wishbone now?”… ?!?!?! You are just tempting fate that’s what you are doing June.
    Since I don’t know your real name, the only information that will let me know that it was you when Matt Lauer talks about it Friday morning will sound something like this… “a wild-haired North Carolina woman has died from apparently choking on the wishbone of the Thanksgiving turkey. Sources say that she frantically tried to gesture to her husband that she needed the heimlich but he was too engrossed in his The Who documentary. Arrangements have not yet been finalized.”

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  27. Oh Junie…so glad you are ok. I know that anxiety. When I had my baseline at 38, they “found something,” and I had to go back for an ultrasound. It turned out to be nothing but what they called a migrating lymph node, so nothing, but that waiting…oy. My mother had breast cancer at 65 and is now an 8 year survivor, but I had that baseline just three years after her ordeal, and needless to say, I was scared out of my mind with the waiting. Like Furry Godmother, I now have pills for anxiety. I am also willing to share. Happy Thanksgiving. 🙂

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  28. Sending heartfelt wireless hugs your way! The waiting is the worst! I hate that word “worst” is it a word? I swear that if men had to have the family jewels “pressed” each year, they by God wouldn’t wait six months to see if things were ok.

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  29. Happy Thanksgiving, we are glad you are A-OK. Hulk is kind of a boob. Thanks for keep us a-breast of your situation. Ahhh..tit for tat and thanks for the mammaries lest we forget. Go give Talu a gizzard.

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  30. Happy Thanksgiving. So happy that you are healthy. In the future you can be honest with us and we will all be nervous with you. No need to be scared all by yourself.:)

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  31. I know I lead a somewhat sheltered existence, but honestly I had never heard of boobs being referred to as “the girls” before last year. I like it, I’m taking it as my own.
    I’m so glad to hear the girls are okay. Now get to work on that turkey.

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  32. Glad everything is okay. This does kind of illustrate one of the reasons the govt is no longer recommending mammograms for women in their 40s — too many false positives. On the other hand, my sister had a baseline mammogram at age 35 and they found something. It was cancer and it was an aggressive type but they had been lucky and found it early. She had a mastectomy, didn’t need chemo or radiation and has been all-clear for 6 years. Without the mammogram, she would probably be dead by now.

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  33. Hulk,
    “Wambos.” Wow.
    Also, why is it when I reply to a comment my PUNCTUATION won’t show up? Irks me.
    Look how long it took me to go from being grateful to being back to my bitchy self.

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  34. I’m glad you and the twins are okay, June.
    My mother and two aunts had breast cancer so I am very sympathetic to your worrying.
    I hope you do regular self breast exams.
    Let’s just say I am VERY familiar with mine!
    HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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  35. Glad your wambos are OK…
    I was thinking of making a joke about offering my services to anyone wanting a breast examination, but I thought that would be crass…
    Anyone?? Please?

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  36. “The girls”. Hee.
    I had almost identical boobal issues. Might be something, come back in six months, no you’re fine, oh wait …
    Eighteen months of fretting. For naught.
    Tomorrow when you get to choose leg or breast, that will remind you to be glad you still have two of each. Wait. You do have two legs, right?

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  37. “The girls”. Hee.
    I had almost identical boobal issues. Might be something, come back in six months, no you’re fine, oh wait …
    Eighteen months of fretting. For naught.
    Tomorrow when you get to choose leg or breast, that will remind you to be glad you still have two of each. Wait. You do have two legs, right?

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  38. “The girls”. Hee.
    I had almost identical boobal issues. Might be something, come back in six months, no you’re fine, oh wait …
    Eighteen months of fretting. For naught.
    Tomorrow when you get to choose leg or breast, that will remind you to be glad you still have two of each. Wait. You do have two legs, right?

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  39. Oh, Furry! That is dreadful. Bless your heart, as they say here. But I mean it in the good way. And YES, give me the pills! I took a freakin Sudafed last night so Id sleep. Sudafed! The Valley of the Dolls called. Told me Im lame.

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  40. Around here the kids have been thinking of what they’re thankful for – grapes, pizza, toys, etc. Sometimes I forget that there are others who have so much more to celebrate this year! Happy Thanksgiving!

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  41. I feel your pain, Sister. I’ve waited on FIVE pathology reports this year –only one was breast, had surgery, I’m fine. Four were for skin cancers. Last January I had surgery for malignant melanoma (stage II, insitu), so you know what a joy it was for my husband waiting on all those other ding dang phone calls. I feel your palpable anxiety.
    I have pills for that now. Want some?

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  42. I feel your pain, Sister. I’ve waited on FIVE pathology reports this year –only one was breast, had surgery, I’m fine. Four were for skin cancers. Last January I had surgery for malignant melanoma (stage II, insitu), so you know what a joy it was for my husband waiting on all those other ding dang phone calls. I feel your palpable anxiety.
    I have pills for that now. Want some?

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  43. I feel your pain, Sister. I’ve waited on FIVE pathology reports this year –only one was breast, had surgery, I’m fine. Four were for skin cancers. Last January I had surgery for malignant melanoma (stage II, insitu), so you know what a joy it was for my husband waiting on all those other ding dang phone calls. I feel your palpable anxiety.
    I have pills for that now. Want some?

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  44. I love that thats the part that concerns you, Rs mom. And yes! Frannie can be sweet to the other cats. Its just Tallulah he always hates. And dont get me wrong. He can just as easily smack Henry to the moon as he can lick him.

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