Tag Archives: Recall Mammogram

The Lonely & Well-Worn Path- Part 5 (Conclusion)

Continuation from The Lonely & Well-Worn Path- Part 4

Monday April 1st – It’s finally here. My appointment is in the morning I’m 15 minutes early, I’m nervous the reception just smiles. Does she know something? I’m reading a health magazine when she calls me into the office. She tells me I can bring the magazine with me as I will be waiting in the room for the doctor. I’m trying not to act nervous but wonder why she said that. This is a new doctor I just started with so I’m not sure how to read the staff here or the doctor. Finally the doctor comes into the room. I’m trying to read his expressions: does he look concerned, I can’t tell but I know he’s not smiling. Could it be bad news just because he’s not smiling? This is crazy! So then he starts talking. He’s talking about my blood work. I forgot I even had blood work done. As he reads out my blood work report, in my head I’m yelling, “I could care less about that! Get to the mammogram information!” He goes through the cholesterol then potassium, kidneys and a few others. Ok, so I eat too many bananas. I don’t care just get to the mammogram. I’m just staring at him waiting for him to get to my breast results then he says “Yes you went for some other tests,” and he starts reading the report, to himself. I’m waiting for what seems like forever. I want to holler out, “Read it out loud! I need to know!” but of course I don’t. Finally he tells me, “Everything is ok.” He continues and says that I just need to continue with my regular exams. A long breath exhaled. I could feel my chest loosen up. It’s finally over! I am fine.

Now I’m in my car thinking what a nut I was, worrying myself so bad. I should have known all would be well. I can’t believe how worried I was, but it all worked out. As I’m driving home I’m telling myself I’ll never let myself worry like that again until I actually get the results. Then thinking “Yeah sure! who am I kidding!” It was a scary experience the waiting, the not knowing, the scary thoughts running through my head. I’m glad it’s over and once again I know I’m healthy.
Once again I would like to thank you for fallowing me through my scary journey. Please remember to go for your regular checkups. Although my experience was scary it could have been a lot worse. If that bright white spot on my first test had been cancer it was small enough that I would have caught it early enough, but if I had not gotten checked and it was cancer my outcome would have not been so happy.
So please get your yearly exams. I try to do mine around my birthday. Keeping healthy is my birthday gift to myself.
Lori Papetti YW Family Shelter and Outreach Advocate
Thank you so much for following Lori’s story on Y’s Women. Lori demonstrated huge strength in sharing her story with us and we at the YW are so incredibly proud of her. She has been an example of incredible strength and vulnerability. Thank you Lori for sharing such a personal and emotional journey with us.
What has been your journey? Can you relate with Lori’s story? Share your thoughts in the comment section below or contact us directly. Y’s Women is a blog dedicated to sharing the stories and lives of women in our community. If you have a story you would like to share, please send us a copy and we would be happy to include it in our blog. 

The Lonely & Well-Worn Path- Part 4

Continuation from The Lonely & Well-Worn Path- Part 3

Thursday March 28-The Family Shelter move is going to be the same day I find out my results. I find sometimes doctors are so used to illness and disease that most things are nothing to them. I’ve always been physically healthy. I’ve never stayed in the hospital except for child birth. I’ve never had surgery. The worst I’ve had was a blood clot and yes that sucked but I still never had to stay in a hospital. I don’t like to take medications except natural stuff and very little of even that. I do like my essential oils and aromatherapy. As good as all that sounds I do have one bad habit: I smoke and since I started this medical journey I have smoked a lot more. How bad is that? You would think I would stop but instead I’m worse. I’ve been telling myself if all goes well on Monday as soon as I’m settle with the Family Shelter I’ll quit again but……………… We will see how that goes.

I won’t be writing again until after Monday so I thought I would discuss why I decided to share this with you. My first thought was write, it will help me deal with the stress. But later I realized there are so many women going through this. They all must be so afraid but it’s such a common occurrence it’s almost like it should be no big deal. But when you’re the one it hits it’s really scary. I’ve seen women go through so much but they seem to deal with it so well. You see them on the street and they look good, you may even comment on how well they look. But can you listen when they tell you how scared they are? Do we see them at their worst or do we judge them by the great front they put up? I wonder, is that happy positive attitude for us or does it help them? Personally I hope it helps them. Then again I remember when asking older people how they were, their answer would be “Fine, but no one would listen if I said otherwise” My answer would always be, “I would listen.” I wonder how many people feel they can’t really express their feelings of fear or pain. I thought maybe writing this would let other women know that they aren’t the only ones scared.
We all are scared; illness of any kind can be scary. We all handle things differently. Writing this did help, although I was not sure about sharing it at the beginning and I’m not sure how I will feel after seeing the doctor on Monday. I have decided to send it in today before my results so I can’t change my mind about sharing it. No matter what my results are I feel it’s important to share what I have been feeling. I’ll share with my family after Monday and if all is good they’ll tell me what a butt head I was for worrying so much and we will all have a good laugh. For myself, I will try to always remember how scared I was so that when someone else is going through a similar issue I can let them know it’s OK to be scared, it’s ok to talk about it, just don’t let the fear consume you. I used work to help keep my mind off it and sometimes I would actually even forget all about it for a while.
I would like to say thank you for your time in following me through this. Writing my story has helped me get through the waiting and I hope reading my story can help someone else.

To be continued tomorrow.

The Lonely & Well-Worn Path- Part 3

Continuation from The Lonely & Well-Worn Path- Part 2
Thursday March 21- I don’t know why yesterday was so hard. I guess I was feeling a little sorry for myself. I feel much better today and have a much more positive outlook today. I am going to feel pretty silly doing all this worrying for nothing. I wonder if I’m over reacting because it probably is nothing.
Tuesday March 26- I am so busy with the Family shelter move, I’m tired but keeping really busy. I received a call from the doctor’s office today. They would like to make an appointment to see me about my tests. They told me it is not an emergency but the doctor would like to discuss my results. I asked why they just couldn’t tell me now over the phone but they would tell me nothing else. My schedule is pretty full so the only appointment I could get is next Thursday. After I made the appointment I realized I have a standing appointment for that time, so now I have to call them back and try to get something else, hopefully something sooner. I just want this all over with. At this point I expect its nothing and if it is something they might just want to keep an eye on it. I hate the not knowing. It’s been 20 days so far just waiting.
Wednesday March 27- Changed my appointment to Monday morning. Easter weekend. This weekend my nieces and nephews are coming on Thursday to paint Easter eggs after work. I boiled six dozen eggs, one dozen for each kid. Can’t wait till Monday. I’m sure I’ll get good news.
One Family is settled in one of our new Family Shelters and we have one other unit ready to go April 2nd. The move is going pretty well. The rest of the stuff in the St Paul shelter will be moved to storage on Monday.

To be continued tomorrow.

The Lonely & Well-Worn Path- Part 2

Continuation of The Lonely & Well-worn Path- Part 1
Tuesday March 12- Well I tried to keep my mind off this test all week and I think I did pretty well until last night. I had a really hard time sleeping my mind was everywhere else except on sleep. I got in to the Tech room and the lab Tech. had my breast results in full view on the screen she called me over to explain why I was there having a recall exam. Apparently there is something there in my right breast, in the canal or duct, whatever it’s called. Whatever it is, it is small. She took five more pictures from different angles using different plates. This time it was a little uncomfortable.
I have decided to keep this to myself at least for now. I’m sure it will be nothing and I want to ignore it, not because I think that will make it go away but because I don’t want to think about it and I don’t want people looking at me differently or feeling sorry for me I’m sure I’ll do that enough for myself. I will keep myself extremely busy the rest of this month with the Family Shelter move. I can consume myself in worry about that. Moving is always stressful try moving 4 apartments on Easter weekend that should be loads of fun. I have plans this week to take my mother up north for a couple of days. I need to forget what I know so I won’t talk about it.
The lab Tec told me to call my doctor in two weeks. Holy Cow! It was less than a week when they called me back for the second test why would it take two weeks for information this time? You would think this one would be even faster. I hope I don’t need something like chemo. God I don’t want to lose my hair. OK that was not a positive thought. I’m kicking that thought right to the curb.
Monday March 18- I took the trip up north. I really didn’t relax much. I did a lot of driving and visiting. On Monday on my way to work I checked my messages to find the doctor’s office had called again telling me I had another appointment this time for an ultra sound. I call asking for date and times she said it’s today at 11 a.m. Wow that was fast. Off I go again to the hospital. After my test she again tells me it will be 2 weeks before I’ll know anything. Worry all over again. I just want to know. On a positive note the tests are really quick; in and out.
Wednesday March 20- I spoke to an old friend tonight on the phone I let her know what I was going through worrying and hoping it’s nothing. I told my oldest son about the tests and that I’m a little scared he’s the first one I told in person. It was hard to talk about it, it was hard to get the words out. I told him it may be nothing and even if it was something I would be fine but that it is scary. I have been having a lot of tightness in my chest, anxiety. I don’t know if it helped to talk about it but I felt the need to say something to him. He’s 27 and he’s pretty good at putting things into perspective. I told him after this conversation I didn’t want to talk about it anymore until I get the results back. I want to get it out of my mind and keep busy.

To be continued tomorrow.

The Lonely & Well-Worn Path- Part 1

For the next week, we will be posting a series of journal entries from the YW’s Family Shelter Outreach Advocate, Lori Papetti as she journeys down a seemingly lonely path. It’s a path no woman wants to walk along, however, it is a well traveled road by many women before her.
Come back to Y’s Women each day this week to follow Lori’s story, The Lonely & Well-Worn Path.
Wednesday March 6 – It was a nice day at work, not too busy. I felt like I got a lot accomplished. I got home and felt a little strange. I haven’t had much time to myself lately and this feeling that I was supposed to do something or be somewhere was consuming me. I guess I’m just not used to having time to myself. I walked over to my phone to check for messages since I had not been home all day or evening on Tuesday. I listened to my messages, one concerning another family member, one from a friend and then it came, a call I never expected, never even thought about. One from my doctor, a short message just stating I have been scheduled for a recall mammogram. They gave the date, time and place. That’s it. Well I listened to this message 3 times trying to understand what this meant. I called the doctor’s office knowing full well they were closed but left a message asking them to call me to provide more information about this recall mammogram. Now I’m at the computer googling any information I can find on this recall mammogram. Did they find something? I’ve never felt anything; this was just a routine checkup I had.
Six days until my next exam and then I’ll have to wait a few days for results. This is so scary. I worried about my health insurance but was thankful because through my job I have some coverage. The last couple of years I had no coverage at all. I own my own home so chances are I would have lost that without some kind of coverage. What about my job?
I’m not scared of dyeing, but I am really scared of being sick or not being able to take care of myself. It’s amazing the things that go through your mind when you get a scary message like this.
I started thinking about the women I know that have gone through breast cancer. My first thought was my aunt. She is a strong woman full of life. She made it and is doing fine.
I will admit I’m scared, I like my breasts. I know it might be wrong but they seem a part of my identity. When my weight is out of control I would wear clothes that brought attention to them instead of to my weight. Yes I’ll admit at times they got in the way but all in all I like my breasts.
I know I’m a strong woman. I know I’ll survive.
I’ve met many women in the last few years that have dealt with so many difficult issues I feel I need to look at this as a small issue. These women have dealt with so much in their lives how can I possibly let this issue be a major concern to me?
I can see as I am even writing this that my mind is already thinking the worst. I will work hard on keeping a good attitude and try really hard not to even think about it until the results are in. In fact I’m sure everything will come out fine. The lab Tec probably smudged the negative. I am going to try to not think about this until after the next results are in.

To be continued tomorrow.