The Fear of Unknown – I don’t want to know

How many times, when your doctor ordered a medical test, you either delayed going to, decided not to go, secretly hoped for the machine to be broken or technician calling out? Well, I’m so guilty of the same and really not proud of it!

In June of 2016, while taking a shower, I felt a small lump on my left breast and I didn’t pay too much attention to it, as I was few weeks before my period. Period often makes temporary changes to the breast tissue. I went on with my life but a month later I felt it again. A little bigger but again it was few weeks before my period. At this point, I decided if I feel the lump next month, I will take action. Well, August came and the lump got bigger and harder. I quickly made an appointment with my primary doctor to get a prescription for an ultrasound exam.

Yes, I only requested an ultrasound exam as I didn’t feel a need for a mammogram at 33 years old.

I felt like if I don’t do it I should be OK because ultrasound sounded so much “safer” for me.

Primary doctor gave me the “are you crazy” look and told me that she is giving me a prescription for diagnostic mammogram with additional ultrasound. Next day, while making an appointment, I was told that they had a sudden opening in 15 minutes. At this point, I knew this was a sign and there was no running away from it anymore. If I was given a later date, most likely I would postpone it and end up not going at all. Right away, I picked the 3D mammogram, as it is known to give more detailed/clear images.

The mammogram machines always scared me. I heard many times how painful the test itself is. My co-worker said that this machine had to be invented by a men because no woman would put another woman through this “torture machine”. But honestly it’s not that bad. It is unpleasant, and yes my breast hurt right after, but nothing you cannot handle. After the mammogram it was time for the ultrasound. Ultrasound technician carefully performed the test over and over again but couldn’t find anything. After consultation with the radiologist she came back and took additional images in a specific area of the breast that finally showed the tumor. All I can say if it wasn’t for the 3D mammogram they both wouldn’t find it!

Few weeks ago, I was talking to one of my physicians and she informed me that on many occasions she still has to convince her patients to do both: mammogram and ultrasound. If you have an opportunity, pick 3D mammogram, even if it will cost you extra.

Women delay their mammograms because they fear of the results. It is better to know what you stand on right away other than to be in the unknown and delay any necessary treatment.

I hope that my post will encourage you to take action and take any tests your doctor orders for you. Walk in with your head high because you are standing on top of everything and making sure your body stays healthy.

As much as we don’t want to face the worst scenario, the sooner you know, the sooner you can start getting your health back!

Stay strong!

-Izabela, Tigerlily ANGEL Advocate