Personal Mammogram Experiences

I was, like, surprised. No history of any type of cancer even in my family. None. It's just like we die of old age, of natural death, you know. But like I said, I was okay with it and I felt very blessed because it was at the very, very early stages. They couldn't even feel it. It was on the mammogram and it was my first one that I've ever taken.

My doctor had asked me the year before to get a baseline mammogram and I was too busy. I just, I knew everything was okay, I was fine. And of course, you feel around and everything, and you check yourself and ooh, lumps, bumps. Well, she had just checked me. I'm sure she felt those same lumps, bumps. You know, everybody seems so lumpy and bumpy. How do you know which is which? But in 1991, I had gone to my doctor for my physical and she says, "Colleen, did you get your baseline mammogram last year?" And I go, "No I was too busy." And she said, "I'll tell you what. Let's set it up and let's do it." And we made it for my day off. I went in on my day off, I took it. And before I left, I just had a feeling they found something. They took so many and they used a small tray also to get a closer look, and they weren't really alarming to me. I think they found something.

The mammograms were no good for me, and you feel helpless when you realize that. This is the biggest advancement in cancer detection, and it didn't work for me. So okay, you feel cheated, you know. This didn't work. I hate those commercials on TV where they say her cancer is this little and it was detected by a mammogram, you know. I had mammograms every year and then I had, I went to different doctors every six months trying to beat this because I knew my mother had it and I knew I was going to get it. It didn't work. Nothing I did worked, so you feel helpless.

I'd advise anybody if they were told to wait and see, immediately go for a second opinion. You don't have to wait until you can feel something, or until you see something. You can get it early now with mammograms where they can get something so deep. They get it taken care of. So if there's something there that's questionable, even on the first mammogram, get a second opinion.

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