Weighty Matters

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Doughnuts are Not Medicinal

on September 11, 2013

Okay, gang, I’m mildly freaked-out about something. That reads like an oxymoron, but what I really want to impart is that I have a slight nagging concern emotionally, while logically my brain is saying don’t borrow trouble and odds are everything is fine.

Here’s the thing. I went for my mammogram on Monday, as you know, and had a great experience. I figured in a week or so I’d get the “everything’s fine” letter. Instead, I got a call yesterday from my doctor’s office to tell me that the radiologist identified something called a microcalcification cluster on my right breast. I need to go in for a spot compression to provide additional views.

Mentally, rationally, logically, I know that this happens all of the time and the odds are really, really good that this is not a big deal. Emotionally, of course, I’m going, “Oh my God! I might have breast cancer!!” If you drew me into a cartoon yesterday, there would have been giant letters in a horrified font with a dozen exlamation points. Then I took a deep breath and texted my sister-in-law to see if she had a free moment. She’s a nurse practitioner, experienced in women’s health. I explained the situation to her. We agreed that it was way too soon for me to freak out. She promised to do some additional research.

I wasn’t wound up like a tight spring all last night, but it’s a good thing there wasn’t a handy one-pound bag of M&Ms anywhere around. No sense in tempting a compulsive eater with a favorite drug of choice during an emotional time. A good friend reminded me that women really do get called back for further screenings all of the time that end up being nothing malignant. I slept well and this morning, my s-i-l called me back. It seems that most of the time, these microcalcifications really do turn out to be nothing of concern. She told me that after the spot compression, even if they were pretty sure there wasn’t a cause for concern, they might still want me to have a biopsy procedure just to be completely sure.

Having this information prepares me and, in the long run, helps me remain more calm. I’m working toward a state of “don’t borrow trouble, all will be well, no sense worrying until there’s something to worry about”. Honestly, I’m a lot better than I was yesterday.

The thing is, when I hit an emotional upheaval like this, it triggers me to want food. Whether I’m home or out driving in the car, it’s like I still think I need the food to calm myself down. I have to work through the process so that I don’t compulsively eat. That’s when I remind myself that doughnuts are not medicinal. Candy is not a sedative. I do not need cake to soothe me.

Instead, I need to breathe deeply, do some Tai Chi, take the dogs for a walk, sit on the porch, talk to loved ones. Those honestly help me where food is only a false remedy.

I got for my follow up test tomorrow morning and will probably hear on Friday if anything further needs to be done. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, please say it with me, “Doughnuts are not medicinal.” 🙂

8 responses to “Doughnuts are Not Medicinal

  1. Hope says:

    Your SIL is the best. 😀

    (fingers crossed for you!)

  2. Pink Pelican says:

    Donuts are not medicinal!

    Keep in mind theicrocalcifications may have been there for a while, masked by extra tissue. Think of this as a new baseline, now that you’ve lost so much weight. Best of luck, thinking good thoughts for you.

  3. If it helps…I have lots of dense tissue and cysts in my breasts and get called back nearly every time. This has been going on for years, but the first time it happened was around my 45th b-day (my first mammography). My first husband had just died a few months before and, well, needless to say, total panic on my part.

    It was, of course, nothing, but they did end up extracting some fluid from the biggest and most uncomfortable cyst.

    Here in Germany there is routine, cost-free screening every 2 years. Usually they’ve sent me a “come back again” letter, but the last time they got smart and did an immediate on-site follow-up with ultrasound, so I didn’t have to go back again.

    I am sure it will be just fine. But I remember how scary it was the first time it happened.

  4. Susanne says:

    Big hug — these tests are always scary. Your approach is sound. One step at a time. We live in a miracle age.

  5. Skye says:

    Doughnuts are not medicinal. Yeah, I need to keep that in mind, too. Same with ice cream, my drug of choice.

    I hear you about the breast thing. I have been there. I was told after a mammogram that I had to come back and get an ultrasound because they found a lump. It was a small lump. After the ultrasound, they told me I had to have a needle biopsy of the lump. Was I kind of freaked? Yup. But it was okay. Turns out I have kind of fibrous breast tissue and some of it can form lumps. Two years later, another lump formed next to the first one and I ended up having to have another needle biopsy. All I can say is, I’m glad they now have needle biopsies so they don’t actually have to cut your breast open and remove the lumps.

    It’s scary to be told there is something they want to look at more closely. I’m glad you had your SIL to help you with information. I’m glad that you are no longer freaking out. You are going to be fine and I’ll bet it’s just a microcalcification and nothing else.

    Take care. Be well. Feel free to email me.

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