Bad Boobs Bad


My breasts scared the hell out of me today. Okay, I know this is TMI, but I don’t care. I promise I have a reason for sharing this… So I had a mammogram last week. On Friday night I received a letter that there was an abnormality so I needed to come back in. You can imagine how my weekend went. I made an appointment for today, grateful they could get me in so quickly. Then I was suspicious because you usually have to wait at least two months to get in. It must be really bad if they want me back so fast. I told myself.

So I get there. Get half naked and walk in to the room. They show me the spots from the previous tests. That weren’t there a year ago. One on each breast, and my heart stopped. I’d had shooting pains for a couple of months, but hadn’t felt anything weird. Of course they told me it was “probably nothing to worry about but we need to check it out.” So more tests.

In the ten minutes I’m waiting to hear back from the radiologists I go thru every emotion. There really was something there. They had showed it to me. What would I do? I started to cry, and then decided it wasn’t worth it. I know so many breast cancer survivors and I would be one to join those ranks. I can handle anything I told myself. Then I had a complete breakdown, sans tears. Then I tried to make myself laugh. Since it was both boobs, maybe I could get reconstructive surgery and get the perky ones I really wanted. :-) This is how my brain works. She comes back in and says they want to do a sonogram. I act brave, but at this point I’m freaking out in a big way on the inside, and at the same time telling myself to stop being so damn dramatic.

So we do the sonogram and she starts pushing a bunch of buttons and making markers. “I know you aren’t supposed to tell me, but what do you think you see, because I’m getting close to freak out mode.” I told her.

She laughed. “I know it’s scary but don’t worry. I think what we are seeing are fluid filled cysts, but I have to check with the radiologists.”

More waiting. She came back and told me no worries, it was cysts. I wanted to kiss her, but I refrained. I wanted to cry when I got to my car, but a nasty storm was coming and I didn’t have time. I took a deep breath and thanked God and the universe. I also decided I’m perfectly happy with my not-so perfect breasts and I really want to keep them.

So the reason I’m telling you this… Go get a mammogram. Right now. If you’re 30 or more, you should go. I know they say to wait until 35, but don’t. Just go, and always do that monthly check. (Stepping off of soap box now.) I’m taking better care of myself, but let me tell you, the last couple of months have been a big wake up call.

What’s been your scariest health scare? And please don’t tell me about genital herpes, gonorreah (SP) or syphilis, I really don’t want to know gross stuff. But did you have a heart murmur or an unexplained weirdness that happened?


About Candace Havens

Bestselling author Candace Havens has written six novels for Berkley including, Charmed & Dangerous, Charmed & Ready, Charmed & Deadly, Like A Charm, The Demon King and I and Dragons Prefer Blondes. Her new venture is writing for the Blaze line of Harlequin. Those books include Take Me If You Dare, She Who Dares, Wins, Truth and Dare, and The Model Marine. She is also in the anthology Spirited, and the proceeds go to help literacy. Her books have received nominations for the RITA's, Holt Medallion and Write Touch Reader Awards. She is the author of the biography Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy and a contributor to several anthologies. She is also one of the nation's leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities including Tom Hanks, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, George Clooney and many more. Her entertainment columns can be read in more than 600 newspapers across the country. Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 1800 writers, and teaches comprehensive writing class. She does film reviews with the Dorsey Gang on New Country 96.3, and is the President of the Television Critics Association.

10 responses »

  1. Hi there Candy,

    Sorry I haven’t seen you in so long. Happy belated BD!

    My biggest scare came last year. I’ve had tons of problems trying to get pregnant, and then staying pregnant so I’m very happy with the one child I have. I went in to have my kidneys checked out again (had problems with those during pregnancy) and they found something on one of my ovaries.

    After several other pictures over the next six months, some of which there is nothing on my ovary, others where my ovary is just a black cloud, they concluded that I have/ had a cyst and sometimes they get big and then go away. Not really sure I’m buying that so I probably need a new GYN since I moved to Arlington.

    But I’ve had a few breakdowns at my GYN’s office. It’s completely terrifying. I feel so bad for you, but relieved that it is going to be fine. (Love the ‘I can get the one I want’ commment! It’s all about perspective, I’m telling you.)

  2. I’m so glad you’re going to be okay.
    I’ve never personally had a health scare, but I have suffered through anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. No weirdness. Just straight up problems.
    But my worst family scare was my mom had a tumor on her spinal cord that was causing her pain down her back and leg. Thankfully they were able to remove all of it and it was benign.
    And let’s not forget my dad’s heart attack and quadruple bypass.

    Yeah. We’re all a mess in my family LOL But we’re all alive and kicking now :-)

  3. My personal worst scare was the same as yours – a repeat mammogram for spots on the film. When it was over (and I knew all was OK), I walked to a Starbucks, ordered a latte, took out my cell phone to call my husband, and broke into hysterical tears, crying so hard that I scared the poor man into thinking that something horrible had come up in the re-test. Silly, silly me. Wonderful, wonderful man.

    I’m due for a repeat scan next month, but I’ll try to get through results without a tear-soggy, cold latte…

  4. I have the order…I just need to get the sonogram ESPECIALLY because I have almost no health history from my bio family. *makes note to self*

    About eight months ago I went to the doctor because I thought I was having hormone problems (lack of energy, tired all the time, chronic headaches, couldn’t focus, couldn’t sleep, really bad PMS etc). I figured I was starting the change (I’ve read if you have a tubal ligation it can come early) and I needed some hormones. Then my bloodwork came back and I sat in the doctors office and she said, “You’re insulin resistant….” Which is the beginnings of Type 2 Diabetes and runs in my birth family. And then she started listing off all the other stuff that was wrong with me…hormones, cholesterol, vitamin deficiencies, adrenal burnout, thyroid problem and on and on and on.

    It seriously scared me straight. By the time I walked out of there I honestly couldn’t believe I had functioned as a human being. Three months later, all my blood levels were in normal ranges except the thyroid–the cholesterol is FABULOUS! The insulin resistance is totally under control with diet and meds, and I’ve dropped some weight (though I still have a long way to go on that).

  5. When I was pregnant with #2, we found out a cousin’s sweet new baby had cystic fibrosis. I got the blood test immediately, and I was indeed a carrier. The wait for my husband’s blood tests to come back was no fun, no fun at all.

    So far so good with the boobs, though! I’ve had mammograms and sonograms but no anomalies.

  6. Scary, Candy! I’m glad it turned out to be cysts.

    The scariest health scare for me? I don’t remember it myself, but when I was five I went into a diabetic coma. That’s how we found out I was diabetic.

  7. I’m so happy you’re okay!!! My scarest health moment is when the nurse at Planned Parenthood told me that they could help me. I haven’t had a monthly since 2000 and I’m terrified of doctors (and broke mind you) I need to go to the endocrinologist – still terrifying.

  8. Candy – I had the same thing happen to me in March/April. They called me to come (no letter – a phone call!). I go, x-rays, sonogragh, more x-rays. Then the radiologist tells me she didn’t think it was anything, but… Better be safe than sorry. They couldn’t get me in the next week because they were already booked.

    Two weeks later I’m having a biopsy (Not fun!) and now have permanent little piece of metal or something to mark where it is, and a little scar. Like they weren’t ugly enough after having kids!

    Thank goodness I got the lab results the next day or I would have had a nervous breakdown! It was ok. Just fibrous tissue, but… They’re going to watch it. Hmmm.

    I’m looking on the bright side and praying nothing changes with it. That biopsy thing left a huge bruise and I don’t want another one!

  9. Most will not even say to go until 50, not 35! But if you have dense breasts make sure to go digital and really, mamogram can be unuseful. Need to go other routes. Teh best route of all is consistent self exam, or make it a bedroom game. Lots of women have the lump wirst identified by their partner. speaking of scary.

    I would have dragged Stephen down there with me for the 2nd one. cysts way too common in our family, but with Grandma’s BrCa and my mom had a lump removed, keep on top of it all. Keep an eye out. cysts, cysts, then boom at times.

    As for me, realizing I was going into shock without medical care or people who knew what shock was and then flying with blood clots and no script drugs was pretty scary. then learning how lucky I am that my ankle works.

    My current worry is Stephen going to Alaska. Always worries me a bit.

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