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@gynosaur42 Hello, again. Were you able to get into the Mayo Clinic patient portal? If not, did you talk with the GYNOncology nurses? They are so good about answering and getting you to the person you need to speak with. Were you able to find out what they would like for you to do? Once you have a plan it can take some of the worry away. At least that is my experience.

You have such wonderful coping skills. The first, reminding yourself what you can and cannot control is a huge one. How wonderful that you had a sunny day and could walk your neighbor's dog. Much appreciated by the doggie, I'm sure, too! Guided meditations, and gentle stretching all allow for that important body work to get a person away from distressing thoughts and into their body. Can you tell I love these coping skills?

My next Mayo Clinic appointment is close in time to yours. My appointment will be on April 19 when I find that my worries ramp up I tell myself this is normal (for a cancer surveillance appointment). I know whatever the outcome will be OK – radical acceptance.

Thank you for your kind wishes to others in our Support Group. These are sent from me right back at you.

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Replies to "@gynosaur42 Hello, again. Were you able to get into the Mayo Clinic patient portal? If not,..."

Hello, Helen/naturegirl and all,

Update (novel): I messaged with the Mayo GYN ONC team (and every other member of my large and often-confusing medical teams) and heard that the place to start in this instance was my primary provider. The Mayo folks were the kindest and most immediately responsive regarding my questions, not surprisingly. Monday, 3/20, was a long, frustrating day. The primary provider was swamped and offered the evening of 3/27 as an opportunity to get examined so a referral could be made elsewhere for a diagnostic mammogram and ultra sound. I was grateful and accepted that. The next day, Tuesday, she was able to offer me some of her administrative time at the end of the day, so I rushed around the house all day (couldn't sit still…baked "thank you" muffins for my primary and her amazing assistant) we rushed down there (2 hour drive). Our car blew a cylinder on the way, but we made it anyway, leaning forward and fingers crossed. She did the exam, made the referrals and offered me a very-much-appreciated hug. I love these folks, which is why I drive so far. The drive home was iffy, but we made it. Car is probably on the way out after 10 years of trusty service.

With more much-appreciated case management gymnastics from my provider's assistant, I was able to get in for the mammogram yesterday. Haven't driven yet since the hysterectomy because roads here are SO icy/bad/bumpy, but my husband woke up with food poisoning, so I made the drive over the mountain in our remaining car (with questionable brakes) in low gear the whole way. It turned out to be easier to be the driver than the passenger!

Results were that I have a bruised breast. The very kind radiologist said that breast tissue responds to bruising through fat necrosis (breakdown). I have NO idea how that happened given that my only regular exercise has been walking circuits of our first floor and I haven't bumped anything to my knowledge (and my dog doesn't jump up…the radiologist asked). But, I DID increase my caffeine intake (from zero to 90mg) the day before I found the sore/swollen spot on my breast and with the genuine buzz that that generated, I DID use a shovel to move a few scoop fulls of heavy, wet snow to help my dog find her precious pink ball. That represented a BIG increase in my exercise, so who knows?!

Anyway, I was told that ANY changes in breast tissue should be reported right away to one's primary doctor, so all that calling was not the wrong thing after all.

Gosh…this is such a roller coaster! I am beyond relieved that I do not, now, have to add breast biopsies + to this journey.

Other good news: I have been gently reminding my sister with the same diagnosis…endometrial adenocarcinoma…to get back on her regular schedule of follow-up checks. She went yesterday and was OK on that score, but with high blood pressure.
I spoke with my niece (daughter of the sister who died last July from an unspecified gynecological cancer that recurred and metastasized). When she is able she is going to try to find out what her mother's diagnosis was so we can educate our daughters and granddaughters for their own safety.

I am beyond grateful for this opportunity for support. I am sharing SO much to let others know that I am gaining an increased understanding of not only how challenging any gynecological cancer diagnosis is, but how it occurs within a context of everything else in our lives and that everything else affects how we cope with it. I send care and kindness and hope and energy (and capacity to be persistent, where needed) to all of you who are facing any piece of this.