#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller


When some calcium showed up on my recent mammogram, I was scheduled for a needle biopsy.  The procedure was performed on September 30–and I gotta tell ya, as awful as the procedure sounds, it wasn’t all that bad–and then it was a waiting game.  I wasn’t particularly worried, but still….

The results were supposed to come back within 3 to 5 days, but they didn’t.  Seeing my doctor for a routine follow-up to my annual physical this morning, I asked if she’d heard anything.  She hadn’t, and we agreed that, this being October 7, the report was overdue.  Dr. S called the lab immediately, and I admit I held my breath while I waited for the person on the other end of the line to scan the files.  Things had gotten a little backed up–it happens–but the verdict was in.  Benign.

Little wonder that I’m thinking that’s got to be one of the most beautiful words in this or any language.

My mom is a breast cancer survivor (go, Mom!), which means the women in our line have a slightly higher risk of contracting the disease.  For this reason, on the advice of my doctor, I have the exam every year.  I used to grumble about the frequency, but lately I’ve changed my tune.  I feel grateful to the infinite power, not just because I’ve received a clean bill of health this time around, but because modern technology allows for a much earlier diagnosis if there is a problem.  Chances for a cure are, obviously, MUCH higher with early detection. 

It’s the first line of defense against a disease that is still far too prevalent.  We’ve got to beat this thing, people.


57 comments to “Phew!”

  1. Dennis
      · October 7th, 2014 at 5:51 pm · Link

    YES we do!!! Preventive medicine is the key!! thanks Linda

  2. Linda R
      · October 7th, 2014 at 5:52 pm · Link

    Congratulations, good news!

  3. Judy Eagle
      · October 7th, 2014 at 5:52 pm · Link

    So glad you got good news. I too know the feeling of waiting for the hammer to drop as I am sure most of the world population does actually for one problem or another, but still getting a positive outcome is great. I am sure you feel at least 100 pounds lighter.

  4. roz goodenough
      · October 7th, 2014 at 5:53 pm · Link

    So happy your results were good. With your background it has to be a concern for you. This world would be a sadder place with you!

  5. Dawn Roberts
      · October 7th, 2014 at 5:56 pm · Link

    I too just went through the same thing, mammo, second diagnostic mammo, then needle biopsy ( bit undignified) than the waiting. By the grace of God, mine was also benign :-P As my mom is also a survivor, that waiting is awful. Did anything to keep my mind busy so as not to think about it. But I agree as inconvenient as the whole process is, I would never stop. I am grateful for the Dr and nurse that did my biopsy, they truly made me feel as ease with the process.

    Congrats to all those that are survivors!

  6. Linda Beaudoin
      · October 7th, 2014 at 5:59 pm · Link

    Glad you got good news on your biopsy.

  7. Denise King
      · October 7th, 2014 at 6:00 pm · Link

    Hello Linda I know exactly how you feel.I went through the same thing myself at the end of August, just like you I didn’t get an answer until after the five days was over, as a matter of fact I had to call them myself, smh, but the good news is that it was benign also. It is a scary thing waiting to hear something and it’s late coming to you. Congratulations to the both of us for our great news.

  8. Gwenda Underwood
      · October 7th, 2014 at 6:01 pm · Link

    So happy for your good news!! We also have this disease in our line & are all very anxious for our results!!

  9. Pamela Devereux
      · October 7th, 2014 at 6:01 pm · Link

    Yeah!!! Benign is a beautiful word. My mom had a lump removed & it was benign. I take breast health seriously. I also passed this attitude on to my daughter. I look forward to the day they find a cure for this day.

  10. Linda Wilson
      · October 7th, 2014 at 6:08 pm · Link

    So glad it was a good result. I had the same thing one year. Then few years later they found cancer with my mamo, but it was a o and has been 3 yrs. and thank God I am ok. So glad I went often as my mom had cancer, but it went to other body parts later and I lost her. I was scared when they said cancer, but they said treatments have gotten better since mom and it was early, so I prayed and God spared me. I keep telling people get your mamo, it saved me

  11. Darilyn Larsen
      · October 7th, 2014 at 6:13 pm · Link

    I know how you feel, Linda. I am waiting for results of that nature myself. Dr. saw something in regular mammogram, so sent me for a diagnostic mammogram and then an ultrasound. Glad yours is benign and pray mine is, too! In the meantime, can’t wait for your next book! Hugs!

  12. Laura Ann Harris
      · October 7th, 2014 at 6:21 pm · Link

    The Lord is good Linda! Good for you for getting your annual exam.

  13. Violette Ruffley
      · October 7th, 2014 at 6:28 pm · Link

    I am so happy for your good news, Linda.

  14. Linda Lattin
      · October 7th, 2014 at 6:31 pm · Link

    From the time they tell you they have found something to the time they tell what it is, can seem like a very long time. I am so happy for you that it turned out benign. I thank God for your good news.

  15. Cece
      · October 7th, 2014 at 6:31 pm · Link

    So glad to hear your calcium was ok. It is so important to have a yearly mammogram. I worked in a Women’s Clinic for years and women just do not realize how very important it is. Early detention is the best outcome.

  16. Susan Lee
      · October 7th, 2014 at 6:32 pm · Link

    We all celebrate the good news with you. The world is not ready to lose your voice yet. take care of yourself

  17. Donna Lohrer
      · October 7th, 2014 at 6:43 pm · Link

    Linda, I am so glad your okay. I go every year faithfully. A lot of people tell me when they get a mammogram that it hurts, it has never bothered me.

  18. Tammy
      · October 7th, 2014 at 6:46 pm · Link

    So glad for the benign result and proud that you are getting your mammograms. Keep healthy, we sure do look forward to your contributions in life and art.

  19. Judy
      · October 7th, 2014 at 6:55 pm · Link

    I had a scare of few years ago that required another mammogram. It turned out ok, but I understand your feelings. I, too, get a mammogram every October. I had the new 3D one this year. I’m glad yours turned out ok!

  20. Leanna
      · October 7th, 2014 at 6:59 pm · Link

    Goad everything is ok! I agree waiting and not knowing is th worst!

  21. Diana E.
      · October 7th, 2014 at 7:01 pm · Link

    I agree with you Linda. I went through the same thing four years ago several months after my husband passed away. Its a pretty scary thing. Then my sister went through breast cancer a couple years ago and is doing fine now. Its a nasty disease, get those mammograms done, ladies, its important. Blessings to all and especially you, Linda.

  22. Lorraine Pitts
      · October 7th, 2014 at 7:04 pm · Link

    So very,very happy for you!!!

  23. Dixie Hadley
      · October 7th, 2014 at 7:17 pm · Link

    Waiting for results can be such a difficult thing to do. So glad the results were good. God is GOOD :-)

  24. Lois Rotella
      · October 7th, 2014 at 7:25 pm · Link

    The waiting part is scary. Glad the news was good. Also happy about your mom. My niece is breast cancer survivor twice. It has been 8 years for her. We are happy that she is with us.

  25. Janie
      · October 7th, 2014 at 7:29 pm · Link

    Blessings to all on their mammos. I too have had to have extra tests and wait to hear the wonderful words that all is okay. I have 29 women on my prayer list with breast cancer, I either know them personally or a family member–one of which is my 35 year old sweetheart of a daughter-in-law. Her lymph nodes and margins were clear so we are thankful every day!!

  26. Rita C
      · October 7th, 2014 at 7:30 pm · Link

    Big SIGH of relief, I thought it was so smart when I heard to do it on your birthday, and then it would be easy to remember and get it done every year, But then I got a present I wasn’t prepared for, my results were positive, but I am so glad that is behind me and I am a survivor too. Prayers to all that are facing this in their life now.

  27. Nicole
      · October 7th, 2014 at 7:36 pm · Link

    I am glad it came back benign. I know how scary just the thought of being more acceptable is. Earlier this year my dads side of the family discovered that the BRCA2 gene runs in our family. Luckily my dad was negative so my sister and I are on the same level as most of the population but my uncle and two is his kids are positive :(. So hoping their daughters are negative when they get checked when they are older. So scary knowing you have a hire risk. Stay strong and I hope you keep having the same happy results in the future

    PS I love your books!

  28. Mary Hostak
      · October 7th, 2014 at 8:05 pm · Link

    We all need to get our mammograms no matter how little we like them! A little over two years ago after my mammogram they found something and it was cancer but, thankfully, it was very small and they got all of it with a lumpectomy, followed by radiation. It wasn’t fun, but way easier than it could have been. I’ve just had my 2 year “you’re still all clear” appointment.

    There’s no history in my family before this generation, but both my sister and I have had it. She’s been cancer free for 17 years.

    We are very thankful. Mary Hostak

  29. Ginny Thompson
      · October 7th, 2014 at 8:20 pm · Link

    I certainly understand your feelings. I have had several lumps removed from each breast and all were benign but the waiting was nerve racking. Now I am “lets just say” uneven as I had more removed from the left than the right but I don’t care. I’m healthy! So glad your news was good1

  30. Nancy
      · October 7th, 2014 at 8:21 pm · Link

    So glad to hear you got good news. I’ve been there as well and feel I’ve been so lucky to get the same news. Keep up the good work on the yearly mammograms too – I never miss mine!

    Thank you for this post! We all need to be reminded to get checked.

  31. Roberta Giordano
      · October 7th, 2014 at 8:36 pm · Link

    Glad all turned out well ! I had a similar scare but with Ovarian Cancer. Thankfully there was no cancer and they just removed my tubes and ovaries.

  32. midge watkins
      · October 7th, 2014 at 9:24 pm · Link

    I’m thanking the Lord for your good news. I had a benign lump removed years ago, so my insurance had to pay for one
    every year and I don’t skip them! I was a “secret squirrel”
    adoption(no info) so I don’t know what my family health
    history is, so everything is a surprise. I lost two close friends
    to that awful diagnosis, so I pray for all of us to stay benign.
    Good for you, Rita. Take care, Linda. Also, I found one of the
    Mckettrick books I hadn’t read (yeah) and It’s one of the best!
    I guess I’ve said that before and will as long as you keep writing them. This one is “The McKettrick Way.

  33. Virginia Horton
      · October 7th, 2014 at 9:25 pm · Link

    I so glad things turned out well. I went through something like that several years ago and mine was cause from caffeine. They sent me to a surgeon and every thing and I was so afraid something really was wrong because my grandmother died from breast cancer. I went off of caffeine and everything has been great ever since.

  34. Nadine Spradlin
      · October 7th, 2014 at 9:33 pm · Link

    So glad every thing came out ” Good results ” the word cancer is scary, I’d be willing to bet that you are still smiling …………….

  35. Pat Yates
      · October 7th, 2014 at 9:35 pm · Link

    So good to hear from you . I was beginning to get uneasy! Praise God you got good news from your doc. My niece is battling breast cancer now. She had a mastectomy, one breast, chemo and radiation and in January the other breast will be removed and plastic surgery. The family has been in a lot of prayer mode and the little town where most of the family lives has been total support. Not everyone has the support she has. Wish it was easier for those don’t. God bless.

  36. Pam paterakis
      · October 7th, 2014 at 9:42 pm · Link

    My mom is a 40 year; double mastectomy survivor! My daughters and I take exams very seriously! Ladies it only takes minutes so go for it!

  37. Ann Bartholomew
      · October 7th, 2014 at 9:42 pm · Link

    Benign is a wonderful word. Because I have no family history of cancer I was careless about regular checkups. Big mistake! In 2012 I had chemo, mastectomy, and radiation. God has been good and given me praying friends and family, and now I have a clear bill of health. I’m so glad to hear your news was good.

  38. Marcy Collins
      · October 7th, 2014 at 9:50 pm · Link

    Glad to hear your news was good! I had a scare in August, where the mammogram showed a shadow (I had not felt a lump), went for a compression mammogram on the right one…they saw the same shadow and then did an ultrasound…could not find anything. The radiologist stated it must have been an enlarged lymph node, but it was deep as I’ve never felt a lump, and he would recommend to my PCP another one in 6 months. I have family history also, so I’m very vigilant about this.

  39. Deborah Rae Nelson
      · October 7th, 2014 at 9:56 pm · Link


  40. judy
      · October 7th, 2014 at 9:58 pm · Link

    I am so glad for you. I had a very good friend who died of breast cancer.

  41. Peggy Casey
      · October 7th, 2014 at 10:13 pm · Link

    Yeah! for regular exams and benign results!!!

  42. Fran F
      · October 7th, 2014 at 10:22 pm · Link

    Hi Linda,
    So glad to hear that you test came back benign. It is always a worry when you don’t hear about any medical test within a couple of days. Mamos are so important and I know I get one every year, just to be sure.
    Fran F.

  43. Gloria Jenkins
      · October 7th, 2014 at 10:27 pm · Link

    Linda, I am so happy for you. You are right we all have to proactive with our health, if you have a family history or not. I am 59 years old and have been having mammograms for 24 years when calcium showed up. I go every year for my mammograms. This is Breast Cancer awareness month. Ladies go get your mammograms it is painless.
    Have a Bless week,
    Gloria Jenkins
    Northern Virginia

  44. rita hutcheson
      · October 7th, 2014 at 11:40 pm · Link

    so glad to hear you are OK,

  45. Mary Goodman
      · October 8th, 2014 at 12:02 am · Link

    I’m glad everything was good. for you.

  46. Patricia Stout
      · October 8th, 2014 at 1:04 am · Link

    Glad to hear that you got a good report from the tests. I don’t know which is the procedure or the waiting, I believe the waiting is the worse, but you got a great report back, which is great. :wink:

  47. Jane Goldsmith
      · October 8th, 2014 at 9:06 am · Link

    Happy for your news and good for you that you followed up on it and didn’t adopt a “no news is good news” attitude.

  48. Andrea Lammly
      · October 8th, 2014 at 9:24 am · Link

    Glad to hear you got a positive report Linda! Not the most pleasant procedure but so grateful it is there for us. Blessings to everyone.

  49. carole
      · October 8th, 2014 at 10:20 am · Link

    glad you had happy news, I get one every year too!

  50. Dotty Weis
      · October 8th, 2014 at 10:50 am · Link

    Glad to hear the good new

  51. Laura VanGuilder
      · October 8th, 2014 at 12:36 pm · Link

    I am so glad you are OK. It is so scary to wait for results for biopsies!

  52. Tammy
      · October 8th, 2014 at 3:15 pm · Link

    I’m so happy for you Linda that the news was good! I’ve had a needle biopsy done also! I agree it was awful! My poor breast was the prettiest shade of purple! The only other time I have seen that shade of purple was from 2nd degree sunburn! Mine was also benign! Yes, it is a wonderful word! I’m glad for your Mom, how wonderful she survived! I go every year also!

  53. Shirley W.
      · October 8th, 2014 at 4:50 pm · Link

    Glad to hear that the report came back benign. I just had appointment today with my GYN and got crips to get my annual Mammogram and bone density test. I get them as often as they will let me on Medicare. Happy trails to you and your.

  54. nancy miller
      · October 9th, 2014 at 10:54 am · Link

    :-DI am so happy for you I get my exam every year !I wanted to tell you also that you are one of my favorite authors. My daughters know when one of your neww books come out to get it for me!Hoping you have a blessed day

  55. Connie Johnson
      · October 9th, 2014 at 11:33 pm · Link

    Glad your report came back good. My mamo came back with new spots, had to get a diagnostic mamo, it came back good. My family also has breast cancer in it, very scary.

  56. Jan Campbell
      · October 10th, 2014 at 1:30 pm · Link

    I had a similar experience 2 years ago. I, too, had a benign result. This makes me look forward to that mammogram each year. Early detection is so important.

  57. Valdi McCoy
      · October 20th, 2014 at 8:20 pm · Link

    Thanks for the reminder. I do mine every 2 years. It’s time to do it again. I am really happy that yours came back benign.

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