Buddy Check 25: Listen to your inner-self

By Gina Morss

March 25, 2013 Updated Mar 25, 2013 at 10:34 PM CDT

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- When a medical test comes back normal, many of us would breath a sigh of relief and go about our lives as normal.

But, what if you had a nagging feeling that the test didn't tell the full story?

In this month's Buddy Check 25 report, Gina Morss introduces us to a woman who followed her gut and demanded another test that eventually led to a diagnosis of breast cancer.

Barb Haab and her daughter Julee Holland collect cookbooks and love to share recipes. Daughters need their mothers, no matter how old they get. So, when Julee's mom was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago she was scared.

"Very shocking. I had just had my first child. He was only 9 months old at the time," said Holland.

She immediately thought of all the "firsts" her mom might miss; her son's first steps, first words, first day of school. But, Barb's instincts told her not to worry and she had already learned how important it was to follow her instincts. You see, an initial mammogram missed her breast cancer.

"It came back clear and I just didn't feel right about it," said Haab. "There was something within my inner-self that indicated that 'no, keep on this."

She was right. A biopsy detected the early stages of the disease. Her cancer was in the chest wall, making it difficult to be seen on a mammogram.

Technology has improved over the past decade. Digital mammograms now get a clearer picture of the breast, but can still miss suspicious spots 8-percent of the time.

So, Barb encourages other women like her daughter to be vigilant. Get to know what's normal for your breasts, make healthy choices, get screened and know your family history.

For Julee, that meant beginning mammography in her early 30s. She's not scared anymore. She knows that if she faces a similar diagnosis, it's better to catch it early.

"It makes us value the every day things and not take life for granted, that's for sure," she said.

"To be able to be in their lives, volunteer at their schools, see them at school programs, sporting events...I mean it's just priceless," said Haab.

The grandson who was 9-months old when she was diagnosed is now 11 and Barb has three more grandsons to watch grow. Life is good.

It is the 25th of the month. So, don't forget to do your breast self-exam and remind a friend to do the same.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.