Friday, February 09, 2007

Wham, Bam, Thank You Mammogram

Well, well, well. I never knew what fun it would be to have my boobies squished between two pieces of plastic. But these things happen when, in the course of your (sorta) monthly breast exam, you come across a little knot the size of a pencil eraser.

Okay, first, you hyperventilate.

Then you stay up all night obsessing about how you are going to die of breast cancer, because of course, you do the (sorta) monthly breast exam just before you turn off the light at night. And only then because, for some reason, you realize that perhaps it has been a little more than a month (or two)(or three) since the last time you did it. So, you perform the obligatory circular feeling of the tissue all the way to the pits on the left side and then on the right. Then, as you are about to smugly tell yourself that everything is fine, as it should be, you find yourself saying HUH? What is that? Crap. That's not the same "mammary" feeling thing.

So, after a very tumultuous night of "sleep" you call the doctor first thing in the morning. Of course you have to call the flight surgeon, because that is your doctor. Totally who you want to trust your boobs to. And of course, the first appointment you can get is in two weeks. Fine. So you have two weeks to obsess. And continue to check a couple of (fifteen) times a day to see if maybe, maybe that lump has disappeared.

Sometimes, it takes a minute to find it. And you get your hopes up. But in a bit, there it is. Pesky thing.

Finally, you go to the flight surgeon, who is twelve, and get to tell him about you boob and the extra stuff that shouldn't be there. And then, the twelve year old "doctor" in the flight suit gets to feel you up. And he can't find it. And you can't find it. For a minute. But, there it is and you show him and then? He still can't find it, but, following the advice of the civilian nurse who is in the room as a "chaperon" (and is NOT 12, but very experienced and one of my favoritest people in the world) takes your word for it and gives you a referral for a mammogram and ultrasound. And a biopsy.

Crap. Another biopsy. Those are so fun. (but that's not till March...I'll have something to post about next month!)

Can I drop the whole second person scenario now? It's getting tedious, don't you agree?

The mammogram "people" managed to get me in in a week. Very nice. They gave me a sheet about how to "prepare for the mammogram. I glanced over it & read that I could keep taking my medicines (good thing...all I need is to stop taking the crazy pills at this point) and not to wear deodorant the day of the procedure. Good thing this is happening in February. As I was drinking my tea the day prior, I read over the sheet once more, I saw that I was also to cut back on caffeine consumption the week before. Oops. Evidently, caffeine can make your boobs tender and lumpy. Who knew.

The day before, all of the kids were home from school, sick. I stood over them that night, doing some voodoo to make sure that all were well enough for school the next day. Because I was not putting this off, dammit.

Fortunately, everyone woke up healthy-ish yesterday morning. And Mommy was such a joy to be with that all gleefully exited the van. After dropping off Bug at school, I dashed to the clinic to have my boobies squished. WHEE!

I got to sit in the waiting room for about 17 months twenty minutes. During that time, I was able to peruse the heart-warming memoir of a breast cancer survivor whose symptoms and "discovery" very closely mimicked my own experience. Wonderful.

At last, I was called back and Kelly explained the procedure and gave me these little tiny bb's to stick to my nipples. Nobody warned me about this. Because I know from experience that adhesive on the nippular area never ends well. (as an aside, I am slightly disturbed by the number of posts I have had concerning my boobs) She then placed my right boob in the vice and began to lower it. Then she did the same on the left. Then different angles of both. (A little to the left...lower you say "MILK!" click)

And? Well, it really wasn't that bad. Not an activity that I would choose for fun. But, better than childbirth. But honestly, what isn't? I theorize that the mammogram much be worse for a woman with actual boobs. But, as a member and officer of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee (I'm Recording Secretary, but someday...President!), it wasn't so bad.

Next I proceeded to the Ultrasound portion of our program. The radiologist himself (who wasn't 12! He was probably 14) did the ultrasound of my boob. And the very first thing he did? He ripped that bb bandaid off of my nippular area. YOUCH! This was, by far, the worst part of the whole day. Seeing my face, he says, "Oh, sorry." But he didn't mean it. Bastard.

Nah, he was nice. He got to feel me up, too. But he was able to find the lump. The ultrasound was pretty thorough. He said that he really couldn't see the "area of concern" of either the mammogram or the ultrasound "which is a good thing." He recommended that I get another mammogram in four years or so.

I'm not sure what the status of the biopsy is now. I'm torn about whether I want to go ahead and have it, just to completely rule out the scary possibilities or trust that it is probably just a lymph node or something. Any input on this decision (as if I have any say in it) is welcome.

So...there you go. CRB was waiting with bated breath for this post. Hope that it met your expectations. Next up....Sugar Mommy goes to the dentist!

No comments: