“They’ve Found Something” – Get your mammograms Ladies!

It’s been about a month since I last posted to this blog.  I’ve been very busy this summer with two college sons home and two high schoolers needing  taxi service, and sharing a car with my husband while the kids are working.  I’ve also been growing my jewelry business now that I have decided to be a full time stay at home mom (or shall I say Work At Home Mom).  I moved my jewelry making studio into the dining room but that has begun to look cluttered and outa control, so I am moving it to the basement now in hopes of staying out of my family’s way.

Just before we left on our beach vacation I had my annual mammogram.  I’ve had a lump before, but after being told many times not to worry, that it was nothing, and after realizing it hadn’t grown from its pea size in over 4 years, I honestly started to believe it was nothing and decided to put it off.  I was now 4 months overdue for my mamogram, so off I went.  They told me in two weeks I would receive the results,  and handed me an envelope to address to myself so they could mail the results.  Two weeks never came.  Within just 3 days I had a phone call and they mailed a letter to me (neither of which I got until after  reurning from vacation a week later!) to return for a diagnostic mammogram “They’ve found something” it said. 

So this week I went for the smash- you- flatter- than- a- piece- of- paper test.  (That other one was just a smash- you- flatter- than- a- pancake test! )  When I walked into the room , the technician placed my first films up on the light box to show me.  “Here”,  she said,  “is what we are going after”,  and she pointed to a white sort of starry “thing” in the center of my breast.  “We need alternate views of this”, she said, “just to be sure it’s not just a reflection or film mistake”.  I asked her if this was the pea sized lump I’d been feeling for years on my side, and she said no, this was behind the nipple.  So I put on the gown and she took the films.  After seeing stars from the painful procedure where they stretched my nipple to Kingdom Come, the technician sat me down and told me to wait to be sure the films turned out, and then after that I could leave.  Soon she returned and told me that they needed to do an ultrasound.  So down the halls we went to the ultrasound room where a doctor/radiologist did the scan.  She took what seemed like a hundred shots and measurements of what appeared to be a gray blobby ball with folded, wrinkled edges, and when I asked her how big it was she said about an inch or the size of a quarter (except it isn’t flat).  When all was done she told me they needed to biopsy it with a tissue biopsy to determine what it is.  With a totally doctor sort of look on her face she told me they always hope that it is benign.  No personality, this woman, just a serious, blank matter of fact look.  Inside, I was feeling horror.  “They’ll call you in 3 – 5 days to schedule your  procedure.”  The next day I thought to myself, why should I have to wait for THEM!  So I called them up myself and am now scheduled 19 days from now for a tissue biopsy where they make a 1/4 inch incision and use a proble to extract  tissue.  Then, they’ll take more films (ouch!) Sounds lovely doesn’t it?  The part where she told me they’ll “Numb you deeply” is the real part that makes my skin crawl! 

So here I am waiting and wondering to myself if this is what the warm , burning sensation I’ve been feeling for months in my breast is, and kicking myself that I hadn’t gotten it checked sooner, and what are they going to tell me in 3 weeks?  I’m angry that doctors for years have told me that a family history that goes back 3 generations to two great-great-aunt’s deaths from breast cancer at 44 & 46 years of age, but skipped the last two generations, means nothing at all.  And maybe it doesn’t, but what if it DOES matter?  Angry at myself for putting things off.  Angry at that matter of fact doctor who has NO business working with women in medicine because she has no heart…I’m just angry right now.  Maybe I have no reason to be, and maybe it really is nothing at all but whatever it is, it’s going to have to come OUT!?  That can’t be fun,now, can it!? 

I shared all of this that very same day with my best friend, because after calling your mom and your sister, that is the first thing you do after getting news like that!  She told me she’d been fighting with her clinic for months (6 months) to get her diagnostic mammogram which her nurse practioner prescribed, and that everyone kept giving her the run around because it didn’t come from a “real” doctor,  and she had finally thrown up her hands and just said forget it.  I’ll wait until next year when I can request a “real” doctor.  Now, she says she’s not waiting. I hope that if you’re reading this and putting it off for yourself, that you won’t either.

It worked for me and I hope it works for you.  Check out Works For Me Wednesdays at Rocks in my dryer!

Until next time…

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7 thoughts on ““They’ve Found Something” – Get your mammograms Ladies!

  1. I felt the sensations…shooting, tingles, sometimes sharp through the nipple…it’s so easy to discount it all as I just finished nursing my 3rd child a 10 months to a year ago…but it’s not to be ignored, stage 3 breast cancer is not to be ignored!…how many women need to read and hear our words…take care of yourself first…we are needed for our kids…survivors are a little selfish…but everyone will be happier when we are all cancer free!!!

    blessings,
    jodi

  2. Hi! I know how you feel. I got the same scare just a couple of weeks ago. Lucky me though my 2nd mammogram came out negative after more painful views. It sure was a wake-up call for me to take mammograms seriously ‘coz I’m always late/overdue. I’ll be keeping you in my prayers just as I have been keeping Jodi in my prayers as well. Take care!

    Jocelyn

  3. Hi-
    I saw your blog off of Jodi’s blog. I am 26 yrs old and had a scare about 2 months ago. I had been having problems w/pain for almost 2 years and was finally sent for an ultrasound where they found a lump a little smaller than an inch beside my nipple. The ultrasound tech and doctor had no such bedside manor and pretty much scared the living daylights out of me with their “we have found a suspicious lump and you need to meet with a surgeon” speech. Luckily the surgeon I met with was the most awesome breast specialist ever! I ended up having a lumpectomy so that they could take out the whole lump and biopsy it. I was a nervous wreck waiting for the results but luckily it turned out to be a benign complex fibroadnoma. It just goes to show that all woman no matter the age need to be vigilant in checking their breast and getting them checked regularly! I just had a mommy friend of mine have a lumpectomy on 3 different lumps, two of which are breast cancer…and she is only 32! I wish you the best of luck and hope that it is bengin. My prayers are with you.

  4. Okay, now I’m thinking back trying to remember when my last mammogram was! I’ll be checking into this. There’s a history of breast cancer in my family (my aunt).

    I’m so sorry you’re waiting on pins and needles for the results of that test! And you have every right to feel angry right now! I’m praying for you. Will you please leave me a comment on my blog when you get the results so I can be reminded to come back here and offer my support (either way)?

    Thanks!

  5. I will be praying for you during this stressful time in waiting that you remain patient for the results without it affecting the rest of your world too much. The Lord knows what you are able to endure, and has a course set for you that is exactly as it should be. Difficult or not, I encourage you to perservere regardless of the information you receive from the test results. Every generation of women in my family, either paternally or maternally, have suffered from breast cancer. My grandmother is currently in remission, to which I can never be grateful enough to God for allowing her to remain in my life. Please let me know also when you receive the results back; I would love to be an online supporter for you regardless of the outcome.

  6. I’ll be praying for you, and for Jodi- and for all of those medical professionals who need to get some sensitivity training! I’ll check back often to find out how you’re doing. God Bless

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