Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mammos and Ultras

After a few restless nights, Monday morning finally arrived and I was off to my various appointments, hoping for an all-clear and very nervous. I had issues before I even arrived. There are Dunkin Donuts everywhere when you don’t need one. Have an appointment or two that you need to be on time for? Good luck finding one.

My first appointment was for the underarm lumps, which I still could not feel. Not going to lie, the moment I set eyes on the ultrasound technician, I intensely disliked her. It didn’t help that as soon as she opened her mouth I was blessed to hear someone speaking to me in my mother-in-law’s voice. Fantastic, let’s get the show on the road.

She asked me where the lump was and I said that I didn’t know, I have never felt it but my doctor and husband had. So she did the ultrasound muttering the entire time about not seeing any lymph nodes. To the best of my knowledge, no one said anything about lymph nodes. So she squawked and bitched but didn’t really say much. I asked if she found anything and she said, “Nope” then left the room to talk to the overseeing doctor. She came back in, did a second ultrasound on the same spot that sure looked like a lump to my untrained eye, and sent me on my way. She muttered something about my doctor calling me to follow up.

Then I headed down to Boob Central for the mammogram. Despite the fact that these two offices were affiliated and in the same building, the atmosphere was totally different. The people in this office seemed really nice and there was definitely a nicer aura, a kinder, gentler place. I was 45 minutes early and the nice woman working at the desk assured me I would be seen early. As I started to sit down in the waiting room, they called my name-I guess she wasn’t kidding.

I was delivered to a space that held another waiting room, lockers and dressing rooms. I was told to remove clothing from waist up and put on the fantastic gown. I don’t go braless anywhere, ever, so this was new to me. I won’t be doing this again in the near future. Also disconcerting was the fact that I was in the room with three other women and one was obviously sickly and wearing a wig. The medical reasons for getting these tests became reality… sitting in the same room with me.

Before long, it was my turn to be called in and I immediately liked Boob Checker. Sweet, sweet woman. In fact, she was so nice that I didn’t even tell her I normally make a person buy me dinner before I whip the girls out.  My new friend asked a bunch of questions about pregnancy, boob health, etc. She looked my records up and was surprised to see that I had just come from an ultrasound and that I had been given zero information about it. Further, the only information in my medical records was shots of the non-existent lump in my underarm.

I will say that the first mammogram wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Considering that the biggest part of a breast is the part against your chest, the pressure put on your boob isn’t on the most sensitive part. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t fun, but I thought it would be more of a “pinch” than the “smoosh” it really was.

My friend the Boob Checker initially told me that I could leave after she took two shots of each boob. I was surprised then, when she said, “I’m sorry, I’m going to need you to stay.” Any warm and fuzzy feelings I had after being squished left the building. So I went and sat in another room. Two of my friends from the first waiting room were there, then another woman with a wig joined us. I didn’t want to make friends or make eye contact. I wanted to cry.

Boob Checker came back for me and said she saw something that might be dense tissue, but she conferred with the doctor and they needed to take more pictures. Here’s a hint to you, my friends: if you are in for a mammogram and they change out one of the squishers for a smaller one, RUN, don’t walk. Smaller means that the pressure is more centralized and that they’re looking in a smaller area.

So she attempts to arrange me and my boob on her contraption. I needed to lean, drape my arm, tilt my head, slouch and not breathe all at once. Then she slammed down the torture device and I may have shouted out “Sweet Jesus!” But we made it through and now I could leave. NOT SO FAST!

“We’ll need to look a little closer. Let’s go for an ultrasound.” Thankfully, they have their own machines so I didn’t have to go back to the She-Bitch. In fact, the ultrasound tech in Boob Central was as fantastic as Boob Checker.

Long story short, there’s something in my left breast that needed to be looked at, measured and marked up in the ultrasound. They’re fairly certain that it’s a benign growth, possibly even a wayward lymph node, and I need to have a recheck in six months.

As for the initial cause of concern, the lumps under my arms, I am waiting to from my doctor. I will tell you one thing, if there is some lump that needs to be removed, I’m asking the doctor to keep that little sucker. I will wrap it in the nicest Christmas paper I have and send it to the She-Bitch ultrasound tech that insisted she couldn't see anything. 

And advice to all my friends over 40: Get the girls checked. It's really not so bad. 

I cannot lie... I lifted this image from Google. ;o)

Ice Princess

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