Category Archives: Awareness

Why I suck at blogging; a tale of one boob and other medical crap.

I mentioned recently that I’d been working on a blog post about why I’ve been such a shitty blogger this year.  Aside from still being in transition and training for my new job, I’ve also been doing a lot of medical stuff.  That awful, shitty, horrible, no good, very bad doctor I’ve had for the past few years has been replaced.  Yay!!  My new doctor, so far, has listened to me and said things like, “Let’s get you feeling better first and then deal with XYZ…” and “Why didn’t Dr. Suck run this test?”  (She didn’t really call her Dr. Suck… LOL)  She also referred me to a Rheumatologist who I saw after waiting for several months and who also listened to me and didn’t try to blow me off like my old suck-ass doctor did.  So I’ve had a billion blood tests, found out that my Vitamin D is chronically low, and I have to have x-rays and start physical therapy while my new doctors work on figuring out what the heck is wrong with my body. (I’m convinced it’s Fibromyalgia but we’ll see…).  So yeah, I’ve been tired.  I love my job, but it’s hard when I’m always in pain and my boss keeps wanting to increase my caseload every few weeks.  It’s not nearly as emotionally draining as the old job, but it’s hard on my body.  By the time I get home I’m usually pretty worthless and just haven’t had any energy to blog or write or do anything fun.

I do however have a health related tale to tell you.  So gather ’round, my peeps… I’ve gotta school ya for a bit and I get to say the word boob a lot which I love.  Boob.  Boob. Boob.  LOL

As you may know, this is a big birthday year for me. I’ll be officially moving into a new age bracket that begins with a 4.  Forty comes many new things, more grey hair, more chronic pain, more wondering/worrying about ever getting to be a mom to my own kids… All the usual things. But one thing that came early was my very first mammogram.

Let me start off by saying that for years and years if someone said to me that they didn’t get mammograms because they hurt my auto response has been, “You know what hurts more? Breast Cancer.”  I don’t believe in the whole, “I’m not going to do it because it hurts” excuse because really, it can’t hurt THAT bad.  We’re women, we have periods and cramps and give birth, a boob smash should be pretty low on the pain scale as far as I’m concerned.

I called to make my yearly girly appointment and the chick was like, “When was your last mammogram?” and I told her I’d never had one she looked at my date of birth and said it was time. I didn’t flinch and made the appointment.

A week later I was there for the boob smash.

smash

So here’s the thing… It didn’t hurt. It wasn’t pleasant, but it wasn’t something that I would necessarily avoid like the plague. The left boob did pinch a little more than the right but it was so quick that I was like, “This is it?”  Even the tech said to me, “Have you been told horror stories? Those are about the old machines, the new ones aren’t bad at all.” Really, it wasn’t bad.

So by now you’re thinking, “Why are you talking about this?” Well, because my experience didn’t stop with just one mammogram.

A few days later I got a call saying that they wanted to re-image the left boob. I figured it was because I’d moved or something since like I said, the left side hurt a little more than the right. But no, when I returned I found out that there were two spots of concern that they wanted different shots of and I was also going to have an ultrasound.

The immediate results from that said “It’s probably lymph nodes.” A few days after that I got a call telling me that they wanted to do a biopsy.

At this point I’m doing my best not to jump from zero to cancer but I’m not going to lie, I went there.  The few people who I told were mostly supportive and kept telling me I’d be fine. I’d smile and nod but in my head I often thought, “Yeah but we’ll see…”

March 3rd came along and I went with my mom to a place called the Breast Center for my biopsy. There are several different types of biopsies but I was having an ultrasound guided needle biopsy. I knew what to expect because frankly I’d googled and YouTubed the crap out of it (I have to know as much as possible about things… Education is one of my resiliency tools).

So the doctor comes in and he’s this adorable gum chewing little guy who shares the same last name as me. He explained what was going to happen and demonstrated the biopsy tool because it makes this really loud pop gun sort of thing when he takes the sample. I was anticipating it but I think my mom was happy to have the warning.

According to the doctor, the two spots were very small and he wasn’t very impressed by them. LOL um, thanks?  They were not fluid filled cysts, which would’ve been the best result so he did have to go ahead with the needle biopsies.

For the first spot he took about two cores, and the second one he took five. By core I mean he shot the hollow needle through the lump to collect a core sample. I didn’t feel a thing, but it was pretty cool to watch on the ultrasound screen. My mom is a LPN and she got a kick out of it too. LOL

Oh and when they do a biopsy they put these surgical steel markers in your boob so that the spot is marked. I have two markers in my left boob now for the rest of my life. One is shaped like a breast cancer awareness ribbon and is frankly pretty cute on the mammogram they did after the biopsy. (I wish I had a copy of it, seriously it’s kinda cool.)

I left with steri-strips on the two incisions in my boob, a dressing covering it all, and a handy little ice pack that I could put in my bra. 🙂 Then I had to wait a full week for the results.

No really. A whole fucking week. Ugh. More time to assume I was going to have cancer and wonder what my head would look like shaved and how I would explain it to Doodlebutt if I was sick. By the time I went back in for my results I was sure I had cancer.

But I don’t. Yay!

kermit

I have two benign thingymajigs (LOL I can’t remember the name and have no idea where the paperwork is right now). They don’t have to come out and basically I just have to monitor them with yearly boob smashes. Whew!

My bruises are finally gone (it took forever).  I have two little scars from where the biopsies were done.  I no longer feel the need to walk around holding my boob so that it doesn’t move too much and hurt.  LOL It was a scary situation, but I made it thorough and I don’t by any means regret getting that mammogram. Had my thingymajigs been cancer, it would have been early (too early to be felt by hand) and hopefully would’ve been treatable.  But if I’d avoided the mammogram because it might hurt it could have grown and spread and been much worse.

So the moral of the story… get your freaking boobs smashed.  Then go buy yourself a treat for being a good, responsible, girl. 🙂

 

 


Cancer Awareness Instead of Lies

Imagine being diagnosed with breast cancer.  All of a sudden you’re consumed with thoughts of possible loss.  You might have to lose your hair because of chemo, your might have to have a single or double mastectomy and lose your breasts, and oh well there’s that chance that you might also lose your life too if the cancer spreads.  In other words you’re scared as hell.

You decide to log on to Facebook to check in on friends… maybe you’ll play a couple of games to help you avoid the real world for a while.  But when you log on you see posts from multiple female friends saying that they’re going on these amazing trips.  One says she’s going on a 10 month trip to Germany while another says she’s going on a 2 month trip to Australia.  Aside from being shocked that so many friends are taking huge trips you think to yourself that it must be nice to be able to plan something that big without worrying about cancer getting in the way.

Then you check your FB inbox and come across this…

Okay ladies, it’s that time of year again…support of Breast Cancer Awareness!! So we all remember last year’s game of writing your bra color as your status? Or the way we like to have our handbag handy?

Last year, so many people took part that it made national news and the constant updating of status reminded everyone why we’re doing this and helped raise awareness!! Do NOT TELL ANY MALES!!!!!! what the statuses mean…keep them guessing!!

And please copy and paste (in a message) this to all your female friends! It’s time to confuse the men again (not that it’s really that hard to do ;]) The idea is to choose the month you were born and the day you were born. Pass this on to the GIRLS ONLY and lets see how far it reaches around. The last one about the bra went around all over the world. Your status should say: “I am going to________________for___________ months.”

The day you were born should be for how many months you are going.

January–Mexico
February– London
March–Miami
April—Dominican Republic
May–France
June– St Petersburg
July–Austria
August–Germany
September– New York
October–Amsterdam
November- Paris
December–Australia

Aside from the ridiculous overuse of exclamation points and bad grammar, what really pisses you off is that not only are your friends LYING about a trip they’re taking but they’re doing it in “support of Breast Cancer Awareness.”  You’re facing a life changing and possibly life threatening illness and this is what your friends are doing to support the cause?

Don’t get me wrong… I love a good meme just like the rest of you.   If someone sends me a way to find out what my Star Wars, Harry Potter or porn name is I’m all for figuring it out and posting it on FB.  However, this bullshit trend of saying that these meme’s are in support of a cause is just that… bullshit.

Excuse my French but what the FUCK does lying about a trip you’re going to take do to spread cancer awareness?!  I get pissed off every time one of these so-called breast cancer awareness meme’s rolls around.  The purse one was fine… stupid but fine.  The bra one was insulting to breast cancer patients and survivors around the world.  Yeah let’s post on Facebook what color our bras are in “support” of women who might not even have breasts anymore… that’s fucking brilliant!  So this time around some genius thought, “Okay, we won’t use anything that’s connected with breasts this time… let’s just flat out lie!  That’ll be SO funny!”  Seriously?

Yes, these stupid ass meme’s do get press.  But what press do they get?  A one minute blurb on the news saying that women are posting “mysterious” status updates to FB in order to support cancer awareness.  That’s it. There’s no follow up that deals with ACTUAL breast cancer awareness!  So essentially the meme is a lazy ass way to SAY that you’re supporting cancer awareness while you really aren’t doing a damn thing.

Here’s what I propose… a meme that actually means something.  One that educates people, inspires people to help, raises funds for research/treatment, honors survivors, and remembers those who lost the fight to cancer.  One that includes EVERYONE.  Men get breast cancer too, you know?  They also love women who have or had breast cancer… it’s absolutely ridiculous to leave them out.  How do you think the man who lost his wife to breast cancer feels about your so-called support?

So instead of putting a lie up as your status and leaving out men do this instead.  Complete the sentence below and use it as your status.

I’m not posting about a fake trip to “support breast cancer awareness,” instead I am truly supporting breast cancer awareness by ____.

Fill in that blank with things that actually DO SOMETHING!  Things like:

… knitting/crocheting chemo caps to donate to the local cancer center.
… volunteering at my hospital/hospice/cancer center to support cancer patients.
…donating x amount of dollars to my favorite cancer charity.
…telling my story about how I survived breast cancer.
…telling my story about how scary it was when my ___ had breast cancer.
…telling you what it was like to lose my __ to breast cancer.
…getting a mammogram!
…driving my friend to get a mammogram.
…attending a cancer fundraiser with friends and survivors.
…giving a hug to my best friend who is  cancer patient and holding his/her hand.

The possibilities are endless really, and get this… you don’t have to LIE!  As a matter of fact, you don’t even need to stick to breast cancer… use the meme to support all cancer awareness!  I can guarantee that by doing this meme you’ll be much more supportive to those who have cancer, had cancer, or lost someone to cancer.

So what are YOU going to do for cancer awareness?  Leave your answer in the comments, post it to Facebook and by all means, share the hell out of this post anywhere you want!


Blog Pimp for a Good Cause

Earthchicknits is a fellow blogger, sew-er, knitter and curly haired person (seriously, curls to make you weep!). She posted a lovely post today about a very special anniversary that she’s celebrating, that of the day she did not lose her son but very easily could have. How much do YOU know about sandhole collapses?

Check out her post “Anniversary of a Rescue” and then take some time to peruse her blog and drool over the absolutely gorgeous yarn she spins! Here’s a tease…

Yummy!


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