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.
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!
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. 🙂