Breast cancer awareness month seems like the perfect time to share my story with you. And beg you Ladies to go get your Mammograms!
It all began this last May. On May 1st I went to my doctor for a well woman checkup. At that time I asked for a referral for a mammogram. The referral took 2weeks to get.
When my referral was approved I called the breast care center to get an appointment. On May 22nd I went in for a mammogram. I knew right away something was wrong. One view was taken of one breast, three views of other.
I asked the technician if something was wrong. Well the chatty, gabby girl went to a tight lipped marginally rude person.
Now this is my first mammogram. I’m nervous anyways. And now with a not nice person. And I can sense off her, that somethings wrong.
I left that office that day a different person than when I had entered the office. The whole process is more demeaning than a pap smear.
During this visit the technician tells me about others that have had lumps and don’t go in till they have terminal cancer. I inform her I have not found a lump. She continues telling me things like that are not appropriate or helpful. By not appropriate I mean, I dont want to know anything about your other patients. I am here for my health, Not theirs.
It was the most miserable hour I have spent anywhere. Or so I felt when I left. Well the doctor called me 5 days later to tell me I needed further testing he told me I needed another mammogram. One that takes high definition pictures. I figured ok. Sounds easy. . He transferred me to appointment girl and I had a appointment on the 31st. 4 days after the day I was told I need more testing, testing that they said to plan on lasting 2 hours . That was enough to scare me to death!
May 31st came with a thud and 3 sleepless nights. The closer I got to the appointment date the more scared I became. My mom was busy planning to go out of town for a wedding,so I didn’t bother her with it. My husband knew about the appt but he just kept saying oh its fine! Dont worry!
What I needed was a female to confide in maybe even to go with me. And I didn’t have that. My Mom was busy getting ready to travel to a family members wedding. My Mil had survived stage 4 breast cancer with lymph node involvement and I didn’t want to frighten her. My friends I shared this with just said Oh its fine. Its nothing. Dont worry about it. Everyone goes through that. All easier said than done!
So I reached out to a twitter friend that did help me to feel better, not feel alone in this. She went with me (so to say) she was on the other end of my cell that day, she was my support. I will always be greatful to her. She knows who she is (my twitter bestie)
I entered the office scared to death. Was told to sign in, they put a hospital band on me. At that moment I said “am I going to the hospital?!” The lady says no. You will be in this building the whole time. You can be seated. We will call you when its your turn.
I sat down and was looking at my wrist band when I heard someone get up from across the room and walk over and sit with me. I glance at her. And look back at my wristband.
I still believe that woman was an angel sent to me.
She looks at me with a gentle, loving, warming type of smile and asks “is anyone here with you dear?” I answer no. She asks “first wristband?” I say yes. She then settles in and tells me she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer that metastatacized in her lungs when her son was 2 years old. Her son is now 39, she has 7 grand children she thought shed never live to see.
She spent the next 30 minutes in waiting room with me telling me about her life journey, her divorce to her sons father, the cancer, life of a single parent. It was very touching and kind what that lovely lady did that day.
Finally my name is called. I get another mammogram. Then a sonogram, and a sonogram directed biopsy. They found a spot hiding in dense tissue that looked suspicious. Doctor said its probably just a cyst. He poked it to take biopsy. It didn’t burst as he had hoped it would.
At that moment my heart skipped a beat. He must have sensed it. He asked me if anyone had come with me. To which I reply no. He then says i’d like to take a core biopsy. He explains the procedure and takes 6 core samples. Then tags the spot with a titanium breast cancer marker in the shape of the classic pink breast cancer loop symbol that will remain for life or till they need to remove the spot if its proven to be a problem.
I then am told to go get changed and a nurse will be with me. She comes into dressing room and gives me a small icebag to slip in my bra every hour for next 24 hours.Im told to not lift anything for 72 hours. I leave dressing room bruised, sore, scared, and feeling lost. I walk up to front desk to tell the girl to please thank the woman that sat with me out here while I waited to be seen.
Girl looks at sign in sheet. Only my name is there so far. She looks at me perplexed. I tell her she said her name was Shirley. I tell her she had on a scarf on her head, and a business suit. The girl said she must have just been here for film pick up.
But Shirley told me she was there for a mammogram and ultrasound… So I left. As I entered my car my cell phone went off with my twitter friend checking on me.
I don’t know who Shirley was. Or where she went. But when she sat with me I felt at piece and safe. I think she was an angel. I truly do.
On June 6th the Radiologist called me with the Pathology results and told me that it was a benign finding. And that the titanium tag he left behind marks the spot so that any future mammogram technicians know that area was biopsied and benign.
I go back in December (6 months after biopsy) for another mammogram and ultrasound. I was told that’s protocol after they do a biopsy.
Ladies I cant stress enough PLEASE GO GET YOUR MAMMOGRAM! I will be there when ever they tell me I need to be there. I was so scared something was wrong. The thoughts that crossed my mind were horrible. I thank God everyday that everything turned out ok. And I thank God for my twitter bestie and Shirley my Angel.
Sorry this was so long.. Thanks for stopping by!