Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mammogram Mash Up

A few days after Christmas I went in for the annual boob squishing...a year late.  No worries, I've only had one irregular mammo in the past six years.  Turns out my 'girls' are dense and fibrous - almost sounds sexy, right?  Well, it turns out that they wanted more pictures this time...yay, selfies of the boobs!

The whole procedure, the actual smashing & manipulating of the mammary gland, doesn't take long and is virtually painless.  In the past it has only been momentarily uncomfortable, my opinion, of course.  And if you aren't shy or worried about your breast being manhandled like a raw pork chop, it really isn't that big of deal, especially if it keeps you alive, right?

January's appointment was a late afternoon visit, so it was already a bit creepy - nobody in the waiting room, just a few people waiting for me, and it was dark outside.  The tech was very friendly, chatty and got to business right quick.  Everything was familiar but the squeezing, hmm, a wee bit more painful than in the past - let's just say that I was visualizing my nipple(s) popping off like a cork off of a champagne bottle.  But it's not like you can complain, because they are just doing their job, right?  So I sucked it up, gritting my teeth and getting through it like the bad-ass that I am.  May have said a few Hail Mary's, but that's beside the point.

Fast forward a few weeks later...I am attempting to clean up one of the many cluttered flat surfaces in our kitchen when I ran across a letter from the hospital.  They were kindly informing me that I would need to come back for more pictures.  Thus the reason for today's appointment - which I had rescheduled twice for no apparent reason other than feeling inconvenienced...I know, I know, denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

Today's appointment was earlier so the radiologist could examine the film and have an ultrasound done, if necessary.  I stayed home with a sick kid today, so I really had no worries about arriving on time...except that I was chilling, pretending to be a stay at home mom, when I looked up and realized that I had fifteen minutes to get there.

Traffic was on my side and I made it on time...even after I went in the wrong entrance.  Checked in and was sent to the room to change.  Now you know, I am not a newbie at this, so I know that the garment opens in the front...but this well-worn, freshly washed scrap of fabric with snaps, hmm, like nothing I've ever seen before.  But I'm not really realizing this as I throw it around my shoulders...where I quickly learn that I have just put on a cape - snaps down the front but totally open on the sides.  I am not a modest girl, but damn, one quick turn and my girls are flying out for all to see.

Yes, I know, that is the point, for them to check out the girls, but the lack of coverage around the midriff was disconcerting...I even went so far to check in the storage bench to see if there was a mistake..nope, they all looked the same, equally bizarre mini-superhero capes.

Turns out that a couple of "pictures" turned into multiple pictures...pulling out the extra plates (da big guns!) to spread the breasts and show more angles.  And then off to the ultrasound room because the density is just to much to see with a mammogram.  Surprisingly, I was not worried, just going through the motions.  The last time this happened it was a routine mammogram, not a follow-up, and they thought they saw something suspicious and ordered the ultrasound - that was freak out time.  By the time I left I had already visualized myself with no hair, both breasts removed and me writing letters to my girls that they can open after I die.  Wow, right?

 But today, not like that at all - not that I wouldn't be scared shitless, because I would.  But I'm in a different place right now.  The girls' are older, I am confident that we, the fam & I, are on the right track with health & money and overall, I am in a better place personally & professionally.  And what would worrying do?  Would it take away the issue or exacerbate it and make everything more stressful?  The latter, for sure.  So I tucked in and went to the ultrasound room for a little more groping and movie watching.

I was blessed with a chatty tech - she talked me through every step, even though I had been through it before.  She explained what she was seeing...I saw bread spores and she saw sands of time. Hmm, if that doesn't show personality differences, I don't know what does!  I told her that was a very romantic vision and she giggled.  Then she jellied up my left breast, placed my left arm above my head and went to town with her little wand...over & over again, exploring the dense/fibrous tissue.  To say that poor little lefty was feeling a bit abused would be an understatement, but better safe than sorry, right?

Turns out she found some spots that were not there two years ago and the radiologist came in to take a turn to double check.  Appears to be extra tissue that wasn't there two years ago but it was not vascular (a cancerous mass needs blood flow and there was none going to these little babies) and they were the healthy shape.  But just to be safe I will go back in six months for a check up. All's well, that ends well.  And in six months I will be mentally prepared for the wacky little cape. Hell, maybe I'll even go full frontal...lol, let's not get carried away.

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