Wanna know what really sucks?
No, I don’t have cancer but I had a little scare these past few weeks.
I went in for my annual mammogram, my third since turning 40 a few years ago. It was the usual go ’round. Check-in, change into a gown, have some pictures taken of my ta-tas, change back into my clothes, go home, and get a call a few days later saying everything is OK.
Except the phone call I received went more like this: “Hi Lisa, we need to schedule you for additional mammogram pictures and a possible ultrasound. We saw an area of concern and want to take a closer look. Blah blah blah…focal asymmetry in the left breast…blah blah blah.”
That was not the call I was expecting and to be honest, my brain fast-forwarded so quickly to the bad thoughts. I scheduled my appointment, hung up the phone, and burst into tears.
With the other stuff currently going on with my body, I did not take this as a good sign.
I had to wait one week for my follow-up appointment; it was this past Wednesday afternoon.
This appointment was similar. Check-in, change into a gown, and have some pictures taken of my breast. Before taking the pictures, the technician showed me my original pictures and even to my untrained eye, I could visibly pick out what the *area of concern* was. Breast tissue looks like spider webbing to me, and my pictures showed an obvious dark spot in the middle. The technician did her job, taking some very specialized shots (translation: awkward and a little painful) of that specific spot of my breast. She did what she called a *ROLL* view. I called it the *titty twister*. Stretching and twisting and flattening. If you are wondering if it hurt or was uncomfortable, then I am here to tell you: YES AND YES.
After the pictures, the technician had me wait for my results in a different waiting room from the other women. I thought: Oh shoot, she saw something and she put me in a different room so I don’t make a scene in front of the others when they break the news to me. Yep, my brain instantly went there. I had to wait an agonizing 10-15 minutes for the radiologist to read my pictures. During that time, I had already decided if need be, I would get rid of them (one or both), fight and live.
The prognosis when it came: ALL CLEAR.
The different views showed the dark spot on my breast as *overlapping breast tissue* and deemed normal.
What is my point? I have many.
- Pay attention to your breasts. I have not been doing monthly self-exams but I have felt my own breasts more in the last week than the last 5 years combined. True story. Get to know your breasts on an intimate level. I’m serious, yo. Early detection is KEY.
- Get an annual mammogram. If you are 40 and over, you should be having a mammogram every single year. If you have missed a year (or a few years), there is no need to confess to me, just schedule that appointment right now and then, GO TO IT. There is a reason women over 40 are required/recommended/whatever to do an annual mammogram. Early detection is KEY.
- If you get called back for a level-2 mammogram, try not to freak the shit out. It will be hard (it was difficult for me), but schedule it and go to it. Early detection is KEY.
- If you know someone going through breast cancer, then please give hug them from me. Now, pronto, stat.
- Support our very own Ann as she fundraises and trains for her Susan G.Komen 3-day Walk.
Squish the ta-tas to save the ta-tas. Schedule that appointment now.