Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy and Relieved!

About a month ago I went for my first ever mammogram. My mother was first diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 51 and I'm 49. I thought the time had come to dig my head out of the sand and face the music. I've always been a big procrastinator when it came to doctor visit's.

The mammogram was not too bad. The technician put me at ease the best she could. She was very efficient and professional but also kind. I have a lot of respect for people that do these jobs. I'm sure it all becomes quite routine for them but it's not routine for their customers and they seem to know this. They told me beforehand since it was my first mammogram not to be concerned if I get called back because the first time is like the baseline and they have nothing to compare it to it and they will be really cautious. Sure enough several days later I get called back to come in for another mammogram and also an ultrasound.

The 2nd mammogram was quite different than the first. The first could be deemed uncomfortable but the 2nd was more like a short torture session. I told my husband "Imagine someone taking one small piece of your penis and flattening it to .00125897 mm and then rotating it about 370 degrees." Of course he reminded me of the time he went for a test that they put a small camera in the end of his penis. Maybe he wins this time. :) Once the technician had my boob flattened and twisted she walked over to the controller and told me not to breathe. I wasn't too worried about breathing but I was worried about passing out. What a relieve when she released me. I don't think my left breast will ever be the same!!!

After that the Ultrasound of course was a cakewalk. A few days later I got the dreaded call. Please come in for another Ultrasound and Needle Biopsy. I just felt this wasn't quite as routine as the other call. However, I wasn't worrying every minute of the day. I think my husband did that for me. I only told one person at work and she was as bad as I was. Note to self when going for medical tests do not tell anyone until it's over. Wednesday at work my general practictioner's office called to set my mind at ease. My test came back benign. I called my husband who was very relieved. We met for dinner that night and he joked to me that he was glad he wouldn't have to break in anyone new. After 30 years of marriage, I guess we've grown on each other. I was also glad for my children too. Especially as a child who lost her mother far too soon I could totally relate to their feelings on this. I didn't tell them about the extra tests because they would have worried very much.

In closing I would encourage anyone thinking about going for a mammogram to go. Especially if this disease runs in your family. Breast cancer can be so treatable.

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