Friday, September 16, 2011

because I'm old here's a little advice...

When you get a mammogram: wear good shoes.

I recently went for my mammogram and a week later got the dreaded call that I had to return for more testing because 1) I have dense breasts and 2) there were new images on my screens. Ugh. I asked the woman if I should be concerned. She paused--which automatically made me concerned--and said, "it's not an emergency but they saw something new from your last mammogram. They'll do more images and probably an ultrasound and you'll meet with a radiologist so you'll have an answer before you leave. You're set for next week."

Okay then. I hung up the phone and looked at the six long days on the calendar until the appointment. When I picked up Bug that afternoon, I let him pick out three kinds of cookies at the grocery store. Seriously, THREE. And two bags of Cheetos. He was in heaven and I was in limbo.

Donnie reminded me that I had been called back before due to my "dense" breasts. Good point but it was the "they saw something new" that had me freaked anxious. I tried to alternate those thoughts with "it's not an emergency" but I wouldn't say it was balanced.

I told Donnie all I could do at this point was to wear good that would make me happy. Shoes that I could look at before and after the tech places my right breast in the boobsmashing machine while I have a hospital gown hanging around my waist and a heavy protective apron covering the rest of my girl parts. Shoes, man. That's what I need, good shoes to make me smile. I chose this pair:

So I get to the appointment and before new images are taken, I see my breast on the screen and the tech shows me the small area that's circled. To me it looks just the same as the rest that isn't circled. Actually, it all looked like a satellite image of a storm forming off the coast. Not a named storm, just something tropical that might want to get noticed but not cause damage.

After another photo session with the boobsmasher, I met with the radiologist. She used a few technical words and while I know this isn't what she said, what I heard was "clusterfuck." Then she pointed to a little area on the screen that sort of looked like a Fourth of July sparkler. Blah, blah, blah, more medical talk and then random words were getting caught in my brain: new since your last mammogram, the size of grains of sugar or salt, totally curable. I really focused when she said, "I think you need a biopsy but I think it's benign. I'm very honest with my patients and if I thought there was a concern I would tell you."

The biopsy is done with me lying face down with my boob in a hole and the dr doing the procedure underneath. To me it sounds like I'm a car and she's the mechanic in charge of the tune-up. She suggested I might want a prescription for Valium. It's all going to be done in an hour and I'll have the results in 48 hours.

I'm focusing on her belief that it's benign and thinking I need to go shoe shopping.