Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Breast Health 2.0

I took extra care in prepping for my annual date with my gynecologist. My legs, armpits and other "important" areas were shaven and smooth, my toes were painted in OPI Red and I wore my nicest panties. Knowing that Dr. Helen doesn't really care about the extra effort but somehow hoping she appreciates it. After she got to first, second and third base she then destroyed the mood and suggested due to my age that I get a mammogram.

Two weeks later I am at the Breast Center getting my large breasts squeezed to the size of Texas toast. The exam itself doesn't hurt physically but it does hurt mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The nurse administering the exam had chilly hands and they were small. It took both of her little hands to lift my breast. It was utterly (pun intended) humiliating. After 15 minutes or so the exams were complete and I was on my way. Before departing the nurse said I should get a letter in a few days with the results of the exam. She did tell me sometimes they call you and if they do I shouldn't freak out.

Less than a week later I received a phone call from the Breast Center. There was something not normal in my right breast. I was scheduled to come back in for another mammogram and ultrasound. The ultrasound was just as humiliating and pride crushing as the mammograms. The conclusion was I had a cyst the size of a "milk dud" surrounded by some denser tissue. A biopsy was scheduled for the following week. Biopsy is a scary word. More so when the word is directed toward you.

In my family when there is any type of medical procedure scheduled, we roll in a posse. My mom, step-dad, grandmother, grandfather and grandfather and boyfriend were all in tow. We arrive at the Breast Center at 9:30 am. I had to have another mammogram before the biopsy (real fun) began. Ushered into another room, the lights were low and it looked kind of romantic except the large needle on the medical tray next to the gurney. I am instructed to lie down and a wedge is placed underneath my right side. Then I am told to lay my arm over my head. The wedge and my body placement is very uncomfortable. The nurse then exposes my breast and "scrubs" my entire right side. Naturally, I begin to cry because, again it is so humiliating. The nurse asks why I am so upset. I think to myself maybe its because you are scrubbing my boob with 10,000 grit sandpaper followed by an alcohol wash or maybe its because I am just lying here waiting for you to complete my beautiful breast and you aren't doing so. The radiologist of course, who turns out to be male comes in and says we are going to do a biopsy today but we are hoping the cyst aspirates upon contact. I felt a pinch which was a local anesthetic. Then a large needle was inserted and the cyst aspirated. A deeper tissue sample was not needed. The test was completed, I got a cute band aid followed by a cuter bruise. The fluid would be sent to pathology for further testing to determine if there any cancerous little guys in it.

The results are in. There seems to be no sign of malignancy but there is a presence of a papillary lesion. A consultation was set up with a surgeon and you guessed it, he was a male and suggested it be removed to avoid further issues down the road. The issue being a 5% chance it could turn cancerous and from that the turnover is very rapid. Like every other good surgeon in the practicing medical world he felt me up before delivering the news.

So ladies and yes, some of you men get your baseline mammograms when you turn 35, another in 3 years and then every year after 40. Yes, it is humiliating and they will try to squeeze every ounce of modesty out of you but love your breasts. Love them as you did when you first got them!

"I don't want to lose my breasts because they are fabulous." ~~ Samantha Jones

12 comments:

The Bug said...

Oh I'm so glad there was no cancer! I had to do the extra ultrasound thing last year & I was terrified. But it just turned out to be small cysts that they didn't think needed to be checked any further - so no biopsy.

I'm having my annual next month - not looking forward to it, but you're so right. VERY necessary!

Heff said...

Heff is here if you ever need a "helping hand".

middle child said...

K. Now it's time you get your colonoscopy!

UBERMOUTH said...

This makes me think I should have a mammogram[which at 46 I have never had before]. I am now wondering how it is possible I am still alive when I read stories like yours. :)
Hope you're mended and your other breast is not shrivelling due to jealousy at the attention the other girl got!

LMFAO@ Heff. It warms the cockells to know that he is always ready to reach out his hand in friendship.

Kimberly said...

Bug - who knew being felt up would be such a pain?

Heff - is that one hand or two? One breast or both?

Middle Child - We can schedule them together. Next week is good or me, you?

Uberbitch - You're alive because you are so evil. Evil never dies!

Kimberly said...

Uber - one more thing, my other boob is now two times her original size and she is swarming in glee that she is not defective.

Heff said...

Ubermouth, HOW DARE you lock me out !!!

Just telling it like it is said...

I'm so happy to hear that you are okay....I would have definitely warmed my hands like Mr. Miagi in Karate kid just for you!

BlazngScarlet said...

I had the same thing last year.
Same boob too! lol
This year my mammo was clear ... thank god!

Are you going to the lesion removed?

chrissie mack said...

thanks for this post - is something that all women worry about and good to see that others experience the same.

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