Long time, no boob, huh?
Wish I were back just because I have some terrific jokes, but I don't. I do have some mediocre jokes. But first, I need to say that I have invasive lobular carcinoma = breast cancer.
I had my regular mammogram on Monday, April 28th. They called me on Wednesday to tell me there was something jinky. Went back that Friday for more photos and a sonogram. Scheduled the needle biopsy for Monday, May 5th. Got the results on Wednesday the 7th. For those of you who have been at this for a long time, you know that is really fast. Fast is good when it comes to a cancer diagnosis.
One of the mammograms they did was the new 3D imaging one where they take cross-slice photos of breast tissue. If not for that particular image, they never would have found this. Lesson? Get your fucking mammograms. I don't want to hear any bitching about it either. The old standard of waiting until you find a lump in a self-exam is OVER. Don't stop doing those, but don't rely on them exclusively when there is such amazing technology out there. Just do it.
Have to say that all the people at the Magee Imaging Center in Monroeville were great - the radiologists even took the time to show me all the images and answered questions. They said most people don't ask. I told them a good half of My People were like that - mostly the Irish ones - denial has kept those tribes going for centuries. Okay, denial and Guinness. And Jamisons. But let's not quibble.
Here is some good news for needle biopsy fans - I did NOT have to use ye olde timey Boob-Hole Table! Yay! That thing reminded me of something you'd find in somebody's basement on Game of Thrones. This time, I got to be in a chair-like thing. Ended up with three radiologists because they couldn't find the same spot the mammo and sonogram from Friday picked up. Add a couple of residents and it was a decent - and new- crowd for my stripper jokes. Changed the punch line from 'blind circus' to 'seeing eye dog convention' - not as confusing and still scores the laughs.
I know this happens to other people too - but for some reason, it seems to happen to me a lot. Middle of an exam, and the doc/tech/nurse leaves and comes back with a group and the message: "You are going to want to see this!" Ever since I saw that episode of Gray's Anatomy, I am afraid it's going to be my subsumed twin, who I ate in the womb. When I ask about that, the residents are always amazed such a thing could exist. So I tell them to chuck the books and start watching more prime time TV. You can imagine how well that goes over with the real Docs.
Turns out there is much less bleeding sitting up than there is with the boob hole table. Gravity. Who'd have guessed? This mass is on the same boob but the opposite side of the boob clock (that's how they identify where the bad cells are - last time was around 5 and this one is closer to 11). Guess I can give up my search for a comfortable strapless bra after all. HAH - gentlemen - you didn't get that one but take my word for it - a comfortable strapless bra is about as easy to find as Big Foot. The real one, not the ones from the jerky commericals.
Plus, I got one of these really cool packets that you squeeze until it makes a popping sounds and then it's an instant cold pack!! Very nice - especially because usually they tell you to use a bag of frozen peas, and if you've ever had dinner with me, you know how I hate the pea.
So it's another adventure in medicine for me. If you are one who prays, please pray that God will grant me the grace to follow this path without committing any felonies. Otherwise, please think good thoughts, light a candle, or whatever you do to send positive vibes into the universe.
I am blogging about it for two reasons: (1) It makes me feel like I have some control over the situation and helps me process the information (can you believe *I* have control issues?! I have no idea where that trait came from...); and (2) the last time, I got so many wonderful messages from people who said it took some of the crazy/spooky panic out of the whole ordeal. I mean, if I can do it, anybody can do it - I don't even like getting paper cuts (and have you ever gotten one from file folder? It burns like fire!! ;) )
Lastly - for this entry - if it has been more than a year since your last mammogram, ladies - GET IT DONE. Men - ditto for prostate exams. And ditto for colonoscopies, or whatever other unpleasant test you are supposed to be getting. Don't be a wuss. Even if you wouldn't do it for yourself, do it for your kids. And your parents. And the friends who love you. Hell, if I ever, even once, made you laugh, do it for me.