On Monday I went for my routing mammogram like I do every year since turning 40. I don't think there's a women out there that will say "oh goody" when it comes to this. But, most of us know it's important.
So off I went on my journey on this bright sunny day thinking of all I would do when I got home. Take the dogs for a walk, garden, make a nice dinner for hubby and on and on. I park, I enter, I register and I wait. Finally my turn, oh goody! I undress, I wait. Kathy the technician calls my name for my turn at the mammography contraption. Great! They take their pics ~ requesting I turn this way and then that way and then they SQUEEZE! Okay, I'm done "go get dressed" Kathy states and "then way in the results room. Yeah! I am almost done and I can't wait to get that sweet tea on the way home!
And so I wait in the results room. Until... Virginia another staffer comes to tell me "we need more pics..." Great! I undress again and wait. Linda announces my name and states "Dr. Small wants more pictures." Just of my right breast. I am not that worried because they tell me every year that I have "dense breasts" which means it's hard to see. Okay, they need to see that breast in a little different way. More movements, more squeezing and the last one really hurt! Ouch! "Wait in your dressing room until Dr. Small sees if we need more" says Linda. Okay, I wait. A little while late she casually tells me "Dr. Small wants a sonogram so say undressed and they will come and get you." Okay, now I am a tiny bit worried.
Mary arrives to escort me to the sonogram. This took some time, again only on my right breast, and Mary assures me she just needs some clearer pictures. Done! Get dressed and wait in the results room.
I just know what Dr. Small is going to tell me ~ I have dense breasts and now I have some cysts which come and go, no biggy! Dr. Small is a petite woman with a kind face and soft voice. She tells me what I thought she would. Yeah, I can go home. Wait! What did she say?! There's a small area that is not a cyst and therefore I need a biopsy! Tears roll down my face. Now, I am scared. She's very reassuring indicating that because of my age it is very unlikely that it is malignant but "to be safe" a biopsy is necessary.
I hear all of this and try to process it. Very likely indicative of nothing, "just to be safe". Yet tears roll down my face and I am scared. Virginia shows up again and escorts me to a tiny room to watch a DVD on the biopsy procedure and to make any telephone calls if I would like. I elect not too. No big deal, a biopsy and I am out of here. Great! Virginia is very kind, getting tissue for me and reassuring me on how common this procedure is. Thank you Virgina! I truly appreciated your compassion.
And so I wait some more! Carrie arrives to escort me to the biopsy procedure after about an hour. Yes, I undress yet again! She carefully explains the procedure including the potential side-effects. I think to myself "can we just get on with it." Another tech begins the sonogram to find the spot and then calls in another doctor, Dr. Windsong. She is very kind with a sense-of-humor to ease you into the procedure. They numb a spot on my right breast and insert this GINORMOUS needle (I am not kidding and those of you that have experienced this know what I am talking about). After a few clicks, indicating they have gathered the sample, I am done. The tech presses a dressing on my breast to slow the bleeding. No exercise, no heavy lifting and no getting the area wet for 24 hours!
Yes, another mammogram to identify the marker (a tiny piece of something to indicate the spot where they took the sample which will stay in me forever unless I have surgery). The tech is gentle and after another few minutes of waiting to ensure the bleeding has stopped I am free to go.
The results they tell me will be back in three or fours days. I feel hopeful because even the doc who completed the biopsy was "fairly confident" that I "will receive good news" later this week.
I dress, I stop for that sweet tea and I go home. My mind is on over load. I eat the dinner my hubby cooked, and I veg!
And now I wait....