Thursday, May 21, 2009

Who knew that it was actually two hours?

Yesterday, I had my much anticipated appointment at the Women's Imaging Center.

Since the Hubs attended the Bear's kindergarten graduation, he scheduled it so he had the entire day off. This way I could go to my appointment and not have to deal with having a neighbor or someone watch the kids. It definitely gave the Hubs an excuse to take the day off.

The Hubs and the kids actually dropped me off and picked me up from the place*. It was nice. This way the Hubs would have my car (much roomier than his little coupe) so that he could go and run errands with the kiddos.

Little did I realize that my appointment, which I thought would only be an hour, turned into TWO full hours. But as I was there, it didn't seem to be that long. There was a quietness about the place. After I changed into the white cotton robe, I sat in the waiting area reading a magazine. I was the only one in the waiting area and I read the magazine in total silence!

Anyway, what they ended up doing were the four regular mammogram shots first. I had my first mammo almost two years ago so I was due for another full set. The technician who performed yesterday's mammo was the same one who did my first one. Yes. I remember. I was definitely squeezed into the machine. It's not like I'm huge or anything (a C-cup) but mine are not the perky, manmade kind that stick out from my body at a 90-degree angle. You know what I'm saying? But we did a horizontal and a 45-degree shot of each breast.

The technician then changed up the "paddles" for the more intense shots. Yes. The technician changed out the parts that would squeeze me. This 2nd pair of paddles? Squeezed me even more. Yeah. More. This way they could get a limited and focused view of the area in question. I had another horizontal and then a 90-degree shot of my right side. All I did during it was breath like nothing was wrong. That's how I get through the uncomfortable feel. Acting like nothing is awry.

I was then asked to go back to the waiting area so that the radiologist could review the shots. I got to breeze through another magazine. But this time there were about 6 other ladies in the waiting room. It didn't seem very long when another cheerful technician (dressed in bright green scrubs) called me back.
Tech: Okay. So now we'll be doing the ultrasound in this room here.
Me: Excuse me?
Tech: Didn't they tell you we'd also be doing an ultrasound?
Me: No one mentioned anything about it.
In my head, I was thinking ultrasound? What? Did they think I was pregnant? It soon became clear that she was going to do the ultrasound on my breast**. Duh Grace! She put the gel on my breast and looked around.
Tech: Okay. We're done.
Me: Okay.
Tech: I'll go get the radiologist and let her know that we're done here. She'll come in and let you know about the results, okay? We'll keep the gel on here in case she wants to take another look.
So I lay there with the gel on my breast waiting for the news about what's going underneath my skin.

Y'all? I'm okay.

The radiologist looked at the mammogram taken yesterday and compared it to the first set that I took and saw that nothing had changed. The ultrasound confirmed that there was nothing going on.

I am ever so relieved. All this anticipation. All this stress that I've been having. But it's kind of a relief knowing that I've been pretty good about getting this portion of my body checked since I turned into this new decade of life.

So for those of you who haven't taken the time to get yourself squeezed and taken a mammogram, please go and get it done. If it's as clean as a whistle (which we all hope each and every time), then everything is great. You did NOT waste your time. I'm sure that you've been going for a yearly exam since you were a teenager and getting a PAP to ensure that your internal female parts are healthy. So put the same kind of focus now on your breasts. If you go every year or two and then they DO find something? You'll know that the discrepancy is something new, which means you've caught it early. Which means you've got a better chance with any treatment.

Now I can start summer vacation with a lightness in my heart and my mind!

And so last night after dinner? I did take the kids for ice cream at Cold Stone. It was delicious!

* And for those of you who thought it was weird that the Hubs dropped me off and picked me up? I think that was his way of "being there" for me. He didn't want me driving home alone if I'd received bad news. Isn't he great?
** A breast ultrasound is used to show the entire breast, including the portion closest to the chest wall that is hard to study with a mammogram. The breast ultrasound is used to verify if a breast lump is filled with fluid (equating to a cyst) or if it's a solid mass.

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