What better way to celebrate a birthday–a new beginning– than taking off your shirt and exposing yourself? None!
Especially when the reason you are doing it is for a diagnostic mammogram.
A few weeks ago a noticed a lump in my right breast. One that I could not (though I really wanted to) ignore. Talk about terrified! I did not want to deal with anything like this. It has been a rough few weeks. Weeks where I could not do anything but panic. Weeks that I had to push back deadlines, reschedule appointments and try to just get through the day (not to mention the doctor’s appointments) without losing my mind.
Strangely, through it all, I didn’t want to talk about it. I told a grand total of 5 people– not counting my husband. And even with my husband I pulled the “I am not worried. All is well.” card. But then froze in panic when I thought about the “what-if’s”. Some people I talked to about it, I talked to because I really needed their shoulder to just let me say “I’m scared this lump is cancer and I need to tell someone that” and I knew they would listen and offer me a real shoulder. Some people I told out of obligation keeping it superficial and not expecting anything in return, but knowing I had to at least mention that something was up. And some I told because I respect them and they needed to know why I had to move some deadlines around. Otherwise, you got the “I am fine and dandy” speech, when I was terrified. I was scared that nothing was fine. The few people I leaned on, thank you. You know who you are.
So, for my birthday, I went in for my final round of mammo, sonno, etc. I took the girls out for some squishing, poking, and got them smashed. (I got my boobs smashed for my birthday instead of me getting smashed. Irony somewhere in there.)
I dodged the bullet this time.
They found no cancer in my lovely lady lumps. (Let us all release the breath I have been holding for over a month.) They did say cut back on caffeine as it makes the fibrocystic breast disease that they determined I do have even worse. That is what I was feeling.
I did feel a lump. And there was reason enough to look into it and make sure that I didn’t need to take further action. I was always worried that I was overreacting. That I was making something out of nothing. But I felt something. And I felt pain. And it had symptoms that scared the snot out of me. In the end, I got lucky.
Basically, I need to just have mammograms more often to make sure my normal stays my normal. Any lumps? Well, I have to be super careful and ensure that they don’t change in any way. If I get scared, I get them checked out. Period.
And here is where I get on my soap box.
Ladies, if you have been avoiding mammograms for fear of “oh I have heard how horrible it hurts”, knock that the hell off! It is so fast that you can endure it. I don’t care how sensitive you are. Honestly, discomfort is as far as I would take it. Now, the breast that was hurting in the first place and had the lump in it that sent me in to the doctor in the first place–the one that I will slap you if you touch– even that one was not the “writhing agony” that people had me fearing. Sure, that one hurt. Because it already hurt before they squished and twisted it. But it hurt for all of about 10 seconds. (I did over 36 hours of labor with well over half of that pitocin labor and no pain meds. I can handle 10 seconds of a boob squish!) And the side that had no pain to begin with–No Big Deal. Repeat that. No. Big. Deal. If you have not had a mammogram and you know you are due for one or should have one, do it. For heaven’s sake, just do it. Don’t you owe that much to yourself? Wouldn’t you want your best friend to keep herself in check? Take care of your ta-ta’s, ladies. Look at it this way. You get felt up courtesy of your insurance company. It isn’t like they don’t screw you over anyway!
This time I dodged a bullet. And I was terrified. But I am happy to say, my lovely lady lumps just enjoy having their own lovely lady lumps within and are not currently in danger.
Thank you, my friends I opened up to, for checking in, calling, emailing etc. It was good to know I was not alone if I needed someone.
And now, I am off to eat cake. And wear a really low cut shirt. Why? Because my lovely lady lumps are healthy. I am showing them off. So to speak.
Jenn, as always, you write about the things that concern us all in a way that both entertains and informs us.
Congratulations to you and your lovely lady lumps.
My annual appt is next week.
Glad for your good news.
I’ve been there. Had the biopsy, too.
Excellent post. Mammogram is not that big of a deal.
Just do it.
Enjoy the cake and I’m so glad of the result! I know the whole fibrocystic thing — I’ve got it too, and every year I have to go through the diagnostic and then the follow-up. And every year it’s scary as hell, because I’m so frightened that the roulette wheel of cancer is going to stop at me someday.
Glad you got the ladies taken care of. I totally agree with your soapbox rant of getting over it and taking care of yourself. We are worth it.
Yay!!! I always celebrate healthy boobies.
In March at my routine appointment, my doctor felt something abnomal and sent me for ultrasounds and eventually a mammogram. That was a month later. And while the doctor thought it was nothing, there is always that fear that yes indeed, it would be something. And a month of worrying.
Thankfully, it was nothing. And it just something I have to keep an eye on.
But having a mammogram at 29 is a scary thing. And seriously, it does not hurt that bad. That should never be your excuse to NOT get one.
I’m glad your girls are OK!
Oh my gosh. What a burden to carry. I am so very glad that you have a clean bill of health. Now go out and have fun! Happy Birthday to you!
…..cut down on coffee….. *shudder*
Glad it was all OK in the end. You are so much like me in the show-everyone-I’m-FIIINE stakes. I was told that I could have ovarian cancer (had all the symptoms) and was sent for a barrage of tests. Did them on the sly while everyone was at work and school, chucked a sick day from work citing ‘sick kids’ and went through it alone.
Why? Cause I didn’t want people to see a chink in my armour. That I could be scared.
Turned out to be IBS. 🙂
Glad all was well. Good for you to get a mammogram right away! The discomfort of a mammogram is nothing compared to mastectomy and chemo, I’m sure. (Four close friends and co-workers have had it in the last few years.)
hey there! you know, the term “fibrocystic breast disease” is a bit of a misnomer. It’s *not* really a disease. More like a condition. You have “dense” breasts.
But here’s an interesting thing about the condition. When you do a breast exam, if you have a lump on one breast, go and check the same location in the other breast. You’ll find the same lump. Yup. Oddly enough, with fibrocystic whateveryoucallit, the lumps are even.
So rather than getting all scared with each new lump (and with a blog called “mommy needs coffee” I worry about this), just make sure that the lumps are even!
Hmmn. I can’t find this on the internet. Well, check it out. A doctor told me that years ago and it’s proven true for me.
So glad you’re okay. I had the fibrocystic thing too in my early twenties when I was getting up at 2 am and drinking like, 100 cups of coffee a day. Runs in the family. So I know the pain of which you speak.
Try energizing tea. It sucks compared to coffee, but it’s better than nothing…
I’m so glad that you’re ok. My friend also just told me recently how NOT a big deal it is.
Good on you and your lady lumps!
Um. Phew! I’m so glad you got good news.
Decaf is just as good. Especially with a little chocolate in it.
Thank you – I went through this a few months ago. Found a bump (we don’t say the L word) and after 2 ultrasounds, they still didn’t know what it was. I opted for an excisional biopsy bc I just wanted to be OVER it. Turned out to be fibrosis, yes I was told to cut the caffeine, too (as I sit here with a 3 gallon mug of coffee) You’re right, I needed ONE person to listen to my fear that my body was betraying me and was rotting from the inside. She listened, and supported, and it was good. Told hubby I was fine, not worried, you know the lines! Ah, it’s good to be able to open up about it with someone who’s been there 🙂